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Indian Spices: I Want To Start Cooking Indian Food When I Go Back To Usa


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I am planning to head over to Indian Town in Bangkok at some point before I return to the USA and at this point I don't know anything about cooking Indian food. Which are the most common powdered spices that you would recommend that I take back with me that will be hard to find in the USA?

My current list from a little googling is:

Curry Powder

garam masala

Turmeric

Cumin

Coriander

since i will be carrying it into the USA it would be really good if it was packaged and closed with a label. i can't bring something that is put in a little baggie and tied with a rubberband... any specific recommendations in Indian Town for a grocery where i can find this sort of thing? Thanks.

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All those you mentioned are available all over the USA and not expensive. I am flummoxed that you would find those worthy of personal import. Are you going to be in a very remote area of the USA?

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Why don't you look up Indian recipies on the web for food dishs you like. List the herbs and spices they use. Then take back only what you cannot get in the USA where you live.That saves you wasting money, time and space in your case carrying stuff you could get locally.

Also worth remembering that ( I guess) USA has strict health laws on food sold, including herbs and spices.Whereas stuff bought in a local Thai Iindian food market might not be so rigerously checked for health issues. smile.png

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Coriander is far nicer when bought in fresh and supermarkets usually have this readily available. (United States)

Turmeric root imo is nicer by the root

You can buy on line from people like http://www.indianble...54/product/FV-3 who are in the US.

I would have thought purchasing curry powder, masala etc would be preferable in labelled containers and as someone as mentioned before look carefully at the US Customs requirements.

https://help.cbp.gov...or-personal-use

Edited by edwinclapham
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Tesco on Rama IV has a section of Indian Spices with the brand name Indian Choice. I picked up a small plastic jar of

Tumeric powder

coriander

star of anise

mussaman

curry powder

cumin

someone mentioned they will only last a few months? dried spices go bad? i have never noticed.

anyways these might be findable in the USA but they will probably cost more than 30b/each

i am a terrible cook so hoping i can bribe the thai wife into cooking indian, probably not 555

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Tesco on Rama IV has a section of Indian Spices with the brand name Indian Choice. I picked up a small plastic jar of

Tumeric powder

coriander

star of anise

mussaman

curry powder

cumin

someone mentioned they will only last a few months? dried spices go bad? i have never noticed.

anyways these might be findable in the USA but they will probably cost more than 30b/each

i am a terrible cook so hoping i can bribe the thai wife into cooking indian, probably not 555

dried packaged spices don't 'go bad' but they loose their flavor if left on the shelf unopened after about 6 months...I've found this out by going away to work then on return to find that they are almost inert...ye gotta use 'em when ye got 'em...

most of the time packaged spices got a 'sell by' date stamped on the package...just check before you buy...

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  • 3 months later...

Look at my reply to the guy who asked for fresh curry leaves on this forum. Have been cooking Indian foods for years in the USA no problem finding the spices also never seen a geuine recipe where curry powder is called for.

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The trick with Indian spices is to dry roast them in a heavy pan beforehand, then grind in a mortar and pestle, or coffee grinder dedicated to that task. Infinitely better than any store-bought powders.

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anyone who loves indian food like me and wf.and love cooking always try and buy fresh or whole spices,we had many books on indian cooking but the best one is the late keith floyds[floyds india] almost all the recipes he uses whole spices,and the diff.cooking from north to south.

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There shouldn't be any problems purchasing spices in Pahurat and then bringing them back to the U.S. Just have a walk around the Pahurat/Chakpet intersection - or shoot down the small alley directly across from Pahurat towards the Khlong.

In most reasonably sized cities here in the U.S.it can be relatively easy to find decent, fresh spices. Sometimes at local Food Co-Ops, or in those neighborhoods with South Asian immigrants. Here in metro-Boston, the nearby suburb of Waltham, MA has a huge number of immigrants, and a lot of food shops. No problem finding Indian spices.

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  • 2 weeks later...

anyone who loves indian food like me and wf.and love cooking always try and buy fresh or whole spices,we had many books on indian cooking but the best one is the late keith floyds[floyds india] almost all the recipes he uses whole spices,and the diff.cooking from north to south.

Thanks for the heads up on Keith Floyd. Ordered his book "100 Great Curries" from a library here in Canada today.

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anyone who loves indian food like me and wf.and love cooking always try and buy fresh or whole spices,we had many books on indian cooking but the best one is the late keith floyds[floyds india] almost all the recipes he uses whole spices,and the diff.cooking from north to south.

Thanks for the heads up on Keith Floyd. Ordered his book "100 Great Curries" from a library here in Canada today.

i hope you enjoy the different styles,one thing which is important is to have a good mortar and pestle,one which you can hardly lift then you will find it easy to grind up whole spices.
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  • 1 month later...

You may be able to get some of the stuff you need in the bulk section of your grocery store. Also, if you have a Mexican/Hispanic store, you can get stuff like coriander seed, cumin seed and I think cinnamon stick. Oh, and that is where I pick up fresh chilis and lime...

Definitely add black mustard seeds (they actually are reddish brown) to your list. I really like dal, so I usually try to keep the orange lentils in my cupboard.

If you are thinking about making a biriyani, you will need stuff like cardamon pods (I ended up with cardamon seed from the bulk section of my grocery store the last time I tried to find some) and cloves.

That's all i can think of off the top of my head..

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  • 1 month later...

I don't think there's any point in buying Indian spices in Bangkok to take back to the States. Most major (and even smaller) cities in the U.S. have at least one Indian supermarket these days and often many more, where you can buy many spices in bulk much cheaper than you can here in Thailand. I haven't seen a single shop in Pahurat selling in bulk or selling all of the spices I need, I generally have done much better at Bimala Mini Mart (Sukhumvit Soi 10) or Peng Lee in Asok Market next to Terminal 21. Or better yet, I stock up when I go to India or Singapore! But seriously, I think you'll do better in the States.

In terms of what to buy it all depends on what dishes you would like to make. Commonly used spices in some of the most popular Indian dishes include:

Cumin (seeds, powder)

Coriander (seeds, powder, fresh)

Fennel seeds

Fenugreek (seeds, fresh)

Mustard seeds (black and/or yellow)

Turmeric

Chili powder

Garam masala

Cardamom (pods, seeds, powder)

Cloves

Cinnamom (sticks, powder to a lesser degree)

I have recipes for several common Indian dishes on my blog, perhaps you'd be interested: http://www.mistress-of-spices.com/

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