JYOTI Natural Foods was founded in the USA in 1979 as a pioneering venture to produce, package and supply high quality, nutritious Indian Foods to all who were familiar with Indian Cuisine; and to introduce the wonderful tastes, aromas, and virtues of Indian home-style cooking to the unfamiliar. There were a handful of Indian Restaurants in the larger cities, but no prepared Indian foods or even ingredients were to be found in supermarkets. We chose ‘shelf stable foods in cans’ to present the exotic foods of India to the customers through specialty foods shops and supermarkets. Whole Foods Market started carrying JYOTI line in 1980 when they were a single store in Austin, TX.
Equipped with a graduate degree in Nutrition, Jyoti developed vegetarian recipes that used only fresh ingredients, reasonable fat and salt quantities, and involved no preservatives. A mini cannery was set up and our R&D was directed to achieve the desired authentic taste in the product coming out of the package, adjusting what went in. After a few product recipes were perfected, production was started using co-packers. An occasional complaint from the customers was that of finding ‘stones’ in the foods like ‘Dal Makhani’ and ‘Punjabi Chhole’. The Co-packer had a well-known state of the art ‘destoner’ for removing stones and cleaning the beans, but its performance was inadequate.