We as a family made New Zealand our home in 2003. In 2014 I started Banu's Cooking Class as an Indian vegetarian cooking class from my home in Te Atatu, West Auckland.
I have been surrounded by the wonderful smells, sounds, and tastes of authentic Indian cuisine since my childhood. My father S K Ramachandran famously known as SKR ran a successful catering business in India when I was growing up. His ways of running the food business, the way he handled his people and the food he created has tremendously influenced me. He is my guru and inspiration, he lived and stood for "purity and quality" which is my mantra too.
I believe that food should nourish the soul and the body, and I aim to provide simple and authentic Indian recipes that fulfil this and are enjoyable to all. I have always loved cooking and passing my knowledge and recipes on to others is a great source of pride and fulfilment for me.
STORY ABOUT HOW MY PRODUCTS CAME TO EXISTENCE
Banu's was born after the overwhelming feedback from my students led me to bottling my father's recipes since 1991. I make all my products at my own home kitchen (approved and certified by Auckland Council) at West Auckland. Every product is handmade, filled and sealed by us. I have a small team consisting of my amazing husband, my daughter and two sons. What makes me very proud of what I make is all my products are free of chemical, preservatives, colors, additives, and palm oil. It is plant-based products with no nuts, gluten, and dairy. We make everything in small batches every week which we ship across New Zealand and take to different markets to sell directly to our customers.
ABOUT MY LOGO AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE
My logo depicts the goddess of food Annapurna or Annapoorni. She is an incarnation of the Hindu goddess Parvati, the wife of Shiva. Temple art in India often depicts lord Shiva with his begging bowl (skull) asking Annapurna to provide food for energy to achieve knowledge and enlightenment.
Annapurna, for me, symbolizes nourishing care. Those who cook provide energy for others to follow their destiny. When food is cooked with a calm spirit and happiness it becomes something magical.
Food is in my DNA and our dream is to see Banu's becoming a household name that stands for "purity and quality".