A group of students in India are making spices specifically for people with low vision and blindness.
Panjkolakh is a line of pre-measured spice cubes that make it easier to cook and navigate the kitchen no matter your level of vision. There are 54 million people in India with low vision, while 8 million are blind.
The students consulted with some teachers from the Victoria Memorial School for the Blind before starting with their project. One teacher they spoke to, who is blind, broke down what cooking was like and her difficulty measuring and handling spices.
Their conversation with that teacher led the group to conclude that it wasn’t necessarily helpful to make a high-tech gadget to make cooking with spices more accessible — instead, they could focus on the form of the spices.
According to the project, these folks may, “find it hard to measure spices and know which spices they are using since most of the spices are in powdered form.”
The video above showcases yellow, red and brown cubed spices in an easily accessible jar next to a stove. In the video, an actor demonstrates how simple it is to pull the cubes out of the jar and then put them onto a heated pan, melting the cubes until they become liquid before cooking the spices into a curry.
The team eventually settled on the name Panjkolakh, which means “five spices” in Sanskrit. These spices include chili powder, turmeric, coriander, garam masala and cumin.
Each cube is one of the five spices and a quarter of a teaspoon in size. To use them, all you have to do is count how many is needed and place them in heated oil to allow the cubes to dissolve.
The students plan on patenting their design and expanding to spice mixes to make cooking even easier.
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