It started like a bad joke: A suburban, white guy from Philadelphia (Dan) walks into an Indian restaurant and asks for hot sauce because his food isn't spicy enough. The server looks puzzled and then runs next door to borrow a bottle of Tabasco for his heat-craving guest. How is this possible? Indian food is naturally very spicy - was it possible there was no such thing as Indian hot sauce?!
He goes to his smart, better-looking Indian friend (Lalit) and inquires if this scoville scandal was true. Together, they go to a local Indian grocery where Lalit points out that instead of hot sauces (as most Americans know them), most Indian use chutneys such as pickled mango and mint-coriander preserves to spice up food. Over a billion people in South Asia can't be wrong - right? Dan found these products amazingly tasty - but completely baffling to use. These were oily, chunky, and did not look very appetizing by American standards. How do we even eat this stuff?! Wait... we have an idea.
So we pureed it down to make it easier to eat. And we loved it. And all of our friends loved it. And we put it on every type of food - tacos, hot dogs, instant ramen noodles, prosciutto, even a Thanksgiving turkey for a family of 20! We were on to something. We entered the idea into Wharton Business School's famed innovation tournament and won handily. We were on to something big.
Let's take these awesome flavors and make them accessible. Let's puree the chutneys down, add some heat, and put them in a squeeze bottle that everyone know how to use - like ketchup. Let's not market this as a "flavors of India" type of simmering sauce that many would only use once in a blue moon when cooking tikka masala. Instead - let's turn Monkey Sauce into a widespread condiment. Universal flavors that deserve a place on the shelf next to mayonnaise and mustard.