Sometimes half the fun of cooking can be exploring specialty stores full of exotic Ingredients – it’s like a mini holiday to a distant land. Apart from the dizzying array of spices, Indian food shops are a wonderful place to discover the vast array of rice (and rice products), legumes and condiments used in this diverse cuisine, usually at much better prices than you’ll find elsewhere. They’re also often a great source of handy gadgets, servingware and other paraphernalia like candles and colourful garlands. Here are five of the best I’ve found in Sydney.
Indian Emporium Dee Why
Anuraag Bhagwat has a comprehensive array of Indian groceries and spices, including the best basmati rice which he packages himself. There’s also a good range of Indian sweets alongside frozen items and a small selection of fresh produce. Anuraag and his team are happy to offer advice and source items they don’t have in stock.
Udaya Supermarkets Wentworthville, Blacktown, Liverpool
I’m so grateful that Chef Ajoy Joshi recommended Udaya to me. Strolling the aisles of any of their supermarkets is an education and chance to discover new Ingredients and brands as well as wonderful new kitchen kit, servingware and other specialty lines. Great fresh produce too.
MGM Spices Surry Hills
Cleveland Street in Surry Hills has long been the spot for inexpensive, authentic curries, dosas and other Indian fare. It was also one of the first places Sydney cooks could source authentic Indian spices, with Vikram Sharma opening his aromatic spice shop in the mid ‘80s. He has a fabulous range of other Indian Ingredients too.
Fiji Spice Market Newtown
This wonderfully cluttered shop on King St in Newtown is my go-to for hard-to-find Indian, Caribbean and South American Ingredients and cookware. I’ve even found metal kulfi moulds here!
Indian Grocery Warehouse Chatswood
Chatswood is everyone’s go-to on the northside for Chinese groceries, but this large shop, away from the main shopping centre on the corner of Victoria Ave and Penshurst St, is a great find for all things Indian. There’s off-street parking (rare in Chatswood) and they home deliver.