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From Punjab to Long Island, Family is Secret to Johar's Success

Syosset man's passion for chutney has become his company, and people are tasting the difference.

For the past nine years, has been whipping up his special chutneys for family and friends, using a secret recipe passed down through the generations. 

People raved. They praised the sweet and spicy combination that Johar mixed fresh from herbs and spices he ground by hand into an all-purpose condiment. It was exotic for some westerners, but a staple in Johar's native Punjab Province in India.

Then one day, Johar, an accomplished CPA with an MBA in finance living in Syosset, found himself out of work: downsized; restructured. He earned a real-estate license, but yearned for something more.

His family's recipes may be secret, but the secret to Johar's success is family:

His family, including sons Karan and Kunal, urged him to start a business based on his passion. He decided to become Long Island's "Chutney King."

"One day we want to be the condiment of choice for all households, like ketchup is," said Johar, the owner and master chef of Johar's Original Bollywood Chutneys. "These chutneys have over 100 applications each and can add flavor to any meal without adding calories or fat.  They all 100 percent vegetarian."

In 2010, Johar enlisted the help of his sons. Karan is an M.D.; Kunal is a software engineer. Using their specialized skills they began researching the requirements for producing a food product and distributing it.

Food processing and distribution ventures require a lot of research and development. The product must be approved by the state and meet safety standards.

In June, 2011, Johar earned his first approval for his "Hot Cilantro" flavor, earned from the New York State Food Venture Center, Department of Food Science and Technology, at Cornell University. Two more approvals followed in October, for his "Spicy Mint-Pomegranate" and "Crimson Chili Spread."

"All my recipes are handed down from my father's mother to my mother and then to me," Johar said. "My friends and associates who have tasted it found it something out of this world. A friend of mine even called 'A condiment to die for.' "

The chutneys are produced in small batches with the principal ingredient obtained from Long Island growers.

The next challenge was to find markets willing to distribute his handiwork. In time those came. The most recent addition is Farmindale's " a fledgling food market about to open which will showcase the foods of local growers and producers.

Now, Johar's Original Bollywood Chutneys are available at John's Farms in Plainview, Super Jordan in Syosset, Christina's Epicure in East Norwich, and the Apna Bazar in Hicksville, a large farmers market catering to the area's Indian-American population.

A single jar costs about $7. A six pack runs about $42.

They're available online now here.

Johar describes his journey as that of "a dreamer immigrant who always wanted to bring delicious foods to the palates of food lovers from all over the world.

"From Accountant to Real Estate Broker to Chutney King," he said.

For more information on the business go to these links:

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