Guest Info

Meeru Dhalwala, a Canadian chef, author, philanthropist, entrepreneur,  and celebrated mind. 

About the Show

Strong communities thrive on positive experiences. Our early memories shape our sense of identity, which influences our natural curiosity. They guide us within social constructs, ultimately contributing to healthier societies. 

In this podcast, Chief Explorer Rajan Nazran’s guest is Meeru Dhalwala, a Canadian chef, author, philanthropist, entrepreneur,  and celebrated mind. 

Join me as I get to know her, what it means to be her, her perception of national identity, social custodianship, and what conspired to pave the way for her entrepreneurial journey.

Born in India, she moved to the United States in December 1969 at the tender age of five years. She played an instrumental role in building her business from scratch and successfully running several restaurants alongside her ex-husband Vikram Vij which has changed how people around the world perceive Indian cuisine. Her contributions to the culinary space have given a new meaning to what Indian cooking, in its traditional and authentic sense, stands for.

She proudly asserts that ‘her’ people are the immigrants of ‘this world’ and that she does not belong to a race.

She recalls her early experiences as a newly married woman, where the challenges of a new life in a new city and the need for money transitioned into a passionate career.

“My blood is Indian, so my spices are Indian. My spices are like my blood.”

Her experiments with food are a humble effort toward representing home meaningfully. She takes a trip down memory lane to the days of her troubled childhood and how the recollections of her mother motivated her to hire Indian immigrant women as her staff who were desperately seeking a sense of identity and belonging in a foreign land. During this time, she understood the “power of love” that keeps her going even today. By helping these fantastic women, she extended a helping hand to the memories of her mother struggling to settle in a new home away from home.

Her mindset about business is an extension of herself and how she wants the world to be.

Stay tuned as Meeru Dhalwala joins me for a deep dive into her experiences that have reshaped her perspectives on business, national identity, and the immigrant experience.

Produced by Global Indian Series for the Global Indian Network.

Script by Rajan Nazran
original idea: Rajan Nazran

Introduction music:

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