Born and raised in Bengaluru’s oldest locality Malleshwaram, Swetha loved going out with her friends and exploring eateries.
In 2016, she along with her husband and kids moved to Brooklyn for work. As the family adapted to the new culture, they missed the authentic South Indian food.
She says, “Life here [in Brooklyn] is quite different; we missed our culture and community. We could not find many Kannadigas in the area, and I wanted to do something to find my community and bring them closer.”
This laid the foundation to start a food stall that sold her favourite South Indian food. However, the couple’s full-time jobs kept them busy.
In 2021, the couple helped their daughter set up a lemonade stall in Fort Greene as a family bonding activity.
“Fort Greene is a beautiful place, and we loved talking to people who visited our daughter’s stalls. It gave us a sense of belonging to the local community,” Swetha says about the experience.
This was motivation enough for the couple, and so they started Brooklyn Curry Project, a food stall that sells Bengaluru-style dosa, idli, pudi masala dosa, idiyappam (string hopper), and lemonade.
“Most of the Indian food that people [in our neighbourhood] know are curries, butter chicken and chicken tikka. Brooklyn Curry Project is telling people that: ‘Hey! Here are some new Indian foods that you can try,” she says.
Another reason why she started the stall was because she noticed that a lot of people in her neighbourhood struggled to find vegan meals.
“This made me realise how most vegetarian South Indian food is vegan, gluten-free and affordable! Our food is also healthy, nutritious and probiotic,” she says.
The couple got an overwhelming response and have been serving South Indian delights for the past two years.
Swetha says they have served over 10,000 customers. “My husband’s mango lassi and the mini idli and pudi masala dosa from the hot food section are our bestsellers,” she remarks.