Up late one evening, mindlessly surfing the Internet, I came across an article from Civil Eats about Javeri Kadri and her fast-growing company, Diaspora Co. Kadri founded Diaspora Co., a direct-trade single-origin turmeric distributor, in 2017 with a goal of putting power back into the hands of Indian spice farmers.
Turmeric is the latest western craze, despite having been used in India and by Indian immigrants for years, coveted for its anti-inflammatory properties, amongst other health benefits. Unfortunately for Indian spice farmers, the popularity and increase in consumption of turmeric do not equate to an increase in wages.
According to The Salt, an internal journal on the Diaspora Co. website, “The commodity market price for 1 kilogram of turmeric in India is about 35 cents. At the time of writing this, on Amazon, you can buy 1 kilogram of turmeric for about $35. That’s a ridiculous 100x markup, on par with pharmaceuticals and movie theater popcorn.”
Diaspora Co. is incredibly young, but Kadri is already disrupting the spice industry with her business practices, specifically her desire for transparency. Consumers can expect to pay more for Diaspora Co. than for a bottle of turmeric from the grocery store. The combination of growing the root among marigolds, in place of commonly used pesticides, along with a desire for farmer’s to be paid fair wages for their work both lead to an increase in cost.
Kadri, in the Civil Eats article “A Queer, Female Entrepreneur is Taking Back Turmeric for Indian Farmers” says, “I truly, truly believe that the correct way to do business is to be completely transparent – about your sourcing, your sustainability, your commitments, your finances, all of it.”
Once I submitted my order, I obsessively tracked its shipping status. Upon arrival, I couldn’t wait to dive into the little golden jar that Javeri Kadri put so much effort and heart into. Diaspora Co. has that familiar bright fragrance. Unlike other store-bought turmeric’s I’ve used in the past, the flavor is incredibly smooth.
Turmeric shines and stands out in the recipes I’m sharing below- heed this as your warning to reconsider wearing a white shirt while preparing any of these recipes.
Cooking with Diaspora co. turmeric
From 101 Cookbooks
Spiced Cabbage Potatoes, or Patta Gobi Aloo Subzi
From Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen by Richa Hingle
To buy Diaspora Co. turmeric, go here.