How to shop for the Indian Pantry.

If you live in the United States, you might have noticed that quite a few of the things frequently used in Indian cooking are not available at regular grocery stores such as Walmart/Kroger/Target. Thankfully these spices/condiments are available at ethnic stores.

These stores go by names such as ‘Indian grocery’, or ‘Indo-Pak’ or ‘Asian Store’ among others.Mapping services such as Google Maps do an incredible job of listing them out.

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Going to a physical store has some advantages;namely, that you can browse around to see what your options are, you can see whats on sale, you have a greater range of quantities and brands to choose from and in case you have a question, you can ask people who work at the store.

A typical spice aisle at an Indian grocery store:


Yet before driving down to the store, I would suggest calling ahead to check if they carry the ingredients/brands you need, as not all stores are alike.Also ask for store timings, as some stores have unconventional schedules and might be closed for their religions holidays. For example, some Indian grocery stores might be closed for Diwali.

If going to a physical store isn’t feasible, there are always websites such as amazon which carry quite a few of the spices used in Indian cooking, yet some herbs such as curry leaves might be hard to acquire.

I have posted a collections of brands and ingredients affiliate links in my ‘Shop’ page.