What is your food philosophy?
While creating my company, Rootless, I learned how food is grown and regulated, which has impacted the way I now think about food and nutrition. I go out of my way to eat local, and buy from brands I trust! I’ve also started to dive more deeply into Ayurveda. I love and subscribe to the philosophy of consistency, food as medicine, and doing a little bit of good for your body every day. I try to ground myself in daily rituals that make me feel good. For example, I drink warm water and lemon first thing in the morning and avoiding salad or raw food after a full meal.
What is the first meal that you remember?
Idlis (fluffy fermented rice and lentil cakes) and sambar (a sour, spicy lentil-based stew) which taste like home to me; they are my favorite go-to breakfast when I'm staying in Bangalore.
How did you get into cooking?
Cooking, for me, started as a necessity (one could even say a chore) as I entered my 20s. However, through the pandemic, I began to enjoy slowing down with food. The simple act of grocery shopping (or the rare farmers’ market sojourn) as well as leisurely cooking for myself has become a welcome respite from lockdown anxiety.
Tell us about Rootless and how it came to be.
I’ve spent the last decade of my professional life thinking, living, and breathing international climate and ocean issues. Somewhere along the way, I stumbled upon seaweed and was hooked! Here you have this rare bright spot: the most nutrient dense and diverse food on the planet that does not require land, freshwater or fertilizer to grow, and actively gives back to the oceans, atmosphere, and communities around it!
So in November 2020, I quit my job to get more people to eat and grow sustainable seaweed! After much tinkering around in my kitchen (and force-feeding my friends and family seaweed), I landed on a recipe for our first product, the Daily Bite: a seaweed-based whole food supplement that is nourishing and delicious.
We launched Rootless in January 2022, and the Daily Bites are just the beginning! We are working on a range of nutrition and holistic health products to help people and their families tap into the transformative benefits of seaweed every day.
How do you start the day?
Anchoring my day in consistent rituals helps me feel more grounded. I start my day with warm water and lemon, after which I drink a cup of coffee and eat a Rootless bite. I then like to go for a 20 minute walk before starting the work day. For me, I've found the slower the start the better.
What's always in your fridge?
Eggs, Brooklyn Delhi Roasted Garlic Achaar, a bouquet of fridge greens, lemons and limes, arugula and spinach, kimchi, gochujang paste, and salmon or tuna.
What’s always in your pantry?
Rootless Daily Bites, various types of honey (I am a sucker for good honey), furikake, anchovies, my masala dabba, which I’m emotionally attached to, and at least 5 different types of hot sauces and chili oils.
What do you turn to, to make you feel your best: food and all the other practices?
I’m learning that health and happiness are more about intention than they are about a singular thing or feeling. I feel my fullest when I’m intentionally nourishing my body and mind by eating well, checking in with myself, and daily journaling. I also love meandering through a weekend farmers’ market. The bustle of people and stalls filled with fresh fruits and vegetables is my happy place.
Mindful movement also grounds me. I’ve been practicing yoga for a decade, and I’m still surprised at how good an hour on the mat makes me feel.
Favorite kitchen tool?
I adore my espresso machine.
How do you end your day?
My days can get physically and mentally exhausting, so having a 9pm bedtime has become sacred to me. Inspired by Marija at Monastery, I slow down with my cleansing routine before bed. I use Monastery’s Rose Cleaning Oil to take off the day and give myself a facial massage, and afterwards use their Gold Bontanical Oil Serum as a moisturizer. Monastery’s products feel so simple yet luxurious. I’m hooked!
SOUTH INDIAN VEGETABLE STEW
By Sachi Singh
5-6 baby potatoes
1 teaspoon plus 1 pinch of turmeric
½ inch piece of ginger
1 green chili
1 tablespoon oil
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cardamom pods, smashed
½ cup carrots, chopped
½ cup peas
16 oz can coconut milk
½ cup water
Par-boil baby potatoes in salted water with the pinch of turmeric. Pound half inch piece of ginger with the peppercorns and teaspoon of turmeric to form a paste.
Blend together onion and green chili. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan; when hot, add mustard seeds until they crackle + pop and a bay leaf. Add garlic, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods. After 20 seconds, add the ginger paste and cloves until you can smell the spices. Salt to taste. Add the potatoes, carrots and peas, coconut milk, water, and simmer until all the veggies are cooked through.
I like to eat this nourishing stew with rice, dosas, or just by itself!