My 2016 in Indian food: Gouri Kubair, Holy Lama Spice Drops

Gouri Kubair Holy Lama Spice Drops Indian entrepreneur

From chocolate to chai, curries to cocktails, if you can eat or drink it, it’s safe to say you can use Holy Lama’s Spice Drops to add a little je ne sais quoi. The pure liquid extracts come in an endless array of incarnations – from single spices through to bespoke blends.

And Gouri Kubair is the woman responsible for spreading the word about her Kerala-based family company’s wonderful wares. 2016 has been a big year for Holy Lama, and so she’s got a lot to celebrate as it draws to a close…

Your highlight of the year – and why it was so?

Our new branding – we spent a lot of time and love on creating a look which captures the vibrancy of the Spice Drops and our Indian roots. It has been such a joy to see the packaging being appreciated by everybody we show it to.

Favourite Indian place you ate at?

Veer Dhara in St. Albans – they have this paneer tikka starter which is lovely – a bit like a sandwich, filled with delicious chutney. I love that and everything else they have on their menu. It’s all so authentic.

Favourite non-Indian place you ate at?

Ladudu, a Vietnamese restaurant near West Hampstead station. The salads are amazing, as are the desserts.. and everything really!

Asma Khan

Asma Khan

The fellow Indian foodies who’ve done great things?

I think it would be unfair to narrow it down too much. There are far too many fellow Indian foodies who put in an amazing amount of effort to run their businesses, create amazing opportunities for others, and support fellow enterprises.

That said, two people stood out to me this year. I feel rather proud of Bristol chef and restaurateur Romi Gill for being awarded her MBE, and of fellow Indian and genuinely lovely person Asma Khan for coming up with the My London Supperclub series – which brought London together by showcasing the city’s diverse cuisines.

The Indian dish you’ve cooked the most this year?

Okra, in bhindi fry, every week. We love it! 

Your 2017 plans?

To encourage everybody to enjoy new flavours and spices, and create new dishes and drinks using Holy Lama Spice Drops! 

Who would you crown your Indian chef of the year?

‘That Hungry Chef’ Pratap Chahal. For some of his pop-ups, he comes up with absolutely gorgeous, stunningly-creative flavours inspired by perfumes – I don’t know how he does it.

  • To read about Indian events and openings for December, click here
  • To read the Holy Lama story, click here and here
  • To read more about That Hungry Chef, click here
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