Unfortunately...I am considering leaving the country much earlier than expected (3 months in total) due to chronic digestive distress. I just can't seem to maintain an adquate degree of health here in order to pursue yoga, which was my intent. It's very sad, but, what can ya do.
Anyway, on my way out, I would love to find a good spice shop in Delhi to make a few gift purchases. I was planning to pick up some Indian-grown spices down south, but....Does anyone know of somewhere in Delhi (please be specific with instructions, as I have absolutely know geographical understanding of the city) where I could pick up something for my MOm - she's an avid collector!
Any advice would be much appreciated in these depressing times. ERrrgggh - I'll miss you India! (but I know I'll be back)
From my cure in Mussoorie, I think that doctors in India know how to cure most similar common problems, and it will cost peanuts.
Spices in Dilli? You probably will have to know how to haggle, but Khari Baoli Road, starting a few meters north of the west end of Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi, and going westwards, is according to lonely planet city guide Delhi Asia's biggest spice market.
I guess you could get much better quantity deals where Qutab Road (starting at Connaught Place) finally, going north, crosses a railway line north of New Delhi Rly. Stn. to encounter Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rd./Azad Market Rd. Lots of separate people with sacks of colourful aromatic substances. I should learn how to upload images.
Thanks so much to the both of you! My mom will be pleased. I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking for (my mom doesn't do much Indian cooking, so I'm probably going to stick to the 'basics' like cumin, various herbs, mustard seeds, etc.), but as long as it is of good quality and aromatic, my needs will be satisfied. I'll email again when I get to Delhi if I have any trouble locating the market area. Thanks again!
Hi David, Sorry to hear you're feeling so ill that you must leave. Glad you're considering a next time. I thought perhaps you'd like some advice on what spices to buy ? Well, like it or not, here it is anyway :D You're right to want to go for the basics. I'd suggest cardamom (my absolute favorite), cloves, nutmeg and pepper. All of those can be used in Western cooking, and found at home, but much more flavorful (is this a word???) in India. Cardamom is great simply added to a bowl of rice, or in lamb dishes... Good pepper makes one realize we've mostly been eating black dust so far. Cinnamon is great too, of course. All of this mixed in unequal parts makes a yummy masala chai. If you want to go for something harder to find at home, but easy to handle, lemontree leaves (not lemongrass, although this is good too, but is mostly sold fresh) are great with a roast chicken, fish or veggie dishes. Saffron, on the other hand, is as you probably know the absolute tourist trap. The real thing costs several thousands US$ a gram, so what's on offer is usually something else.
I'd say by all means go for shashank.aggarwal's shop. The problem with those nice-looking colorful stacks in spice markets is that they're open to the winds, and lose their flavour quite soon. And I'd suggest you pack a few of those re-sealable transparent deep-freezer plastic bags when you go spice-shopping. Spices will be sold in paper or crystal satchets that tend to make a flavoury mess of your suitcase...
Khari Baoli in Chandni Chowk is definitely a favourite for spices and other goodies. In New Delhi itself the basement of the Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan in the Regal Building has a good selection of spices ,honey and other foods including an organic selection if that interests you. There's also a wide selection of ayurvedic medicines and treatments, essential oils and suchlike. (the other floors sell homespun and community made fabrics and readymades)
In Paharganj there are numerous shops selling an extensive range of spices etc.
Finding good spices in Delhi is about like finding good cheese in France, I would think . . .
When you get home, put the spices in sealed bags or jars in the freezer, except for what you'll use within a few weeks. They'll hold their flavor much better than at room temp/unsealed.
When you run out of these, you can order decent Indian (and other) spices from Penzey's in Wisconsin, at low prices for the US. www.penzeys.com has nine curry blends as well as single spices, all very good and fresh. I depend on them. Not quite like buying them in India, but the next best thing.
There are a lot of markets selling spices in Delhi, but the largest and the most quaint is the inevitable Chandni Chowk. I donno where you stay in delhi, so just take a metro on the University-Connaught Place line and alight at Chawri Bazar. Get toi the surface and ask a richshawwallah to take you to Dariba Kalan (a market for silverware). A lane leading from Dariba Kalan is full of spice shops. Just ask for directions.
Also while in Dariba, taste the exquisite Lassi (not recommended if you have heart trouble / high BP/ cholesterol, etc):bday: :bday: :bday: