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UMF #3: India House with Neeta Saluja

On Monday, September 10th, Urban Market Forage visited India House on Gammon Road. We were guided by Neeta Saluja, cooking teacher and author of the Six Spices cookbook, as well as the lovely husband and wife store owners, Prabakaran and Jansirani. If you want to discuss biochemistry with Prabakaran after shopping, that’s an option too. He arrived from Tamil Nadu in the early 1990s to complete a doctoral program at the UW.

As with Viet Hoa, our tour started in the rice aisle. We learned about regular and aged Basmati, about Sona Masosori, about long, medium and short grained rices, and the regions in India where you are most likely to find them. Then on to grain flours; large bags and small, for making chappati, roti and poori.

The shelves are lined with a dizzying array of jars and bags, boxes and packets. Relishes, chutneys, pickles. Spices and teas, snacks and sweets. Dried beans, peas, lentils, and their respective flours.

The produce section is cursory, consisting primarily of staples like garlic, onions, ginger and chilies.

Along the back wall, an enormous refrigerated section. Overwhelmed by all the choices on the shelf? Want an easier introduction to the seductive flavors of the Indian kitchen? Grab some frozen palak paneer, some naan, and some kulfi (ice cream) for dessert. A Bollywood movie perhaps? They stock videos too. The owners are extremely friendly and helpful, so don’t be shy about asking questions!