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Richard Kilgore

Best Indian Markets in Texas

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We have a great eGullet forum on India and Indian Cuisine, with an incredible amount of information on cookbooks, favorite dishes, and styles of cooking from various regions, and much more. Suvir Suran did a great job as forum host before opening Amma in Manhattan to great acclaim. Now Monica Behide is the new forum host, and she welcomes all of us from Texas to visit. :biggrin:

So it would be helpful to know more about all the Indian markets in Texas, especially DFW-Denton, Houston-Galveston, Austin and San Antonio. What are the favorite Indian markets in your area? Any special products or ingredients they carry that you have had a hard time finding in other places? How's quality, and how's the service?

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In San Antonio, I don't know of any, but will check around. I like to experiment with that type of cuisine, unfortunately the crowd I cater to doesn't appreciate it that much. :sad: But it's still fun to play with.

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My favorite so far is the Taj Imports on the southwest corner of 75 and Beltline in Richardson. When I go, I plan on staying at least an hour to peruse all of the various and sundry spices, legumes, beauty products, teas, pickles etc. They are pretty big, and have inside a deli and a bakery.

I have found harder to find asian/Indian veggies and fresh spices like curry leaves here. Truly a joy to explore every time I go. A bonus is that they are in a complex with three restaurants and several sari stores. I know there are more stores across the street, but I have yet to make it there.

Another, closer to my home is at:

6541 Duck Creek, Suite F

Garland, TX-75043

The listing calls it the Asia Bazaar but that is not what is has on the store front. I can't think of what it is. However it is right next to an Indian restaurant and a Freight Discount store.

The owner seems friendly, and they have a lot of nice spices, frozen goods, some fresh produce, and the general legume and rice selection. A few health and beauty products can also be found there. I also say buffalo meat in the deep freeze. In case you are looking for buffalo......

I get my Caravan Yogurt here and this delicious saffron kulfi. I keep meaning to try the other flavors.....

Just south on Beltline is the Unique Indian Store.

According to the proprietors, they cater to the South Indian population.

I run here for quick stuff, garlic paste, chana, and they have these delightful parippu vada/ masala vada freshly made at the counter. They inspired me to make them myself. The proprietors are always very friendly and helpful. and have a rather large selection of pickles, legumes, rices, oils, frozen goods and a video store.

433 west hwy I-30

Garland, TX-75043

I'm always exploring the different ethnic grocers around, so as I find more, I'll post.

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My favorite so far is the Taj Imports on the southwest corner of 75 and Beltline in Richardson. When I go, I plan on staying at least an hour to peruse all of the various and sundry spices, legumes, beauty products, teas, pickles etc. They are pretty big, and have inside a deli and a bakery.

I second Nessa's recommendation of Taj Imports. They have a fascinating variety of products, from dals to cooking utensils and serving tableware that are entirely new to (Anglo) me. Their produce section is an education in and of itself. Taj Imports also carries a fairly large representation of English favorites, like Crunchie bars, HobNob crackers, etc.

Closer to my home in Plano is India Gate, on the west side of Coit just south of Hedgcoxe. There also is Maitri Mart, on the east side of Coit just north of Hedgcoxe. Both of these are small, family-owned grocery stores that carry a good variety of basics, including a few vegetables. India Gate also serves chaat (at very reasonable prices). The owners are very helpful in explaining products and cooking techniques.

In answer to Monica's question, yes, I have noticed that certain products aimed at the South Asian population are beginning to show up in Plano-area grocery stores, especially Kroger. Whole Foods also carries a small but gorwing line. I've seen several prepared cooking sauces and chutneys along with other products, and I am encouraged by the fact that they are much better quality than the usual "ethnic" foods that make their way into mainline grocery stores. I can remember a time in the late '70s, for example, when I stopped in a grocery story in Marysville, Ohio, and found a "Foreign Food" section that consisted of pasta, jarred spaghetti sauce, and LaChoy "Chinese" products. :shock:

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I have seen basmati rice, "curry powder" and the Patak line of chutneys in regular grocery stores. Thats about it, but then I don't really look for it there, with all the bountiful stores that are dedicated to the cuisine and culture.

I don't think I'll ever shop at "regular" grocery stores for what I consider ethnic food. What items they do have tend to be very basic and dumbed down, so to speak. I'm all for specialty stores, can you tell? Half the fun for me is getting to immerse myself in something different. Its like a cheap way of getting to experience a small bit of India, Pakistan, or Iran, without buying a plane ticket.

I like shopping in ethnic stores almost as much as I like to cook. Its a little bit of exotica in an otherwise mundane existance :raz:

Now, having said that, I did buy some collard greens last weekend because I got a recipe for curried greens and potatoes from Dr. Weil. Lo and behold, tagged on the greens was another recipe for curried greens and potatoes! It was fate, I tell you. And also an indication that yes, perhaps Indian food is becoming a little more mainstream. However, I still get nasty comments at work when I bring in Indian food and nuke it. "A little curry goes a long way, yaknow......" "Whew!, Indian again?" Blah blah blah. I brought Indian all week after that comment. :hmmm:

What?! Passive agressive? ME? :laugh:

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In Houston I always head over to India Grocers (or is is it India Grocery??). anyways, it's on the corner of 59 and Hilcroft right on the feeder. They have amazing spices and pretty good indian produce as well as British products (Treacle, Golden Syrup, custard,...).

For produce, Hong Kong Market is unbeatable, they always have very good quality Indian produce like Curry leaves.

Elie


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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... How about the regular grocery stores -- are they starting to carry Indian groceries?

In Houston, some of the suburban HEB stores and most Fiesta stores carry an aisle of Indian groceries. They usually have a selection of dals, pickles, spices, etc. I think they use the same suppliers that the Indian grocery stores on Hillcroft use.

Most of the other grocery chains are limited to a few jars of Patak's sauces and a few frozen entrees.

rkolluri

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There are many of Indian grocery stores in the Lone Star State. The following link lists several of them. I lived in Dallas for several years (can’t wait to get back there) and Taj Mahal Imports in Richardson was my favorite store. I hear from friends that this store is still a very good source for Indian groceries. I loved shopping on weekends at the Dallas Farmer’s Market. Several vegetables used in Indian cooking – eggplant, okra, black eyed peas, chili peppers, and cilantro were always available at the farmers market. I have also found several ingredients at HEB and Fiesta Markets in Austin.

http://www.thokalath.com/texas/grocery_stores.php


Ammini Ramachandran

www.Peppertrail.com

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Austin has MGM Grocery in Richcreek Plaza on Burnet Road. It's mostly dry goods, with some frozen. He has a good selection of rice and frozen naan. You have to be cautious about the packaged stuff because lots of it is out of date. He seems to have numerous lines of curry sauces and chutneys. I like to go there to browse and to talk to the owner who is very friendly and helpful.

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i was wondering if anyone knew if there was a market (or restaurant) in the dfw area that sells paan, wrapped in a (fresh) betel leaf? it seems a bit difficult to collect all the ingredients just to make a couple after-dinner treats. (i recently returned to the US after living in india for a year, and it's something that i find myself craving after an indian meal).

i know that swad, a restaurant in austin, has a paan-wallah who will wrap mitha or jharda paan on site. anywhere else?

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A number of Indian markets have opened in the last couple of years. There is a newish one I have shopped at several times in recent months in Irving's Valley Ranch area, on McArthur Blvd. There may be larger ones in the DFW area, but this is the largest I have seen.

What other noteworthy Indian grocery markets can anyone recommend?

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