Lamb marinated in ginger, garlic, cumin, and coriander with deep red color from Kashmiri chilli powder served on a bed of saffron basmati rice and topped with roasted cashews and cilantro. This is what I imagine when I think of Indian cuisine. The spices used in this cooking style are truly unique and captivating—mixtures you can’t find anywhere else in the world!
The best Indian spices store not only introduces you to the wonderful world of Indian cuisine but also provides you with everything you need to take your recipes from tasty to extraordinary.
Whether you’re trying to win over your in-laws or just looking to make some more adventurous dishes for yourself, here are some of the essential ingredients to keep stocked up on at the best Indian spices store in town.
What to look for in an Indian Spice Store?
Deciding which spices to buy can be overwhelming. You want to choose good-quality spices, but there are many options and so much variety. Make it easy by looking for an Indian spices store that offers various blends and pure ingredients like turmeric powder or garam masala.
At reasonable prices, a well-stocked spice shop will also have other staples like atta wheat flour, basmati rice, and lentils.
If you want to try out new recipes, you’ll need to buy various spices. For example, you want to make dal, chicken curry, or samosas. In that case, you will need garam masala, turmeric powder, and coriander powder in addition to other spices like cumin seeds and cinnamon sticks. We also offer fresh ingredients like ginger root and garlic cloves to make chutneys and other home sauces.
How to Pick the Right Spices?
Before using spices in your cooking, you need to know a few things about picking out some great-tasting spices.
I will focus on India’s most common spices—turmeric, ginger, and coriander (cilantro). And we’ll also throw in red pepper flakes for good measure. So here we go…
First, there are three main types of spice blends used in Indian cuisine. They’re called masala blends or garam masala. It is probably one of my favorite ingredients because it combines so many flavors into one. It comprises cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, cumin seeds, and nutmeg.
The second type of spice blend is biryani masala, which comes from a popular rice-based dish from Southern India. Biryani consists of fragrant basmati rice cooked with chicken or lamb and various vegetables like peas and carrots.
As you might have guessed by now, biryani masala has quite a few similarities to garam masala but differs in that it contains more salt and has fewer whole spices than its counterpart. This makes sense since biryani tends to be less spicy than other dishes.
Finally, there’s chaat masala, a blend of mostly ground spices. Traditionally, chaat masala is used to season savory snacks and salads, but I think it adds a nice depth of flavor to any dish you add.
If you’re looking to add a little extra flair to your cooking—particularly Indian cuisine—the most important thing is to be able to find all of your spices in one place.
An authentic Indian grocery store will have everything you need, and not just limited to curry powder and garam masala; they should also carry speciality items like atta wheat flour, chutneys, papadums, cookies, biscuits, and more.
The store even stocks ingredients for specific recipes, such as whole spices for making your spice blends at home. So, if you want to make a great chicken tikka masala or chapati, it’s best to start by finding a reputable Indian spices store in your area.