In The Kitchen With Olive Oil Entrepreneur Aishwarya Iyer

Food should make you feel good, body and soul — and according to Aishwarya Iyer, the fewer ingredients the better. The CEO and founder of Brightland, a responsibly-sourced olive oil company (extra virgin, of course), is making waves in the local foodie scene. Their emphasis on flavor and local sourcing is a natural manifestation of Aish’s attitude towards food.

Whether she’s making Indian okra or snacking on chocolate stuffed dates, Aish belives in the power of the perfect bite. We asked this entrepreneurial foodie to share a few highlights from her kitchen with our classic series, In My Fridge…brightland olive oil


Food philosophy:

Nourish yourself with kindness, goodness and fare that warms you, body, heart and soul.

Always in my fridge:

Corn tortillas to make veggie breakfast tacos, pizza dough, Rao’s Arrabbiata sauce and lots of colorful vegetables.

Seven recipe staples always on hand:

Chickpeas, Brightland, black rice, Greek yogurt, heirloom tomatoes, lemon and spinach.

Must-have munchies:

Dosa Chips, blueberries and pistachios.

Favorite condiments:

Everything from Brooklyn Delhi, especially their tomato achaar. Bitchin’ Sauce, a CA-based vegan almond-based spread that’s simply divine and perfect on sandwiches. Crackers and peppers for dipping.

Ingredient that makes everything taste better:

Brightland! AWAKE is perfect for cozy, home-y fare like soups and pasta, and ALIVE is great with greens, salads and drizzled on sorbet.

Go-to proteins:

Chickpeas, moong dal, urad dal…basically all of the dals.

Best bargain food:

Making soup with a can of chickpeas, vegetable broth, tomatoes, onion and carrots – it can feed a big group, is super cozy and nourishing and costs less than $8 to make!

Best label-reading tip:

The fewer the ingredients and the more that you can actually pronounce (which don’t sound like chemicals), the better.

Favorite veggie + what you make with it:

Okra. I love making a south Indian okra fry.

Craziest thing I buy:

Brittania Bourbon biscuits. You don’t know until you know.

Favorite indulgence:

Dates with Brightland and sea salt and Twenty Four Blackbirds Madagascar dark chocolate.

Favorite dairy:

Cypress Groves cheese and  Siggis orange ginger Icelandic yogurt.

Skip labels that read:

Low-fat or fat-free.

Favorite splurge:

Decadent teas from Bellocq tea atelier.

Go-to for last minute entertaining:

An easy olive, tomato and garlic tart made with vegan pastry crust – easy, delicious and perfect with a glass of red wine.

Best places to shop:

Mar Vista Farmers Market and Larchmont Farmer’s Market.  Otherwise, I love Bonberi in the West Village when I am in New York, Individual Medley in Glendale, Need Supply and CAP Beauty online.

Simple go-to recipe:

Lately, it’s Dahi Toast from Bon Appetit’s Priya Krishna. It’s an Indian-ish grilled cheese with sourdough bread and Greek yogurt. You have to try it, it’s out of this world.

Best food memory:

All of my mother’s South Indian food: idlis, dosa, sambar, khichdi. She (and most South Asian mothers) was using turmeric (and its counterparts) before it was on trend.

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