Warm scents of turmeric, cardamom, and chili draw visitors to the Daily Fresh tent at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market. Sneha Narayanan and Sathya Raghavan await with smiles, answers to questions, and recommendations as to what to order. They are immigrants from India who share the foods of their homeland via “the lunchbox.”
Daily Fresh is the market’s newest vendor. Narayanan and Raghavan joined June 2. It did not take them long to attract a crowd.
Their “lunchbox” includes a vegetarian protein, pulao (rice cooked with spices and vegetables), a vegetable, and a flatbread known as chapati. For an extra dollar, they’ll add a fruit custard made with a mango puree.
“We are known on Instagram as ‘the curry couple,’ ” says Raghavan.
Narayanan and Raghavan come from the south Indian city of Chennai. They grew up in vegetarian households and promote Daily Fresh as an opportunity to enjoy a fully balanced vegetarian and/or vegan Indian food experience.
Daily Fresh began with Narayanan’s passion for cooking. While her husband was pursuing a doctorate in mechanical engineering, she began experimenting with family recipes and foods she found through blogs and her travels around different parts of India. In 2012, she started her own blog called Cooking with Sneha. Friends and her husband encouraged her to share not just recipes but also the actual food from the kitchen.
In late spring, Narayan proposed bringing Daily Fresh to the Saratoga Farmers’ Market. Emily Meagher, market manager, realized that freshly prepared vegetarian and vegan foods would fill a need for many market-goers, and encouraged them to join the Saturday market.
While the business stemmed from Narayanan’s passion, Daily Fresh has been a team effort. Narayanan procures ingredients, cooks, and writes. Raghavan manages the business’s website, organizes licensing permits, and takes pictures. Together, the couple plan menus and care for their two children. Sathya works full time during the week. Sneha wakes up at 2:30 a.m. to get to the commercial kitchen where she prepares their foods fresh for their office deliveries and the Saturday market.
This might sound exhausting, but for Narayanan and Raghavan it is fuel for passion.