About Nirmala


Nirmala’s roots stem from a tribe of master rice growers and Ayurvedic scholars, from Northern India all the way to Guyana, a small South American nation with strong Caribbean roots. This is where she grew up with her extended family, her great-great grandparents having emigrated from India in the 18th century as British indentured servants.

At the age of five, she learned to cook with no running water or electricity, as well as to build soils, curate seed and spice libraries, build berms to create rice paddies. She began her studies of Ayurveda under the tutelage of her grandfather, an Ayurvedic scholar and Hindu pandit (priest). It was a childhood that taught Nirmala the bare basics of how to survive on what you could grow and how to make food more flavorful. Little did Nirmala know, back then, that she was seeding her own future.

When she was 11, her life changed radically. Her uncle had signed up to serve in the U.S. military in exchange for citizenship. He fought in Vietnam for two tours, became an American citizen, and sponsored Nirmala’s grandmother, who promptly moved the entire family to New York City. This is how she came to grow up in the culinary melting pot of the Queens.

In 2002, Nirmala had an epiphany while chewing cloves atop a clove tree in Zanzibar.  Upon her return to New York, she quit her corporate job for a marketing firm and launched Nirmala’s Kitchen, a gourmet spice company fusing global cultures with mindfully nutritious food from around the world—all of which could be enjoyed without leaving the comforts of home.

Nirmala is an intrepid traveler who prefers spontaneity to the safety net of reservations. She has travelled to over 167 countries working alongside and educating local farmers in her search for unique spices, studying their flavors, and combining her extensive Ayurvedic knowledge to build onto other ancient cultures and traditions for mindful living.

Nirmala has been featured in The New York Times, Bon Appetit, O: The Oprah Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Food & Wine and numerous other publications. She has appeared on Martha Stewart, The Today Show, CNN and The CBS Early Show.

She is the author of multiple travelogue-cookbooks,(In Nirmala’s Kitchen and Nirmala’s Edible Diary), the television host and executive producer of Nirmala’s Spice World (globally syndicated on ZLiving Network), and the founder of Nirmala Global Village, a foundation dedicated to empowering orphans around the world.

In 2014, Nirmala debut with her television series “Nirmala’s Spice World” as she takes viewers into a world of exotic spices from around the globe. She’ll open her spice library to reveal ancient secrets of spices that for generations have transformed plain dishes into unique and flavorful experiences. Watch as she unveils the curative properties of spices that not only flavor your food, but may also heal your body, nurture your mind, and rejuvenate your soul. Nirmala’s Spice World now airs globally.

Today, Nirmala’s line of products is sold on six continents. She is a consultant and sought-after authority on global trends and emerging cultural markets for several Fortune-500 companies. She has spoken on and conducted interactive seminars about food, culture, yoga, Ayurveda, Vastu Shasta, wellness, mindfulness, farming and ancient civilizations at The American Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Institute, and several public schools, universities, and orphanages in both hemispheres.

Her latest novel, Ellishiva Cinnamon, is the exciting first volume in a lush historical-fantasy series about environmental stewardship, featuring a strong and empowered young heroine and providing readers with a unique escape into New York City back during the time when it was still an untamed jungle.

Nirmala currently lives on an organic farm in New York’s Hudson Valley.
Nirmala has been practicing yoga since the age of two.  Her name is Sanskrit for “pure.” She has homes in Guyana, South America and in New York’s Hudson Valley.