If someone is wondering, what kind of items you buy from grocery store in India and if it is different than visiting super market in Finland, I would have to say no, it is not so much different. Some items vary, some vegetables I haven’t seen in Finland and I don’t know their names, but the basic concept is pretty much the same. Today I paid a visit to Food World, because it has the best selection what comes to near by super markets. Here’s what I got:
Coca-cola, sambar powder, mustard oil, potatoes, water melon, carrots, sambar onions, green chilies, tomatoes, fresh coriander, ready-made chapati, frozen peas, urad dal, toor dal and okra. So, I would say you can find pretty much everything you need here in Bangalore. I don’t know if it is the same in other places. On my last visit to India I tried to find ingredients to make sandwiches in Mysore. I didn’t find any super markets, so I tried to buy ingredients from the normal market. I did find bread, cucumber and tomatoes pretty easily. Cheese I didn’t find, I don’t remember did I even try to find it. Butter I didn’t find, but after some search I find ghee. Then even the simplest thing seemed very difficult, but here in Bangalore life seems nice and easy. Maybe in Mysore also, if you just know the right places..
At least following spices are shown here: black pepper, asafoetida, jeera, kashmiri red chili powder, amchoor powder, coriander, cloves, cardamom pods, turmeric, tamarind, salt & pepper, cinnamon, mustard seeds, khus khus, bay leaves, fenugreek seeds, ajwain, garam masala, sambhar masala, tandoori masala, gobi manchurian masala, chaat masala and sugar.
And if you are planning to start Indian cooking, here’s a tip: don’t buy all the spices at once. Back in Finland and here in India also I take one recipe, check what spices are needed to make that dish, google if there is some new names I have never heard before, and then go and buy those spices. Soon, after making couple of more dishes, you have nice selection of spices. In Finland, when I first wanted to start cooking Indian dishes, I got irritated because all the recipes mentioned all kinds of names which were unfamiliar to me, like ghee, asafoetida etc.. I didn’t know what they were and where to get them. And when I find more recipes, I was stuck with even more unknown words, jeera, garam masala etc.. and I wanted to give up the whole thing even before starting. But then I decided, I’ll take one recipe and do my best with it. And soon I find out that I was very familiar with the basic spices needed for Indian cooking, and all those foreign names were not so scary anymore. So, if all this stuff sounds scary and too difficult, take one recipe, find out where to get ingredients for that, and next dish will be much easier, I promise 🙂
On my way home, I found my new best friends, or better yet, he found me. He stop his scooter next to me, asked my name, country, where I live, do I have girlfriend, told he is my best friend from now on, where I worked, how much is my salary, am I gay because I don’t have girlfriend, do I want a Indian girlfriend. He asked me about 20 questions in 5 minutes. In this time he also told me that he is my new best friends three times. Then he took interest of my MP3-player, tried it out and insisted that I give it to loan to him, and got very offended because I didn’t want to give it to him. What kind of friend was I, not trusting him? In India you can give stuff to people you have just met and you can trust everyone. Then he left. This took about 10 minutes total. Now I don’t know do I have a new best friend or did he got so offended that he doesn’t want to see me ever again.