“ये मसाला वसाला से क्या होगा?”

When we began our humble journey in a small rural settlement near Varanasi, the acceptance we’d hope to receive didn’t come through at once. It took us a fair bit of convincing to finally come around the village elderly, the menfolk, and yes, the women. Rural women, who hadn’t set foot outside of their homes for “work”. It has been worth the wait and the effort, for now when our rural didis speak so fondly about their work, share their knowledge with pride and bring other women along to join the unit, we know our masala has indeed created some magic.

With every pinch of Kashika that you sprinkle on your food, you sprinkle some joy.

What makes our world so special?

As our didis traverse their own special life journeys, their paths often intersect with Kashika in ways that positively enliven and enrich lives.
Scroll down to see how.

“अरे बैनी, इतना मत डालो, कड़क है !”

Born into a family that is well versed in agriculture and crop cultivation,Renu has a naturally sharp eye when it comes to choosing the finest khada(whole) masalas. The whole masalas are picked from the finest sources who swear by their quality. The spices are ground and blended without any harmful chemical additives. They’re simply as natural as they can be. That makes the masala flavors and aromas come out so strong, distinct, and special. As she will gently warn you, “Use them carefully!”.

Thanks to people like Renu, Kashika masalas are strong and uniquely flavoursome.

“चखते रह जाओगे,
हमारी guarantee हैं !”

Dozen-odd relatives have come home for lunch. Partho busily rolls the puris and dips them in hot oil, her bangles making light music. Everyone is eager to dig into the sumptuous looking meal – puri, sabzi, daal, chaas, papad, and a milky sweet dish. Post the lip-smacking meal, the ladies gather around Partho to learn the recipe for the sabzi, they relished heartily. Partho seizes the opportunity and shows off her masala paiket saying “Arrey bhabhi, yeh lo Kashika ka sabzi masala. Dal ke dekho kya swad aata hain”. She then gives everyone a paiket, for free! The ladies are awestruck! Partho explains how the women of the village, including her, make their own masalas and sell it too. “बहुत बढ़िया हुआ ये तो!”, they exclaim in unison. They’re eager to visit the unit and know more.

Kashika masala’s strongest ambassadors are the rural didis
who prepare them, like Partho.

“शुद्ध है पर पैकेट
colorful रखो!”

A bunch of teenage village girls have gathered to see, in action,
some simple consumer tests recommended by FSSAI. “Product shudh hain, samajh aa raha hain, par paiket ko bhi colorful rakho. You see, people look at the paiket. They will like it if it is bright and lively, and will be willing to try it once. After that, they will pick it up again and again if the product is good”. Clearly, we went with the design picked up by these girls not only because we trust their ingenuity but also because it’s hard for that kind of raw and unbiased feedback to come by these days. We love how frank and genuine they are; they definitely seem to know best!

Kashika is a participatory endeavour, where all stakeholders bring
their most creative selves to co-create products that you’ll enjoy.

“आज कल काम करना जरूरी है, दीदी !”

Twenty-one year old Parul comes to the unit on her rickety bicycle. She has two younger siblings, a boy, and a girl, who attend the nearby government school. Ask her about marriage and she dodges the topic saying that she cannot think of marriage until her siblings are well educated and they find good jobs. She realizes it may be too late for marriage by then but isn’t too perturbed. With a debt-ridden farm, even the unit ka kaam isn’t enough to feed the many mouths in her family she states quite matter-of-factly. It certainly helps, she says, as an afterthought. “Aaj kal kaam karna jaroori hain, maidam. Shaadi vadi toh hoti rehegi”. Her determination is intense. Her quest for financial stability is evident and overpowers her any wants.
She breaks into a broad smile as she notices her siblings trying to peek inside over the factory gate. As Parul prepares to leave, they cling on to her cycle in a jiffy. The trio wave a resounding good-bye and are off, raising a trail of dust behind.

Kashika is powered by women like Parul and Renu, who are trailblazers.
They are as fiery as Kashika products that you love.

The People Behind Kashika

Deepika, who founded the Kashika brand, is an engineer from BITS Pilani, with an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. She is passionate about two things – creating an enabling environment for women, and eating good food! It was while working with spirited rural communities in Varanasi, that she saw that her two great passions could be combined with their traditional expertise, to create an enduring enterprise that brings power and joy to everyone involved.

With Kashika, she hopes to create an ecosystem that truly gives rural women the space to grow, prosper, and share their abundant love with the world on an equal footing. Additionally, Deepika works in the social development space with a range of communities and brings a strong social lens to Kashika.