JS Indian Market - Field Trip

This is a new store in my home town. Today I went there for the first time and wow, I wish I had been there a whole lot sooner. Such an amazing selection of spices and ingredients that I have not been able to find easily and things I had never seen before.

Shelves upon shelves of lentils and dahl of so many varieties. Beautiful little purple eggplant and beans piled high in the fridge and the walls strung with all kinds of spices in bags. Flours of different kinds and more types of rice than you could shake a stick at.

I love to try new things and offer my children a variety of food experiences. I like to think that no matter whose table they sat down at to eat there would be things on there that looked familiar to them and new things that they were willing to try, so when I spot things like this I snap them up!

This is Green Mukhwas. If you’ve been out to an Indian restaurant you might have seen small dishes of this presented at the end of the meal or sitting on the counter. It’s used to freshen the breath and aid digestion after a meal. It’s a mixture of sugar coated fennel, aniseed, coconut, mint leaves, small red candies, peppermint oil and sesame seeds.

Once you have taken a small pinch of it between your fingers - it’s very hard to stop eating it. I bought a large bag of it, tipped most of it into a dish on the table - a couple of hours later it was almost all gone. The kids could not help having some each time they passed the dish.

I also wanted to show you this, since I had never seen it before, at least not in this form. I got quite excited about it. I added it to my growing pile of packages that were literally falling out of my arms.

This is Turmeric - not all packaged in a plastic jar, not ground up into fine yellow powder, this is dried turmeric root. It’s hard almost like a little petrified piece of wood, but warm smelling turmeric rubs off on your hands when you touch it. It’s related to ginger. It does not feel soft like wood, it’s really very hard like a stone.

I never really thought about where that rich powder came from until I saw it in the store - then I remembered that it was indeed a root. Turmeric used to be called poor man’s saffron and was used as a substitute. I will make you something with that another day when I figure out how to grind it.

I have no recipes to share just yet with these, but I did want to show you these, I know I get quite excited over little finds like this, so I am sure some of you will too.