Monday, January 7, 2008

Shopping for ingredients in Manhattan

I've had a couple of enquiries about where to pick up ingredients for recipes I've shared here. I have my favorite store - the appropriately names Little India Grocery - which is an artifact of my having worked around the corner for seven years. At 128 E. 28th St (on 28th Street, closer to Lexington), the store is chock-a-block with all kinds of ingredients from "back home." Another store with a lot of these ingredients, is Kalustyan's (Lexington, between 28th and 29th), which may feel a little neater.

Of course, the largest selection and range of products are at places like the legendary Patel Brothers in places like Queens and Edison, New Jersey. Ditto for the wonderfully named Subzi Mandi chain (literally, "vegetable market"). We go to those places when we find ourselves there with a rental car, but otherwise, have to make do with whatever's in Manhattan. I wish there were a Indian store in the Upper West Side. Sigh.

Just as a general practice, always check expiry dates - I'm not impugning these grocery stores, just making sure you're looking to get the freshest ingredients.

1 comment:

Maeve Richmond from www.organizemyhouse.com said...

Roopa –

I love Little India Grocery. It’s far better than Kalustyan’s (which feels like a Big Box in comparison). The owner always remembers me and waits attentively as I run my routine: 1. I dive bomb the cooler for fresh okra 2. I hit the spice shelves to stock up on cumin, mustard seed, cinnamon sticks... shall I go on? 3. I round home with lentils and an 11lb sack of basmati rice. It's cheap, friendly and keeps me fed for weeks.