A couple of years ago I got lost in Manchester and ended up discovering an Asian food store (like you do!). Worldwide food store was such a good find as it offered something different to my local supermarkets, a bit of India! I love the variety of ingredients, prices and the freshness. I also like the way that the fresh produce is displayed on stalls outside the store. The amazing colours of the fruits, vegetables and herbs are all so inviting! I enjoyed this different shopping experience which has kept me going back ever since but as it’s a bit of a trek from where I live it’s become a six-monthly ritual.
Yesterday was that time again to stock up on my favourite ingredients. Here’s what I included on my shopping list:
- Dried pulses – there’s a great variety of pulses which are available in larger packs. I like to buy red kidney beans and chick peas. These are so nutritious and great in vegetarian and meat dishes. I stopped buying tinned stuff as I just don’t find the quality and taste is as good as when I prepare the beans or lentils from scratch.
- Fresh herbs – I always buy lots of fresh coriander, mint and parsley. The smell and taste is so much intense than what is sold at my local supermarkets. You also get so much more for your money at the Asian store. I normally buy a few bunches of the herbs which I wash then chop up (with exception of mint) and freeze. This supply keeps me going for a while. Thank goodness for my freezer!
- Fresh ginger, garlic and green chillies – I normally mince these in the blender and store in the freezer. It saves me cooking time over the weeks as I just break off chunks to use in cooking when needed.
- Spices - the variety of spices is far better than at my regular supermarket. I personally think the aroma of the spices is also stronger. I buy whole and ground spices but on this visit I only needed ground cinnamon and tandoori masala. I opted for the more natural tandoori masala and avoided the bright red product which just looked too artificial for my liking! I love making tandoori chicken which is great on barbecues. So all I just need now is that barbecue weather to arrive and stay for the whole summer!