Charleston Wine + Food was more than just biscuits and grits! For a special interview about Indian cuisines and influences, Kat Johnson welcomed Maneet Chauhan of Chauhan Ale and Masala House in Nashville and Meherwan Irani of Chai Pani in Asheville and Atlanta. They each share stories of growing up in India and how their experiences shaped the type of food they cook. For Maneet, she was always the kid in the kitchen asking questions about techniques and ingredients. She now expertly blends Indian and Southern flavors in her menus. Meherwan had a much different experience, since traditionally boys didn’t spend much time cooking where he grew up. Instead, he found his love of food on the street. When you experience the food at Chai Pani, you understand why Meherwan decided to pay homage to those flavors.

Both Maneet and Meherwan are helping Indian cuisine reach a larger audience by making it approachable and educational. They even have lots of helpful advice for home cooks hoping to try their hand at preparing traditional indian dishes – and the first piece is “never use curry powder!”

maneet meherwan