So you have the Greeks, the whips, the tubes, the mix-ins, the fruit at the bottom, the chocolatey, the fruity, the low-cal, and the trying-to-be-dessert yogurts — you get the point? The amount of yogurt options available in the grocery store is just as over the top as everything else in Michigan, but we still are missing something. Savory yogurt (aka raita, aka keep reading). Prayani yogurt is opening a whole new realm of yogurt, and it's made by one of our very own Michigan alum. 

What is it?

vegetable, herb
Photo courtesy of Willow Arlen

Raita is a traditional Indian yogurt that typically gets served alongside a spicy meal or as a dip for naan bread. It's often made from scratch in kitchens in India, so you can imagine it as a blank canvas for some crazy creative flavor combinations.

However, I'm guessing that right about now you're not so cutely raising that puzzled eyebrow because you've never heard of such a thing. "Savory yogurt?! I need my whipped chocolate mousse Yoplait!" Nah girl, you need enlightenment, you need Prayani. 

What's Prayani All About? 

cream, dairy product, milk, soup, white sauce, garlic sauce
Kaitlyn Eisenshtadt

About 15 years ago, when Harinee Sampath from India for a masters at Georgia tech and MBA from U of M, she noticed a huge difference in the yogurt grocery aisles of Michigan from the yogurt in her hometown. Unlike most Michiganders, she had never tried sweet yogurts and only had exposure to authentic raita. While she was in a class at Michigan, she and a team of her peers decided to capitalize on this need and create a line of raita called Prayani.

Harinee decided to take this company to the next level after graduation, and she even left her full-time job to put tons of time and single-handed effort into Prayani. Prayani translated means traveler, which perfectly describes the purpose of this delicious product. Travel and new experiences go hand in hand, but this association doesn't have to mean flying somewhere far away or backpacking across Europe.

Prayani's authentic flavors transport customers to the smells, tastes, and feelings of India, granting new experiences without the time and money associated with physical travel.

The Products

dairy product, cream, soup, white sauce, milk, garlic sauce, vegetable
Kaitlyn Eisenshtadt

Currently, Harinee makes every product from scratch (like she would in India), using only the best, and often local, ingredients. I'm not sure if you got that — she literally makes the yogurt from scratch. That is a process and a commitment, and we all need to acknowledge that.

Though she's planning on expanding in the near future, the line currently has three flavors of savory yogurt including carrot with cumin and coriander, cucumber with mint and cilantro, and tomato with cumin and coriander. They even contain some of those super trendy foods you might've heard of — chia seeds or pink Himalayan sea salt anyone?

You can scoop up your favorite flavor at any Whole Foods in Michigan, selected Plum Market stores, and People's Food Co-Op in Kerrytown. You'll want this yogurt on hand to use as a side for a spicy meal, a dip for bread and crackers, a topping, a marinade for meat and fish, or even a healthier alternative for a pasta salad.

However, the possibilities are pretty endless, and it's essentially a healthy swap for your favorite dairy products (like ranch, mayo, and sour cream). I mean, does ranch have chia seeds? I think the choice is pretty clear. 

Who should try it?

salad, vegetable
Photo courtesy of Willow Arlen

You. You should buy this — like seriously. Whether you're from India and missing the homemade raita flavor or a raita virgin, you need this in your fridge. I know a ton of you might pass on a savory yogurt because your palate isn't accustomed to it, but remember, change is good.

The bold flavors are guaranteed to enhance whatever's in your mouth, and with one purchase of Prayani you can transform that boring piece of grilled chicken into a flavorful masterpiece. I mean, as my girl Ina would say, how easy is that? 

The Future

dairy product, milk, cream, soup
Kaitlyn Eisenshtadt

Remember, with your purchase of Prayani, you are supporting a fellow Wolverine. As Prayani continues to skyrocket into success, Harinee is hoping to expand to more stores in Michigan and eventually add more dairy and lentil-based snack products to her line.

Keep it on the down low, but you know how we have chocolate and strawberry milk? India has about a billion more versions of milk, and as soon as Prayani takes off a bit more, Harinee's flavored milk will line the shelves of stores, sure to give Nesquick a run for their money. In other words, a purchase of raita now is an investment in flavored milk for later — um, yes please. 

Get Involved, Michigan

Calling all foodies! With Prayani's big goals for the future and the quickly expanding market, the company is looking for help. Who better to work part-time as a marketing associate for a food company than members (or readers) of the Spooniverse? If you are interested in social media, PR, influencer marketing, or being a brand ambassador, use this contact form to get in touch with Prayani.

As students, we are stressed about way too much, so don't worry about your next meal. Prayani yogurt will ease your next kitchen experience, its healthy ingredients with fuel your body, and the flavors will transport you. Escape school for a while, be a traveler, and buy Prayani.