For a long time now, I’ve been a fan of spicy foods of all descriptions, and in particular the endless variety offered by Indian regional cuisine. Indian food is so much more than the ubiquitous Korma or Butter Chicken you get from your local takeway, there is a fantastic variety of dishes to discover. With access to the right recipes and ingredients you can create delicious Indian dishes at home. One tip before you start -if you restrict your spice buying to the big supermarkets, it can be very expensive.
Here is Brisbane, the best place I’ve found is All India Foods at Woolloongabba. Visit the warehouse style store on a Saturday morning and you’ll find the place busy with the chatter of many cultures, all keen to get their hands on top notch ingredients at knock down prices. The core of the products on offer at All India Foods are dry goods – spices, nuts, rice, pappadums, dried beans, etc but there’s also a great range of indian pickles & chutneys, cooking oils, coconut milk as well as some rather curious Indian cosmetic products and toiletries and a nice range of Bollywood DVDs and CDs.
Here’s an example of how their prices compare to major supermarket prices:
Fennel Seeds 200g $2 – Supermarket Price: approx $3.15 for 26g
Green Cardamom Pods 50g $3 – Supermarket Price: approx $2.50 for 10g
Cumin Ground 200g $2.50 – Supermarket Price: approx $1.45 for 25g
Ord River Chick Peas 1kg $4.50 – Supermarket Price: approx $1.90 for 375g
Cinnamon Sticks 100g $3.50 – Supermarket Price: approx $2.20 for 12g
Mango Chutney 350 g jar $2.50 – Supermarket Price: approx $4.35 370g jar
Tamarind Paste 335g jar $3.50 - Supermarket Price: approx $4.75 per 200g
The quality of the spices at All India Foods is so much better than what’s available at the supermarket as well as being a fraction of the price. The Ord River Chick Peas are the very best quality and are grown in northern Western Australia – they are difficult to obtain anywhere else locally as most of them are exported. If you love your middle eastern food and hommus, these are the ones you’ll want to get, and 1 kg of dried chick peas will go a very long way!
Whats the best source of spices where you live? Or is mail order where its at for you? Let me know your local spice source and your favourite Indian recipe.
31 Balaclava Street
P: 07 3391 1420