From the blog October 13, 2011 Judy

Mayuri: Where we get our spices

Uwajimaya is one of our favorite places to pick up all kinds of produce, but when we need an exotic spice or two, we head over to Mayuri, an Indian grocery store near The Cooking Lab in Bellevue, Washington.

The spice aisles at Indian grocers can be daunting at first, but they become easier to navigate if you know what you’re looking for.

Spices come in bags, in jars, and in bulk. Cardamom, black onion seeds, and mace are all important to Indian cooking.

Pomegranate seeds are delicious with lamb!

Certain products may vary in their spellings, reflecting common usage in the region in which they were grown. Ajowan, ajwan, and ajwain are all popular spellings of the same seed we like to sprinkle on our caramelized carrot soup.

A little research goes a long way. Look up alternative names and spellings while making your grocery list.

You can often find vinegars, oils, and fragrant waters not found in chain grocery stores when you explore ethnic markets.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! We found our aloe juice in the refrigerator!

Tamarind, an important ingredient in Indian cuisine, can come in many forms. Make sure you know what type of product is best for the dish you are making.

You can find ghee in many grocery stores these days, but if you want variety, it’s at an Indian grocer!


  1. Adam October 13, 2011 Reply

    I recently visited my local Indian store and discovered snap frozen raw shredded coconut meat which I boiled and made my own coconut milk with. I also discovered whole dried mature coconuts with the shell removed. They are baseball sized and taste absolutely delicious – truly the best tasting form of dried coconut!

    Great article guys – thanks!!!


  2. John O'Neill October 14, 2011 Reply

    I love this post. My wife and I shop for spices almost exclusively at ethnic grocery stores. If you need something even remotely exotic, mainstream stores charge you three and four times more. We call it the “Honky” tax. Thanks for sharing.

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