City Paper is not for tourists
To many, Rasika has become the go-to Indian eatery in the District, but starting this summer, Rasika will also be available to go. Well, at least the restaurant’s most popular sauces.
Rasika owner Ashok Bajaj told Y&H this afternoon that three of chef Vikram Sunderam‘s sauces will be available, starting in July, at Whole Foods Markets throughout the mid-Atlantic. Sunderam’s makhani, kashmiri, and goan curry sauces will be sold in 16-oz. jars and likely retail for about $6.50 each. Sunderam, for the uninitiated, was nominated this year for a James Beard Award in the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic category.
“I wanted to do something different,” Bajaj says, by way of explanation. “I thought, ‘Why not sell them to the mass public who doesn’t come to the restaurant?'”
A contract has not been officially signed with Whole Foods, Bajaj said, but it’s a “done deal.” A facility in Pennsylvania is already producing the sauces now, Bajaj added, and the first delivery is expected in about 10 days. A Whole Foods spokesperson confirmed that the sauces will be available in July.
The sauces have been for sale at Rasika since about February, Bajaj says. But now that they’re headed to grocery shelves, Bajaj is expecting sales to soar, particularly sales to first-timers who might like to try Indian cuisine but are nervous about entering a restaurant like Rasika. The makhani and kashmiri sauces are good for chicken dishes, while the goan curry goes best with seafood.
“All these sauces can be used very easily with vegetables,” Bajaj adds.
And how many jars does Bajaj expect to sell?
“Who knows?” he says. “Hopefully millions.”
Photo courtesy of Raskia