AAPI Month: Shaker Heights woman spicing up American cooking with Chutni Punch  

The flavors of South India are ready to use.

It all started with breakfast.

Shaker Heights entrepreneur Sahithya Wintrich was missing the flavors of her native South India.

“I love savory breakfast,” explains Sahithya. “ I grew up eating savory crepes and lentil cakes for breakfast, with vegetables and spices. … Later, when I had my own kids, I began sprinkling the dry spices I grew up eating on my avocado toast, oatmeal, eggs and other foods. The breakfasts changed but the need to add bursts of Indian flavor to my food did not.”

Trained as a computer scientist, Sahithya worked in biomedical engineering before pivoting into app development. When COVID started, she had been busy with her Vyne mobile app, a tool to discover local events.

“That obviously was not a good time for events,” she notes wryly. “And I’m thinking, well, what do I do? And how we can create something? Something I had always wanted to do was to help people eat better.”

Coupled with her desire to share her love of savory breakfasts and Sound Indian flavors, a brand was born.

Chutni Punch seasonings entered the market a year ago. “They are easy to use on just about anything,” says Sahithya of her colorfully packaged spice combinations. “All you need to do is sprinkle, mix or toss them.

“My mission is to remove barriers around how you use spices and flavor your food. I want to counter the perception that using spices is complicated and overwhelming. I also want to help people eat healthier, flavorful foods that they can easily make at home – sprinkle these on your vegetables or avocado toast, for example.”

Sustainability is also a concern.

“I use locally sourced spices where possible  – though you don’t find much chilies, jaggery, tamarind and curry leaves in the United States, so I source many ingredients from India and the West Coast, too. I was recently in India exploring the growing region.”

Sahithya on a recent trip to source spices in India.

Flavor combinations include Spicy Peanut, Super Sesame and Savory Chana, and a variety of heat levels.

Sahithya’s idea began in her kitchen, where she and her husband did most of the work, but soon expanded. While globally sourced, Chutni Punch is manufactured at Central Kitchen in Midtown. With her previous entrepreneurial background, Sahithya knew packaging and distribution would be key.

She worked with local designers on the bold packaging, and began researching local sales points. You can currently find Chutni Punch at the North Union Farmers Market, Adun Spice Co., Larder Delicatessen, Bottlehouse Brewery, Nature’s Oasis and a growing list of additional locations. Everything is also available on her website. And, she is in talks with regional grocers.

Only one year inro her mission to add some er, punch, to American cooking, Sahitya has another goal, too.

“I want people to eat healthy – and have fun with food. Keep these spices next to your salt and pepper and they next time you are cooking, sprinkle some on!”

Sahithya, her sister and Ajji (grandma).

Read More


Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: recognizing the valuable contributions to Cleveland — Greater Cleveland Partnership

Home — Cleveland Asian Festival

OCA Greater Cleveland Chapter — Embracing the hopes and aspirations of Asian Pacific Americans in Northeast Ohio (

Additional Links — OCA Greater Cleveland Chapter (

Welcome to Asiatown | Destination Cleveland | Cleveland, OH | This Is Cleveland

USPAACC | Largest, Most Established Asian American Business…

U.S. Census Bureau Releases Key Stats in Honor of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month | U.S. Department of Commerce

Spotlight on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States — New American Economy Research Fund

Greater Cleveland Partnership’s All In vision for a Great Region on a Great Lake has five key priorities: Dynamic Business, Abundant Talent, Inclusive Opportunity, Appealing Community and Business Confidence. All of our work ties back to these values. This story relates to Inclusive Opportunity and Appealing Community.


On Key

Related Posts