Aamra, founded by Jaya Bajaj under Nari Shiksha Kendra, is a brand that sells heirloom pickles and chutneys made by local women in Ghaziabad using traditional methods. Based on recipes collected from homes across north Indian states like Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Rajasthan, a group of thirteen women source, process, and mature the ingredients all-year-round.
Aamra is a label launched under Nari Shiksha Kendra (NSK), an organisation that was founded in Ghaziabad in 1964 by Pushpawati Khaitan. NSK was started to serve the dual purpose of providing gainful employment to women in the community, and producing pure, hand-ground masalas. Fifty years later, NSK’s food products reach a wider audience, and more women are part of Aamra’s small but hardworking team.
Why We Love Aamra by NSK
- Heirloom recipes meet innovation – Aamra’s seasonal pickles and chutneys are made with recipes curated from homes of women across northern Indian states. A few have been adapted to increase their longevity on shelves. A series of new products such as dips and sauces have been launched, which is exciting for both customers and the team.
- Handmade pickles and chutneys – Aamra has spent years perfecting the recipes to keep its products consistent. The handmade products also allow for intuitive knowledge of weather and climate to play into achieving the right balance.
- Curated Gift Sets – Aamra is a delight for those who love gifting, and we have our eyes on the Aamra Vintage Pickle Box!
- A slow and conscious process – Aamra’s products have required time to evolve, and the products remain a testament to the patience and expertise of the team in maturing the pickles and chutneys.
- Nari Shiksha Kendra’s efforts – A few of Aamra’s team members have been a part of it for decades. Initial hesitations to women working outside their homes have given way to the community respecting and looking forward to women’s involvement in the organisation.
Note from the Producer
Aamra or ‘we’ in Bengali, stands for the community of women who work as a family at our centre in Ghaziabad. Aamra (hog plum) is also a small mango-like fruit sold by churan-walas outside schools in Kolkata where I grew up. Each product at Aamra brims with the joy and warmth of our women who make them by hand, and evokes the bold, bright, yet balanced flavours of my after- school treat!
— Jaya Bajaj, Founder of Aamra by NSK
The Locavore Bite
TL Bite offers a glimpse into how a partner producer runs their operations, and reflects their core principles and values. The idea is to provide insights into their practices and highlight their positive efforts descriptively. We have identified seven key areas of assessment – origin and source of ingredients, composition and integrity of the products, workforce policies, production practices, community-related initiatives, approach towards preserving or celebrating traditional knowledge and the materials used in packaging. While this assessment may not be entirely comprehensive, we hope it helps you make an informed decision about why you might want to support them, and the ways in which to.
The information below offers you a snapshot of where Aamra stands on these parameters. We have put this together based on several rounds of conversation with Jaya Bajaj, the founder of Aamra. Click on a piece of the pie below to find out more.