Shopping At Indian and Asian Markets

I am  so excited about my latest discovery - two local international food markets.
A friend had been to the Asian food market and told me about it and I set out this morning to find it and accidentally went into an Indian shop. They had a lot of food that I didn't know as well as ones I did know but either haven't seen at the regular grocery store or they are way over priced at the grocery store.
Coconut milk, mangos, spices and beans ( I didn't buy the last two today) have THE lowest prices in the area.

In the Indian Market I picked up some watermelon seeds and some dried chickpeas for snack foods. They were $2 - $3 for a bag. About the price of a bag of chips and yet much healthier and you eat less of them in a sitting so they last longer too.

I was excited to find this yogurt drink - it was a special treat in Nigeria and I haven't seen it over here so even though it was priced at $2 for the small container I indulged for memories sake. It wasn't quite the same taste I remember, but we all enjoyed it.

A 2lb bag of Cream of Wheat for $2.

If I had to pick one food to eat for the rest of my life I think it would be Falafel. I thoroughly enjoy this fried ball made from chickpeas. I have tried several brands and made my own and my favorite by far is the Telma brand, which is hit or miss at the grocery store. The Indian store keeps the below brand in stock so I thought I would try it out and see what I think of the flavor.

I picked up this box thinking it was Papadums, which I love, but the man working in the store told me it was more like a thin cracker. I was curious enough I picked it up and am so glad I did! These have a great taste and I think would be great served as an appetizer with hummus or maybe to accompany a cucumber and tomato salad.

The Asian market had a lot of similar items to the Indian market. Some prices were higher and others were lower. 
At the Asian market I picked up a can of Lychee. These things are so yummy! I want to figure out how to get them not canned in sugary syrup. We ate some for lunch and then I put some in a green smoothie. 

I found my beloved papadums here. They are the cheapest I have ever found papadums at $1.25 for a dozen.
The Far Far is a colored appetizer similar to papadum. There was a huge language barrier between myself and the sweet lady running the store so when I asked her what Far Far was she explained in detail and then ended with "it is like this one here" pointing at the papadums. That is all I understood out of all she said.

I picked up two cans of coconut milk and then a box of coconut milk powder mix - we use a lot of coconut milk and this place has the BEST prices! One can was .89 cents and the other .99 cents. I bought both to see if there is a difference in quality. The powdered mix will end up being the most cost effective but I want to research the nutrition value of it. 

The final item I picked up is my most exciting deal - 20 mangos for$10. That is .50 cents a mango! I have never seen them even close to that price at the grocery store. Occasionally they will drop to .80 cents when they are overly ripe and the store wants to get rid of them fast but usually they are $1.50 each. So these mangos were a great deal and the lady helped me pick ones that were both ready to eat now and that would slowly mature so that these will last us well over a week without getting too ripe.
Both owners told me they get produce in Thursday nights so Friday is the best day to come in if I want produce - the Indian store had almost no produce and the Asian one was well picked over so I will definitely be back there on a Friday to see what is available then. If everything is similarly priced as the mangos I will have just found our new source for produce! 

I will be buying all of our coconut milk, beans, brown rice and papadums there.
I am debating buying yogurt - the Asian market had 5lbs of plain yogurt (not the drinkable mentioned above) for $6 - that is cheap, cheap, cheap for yogurt but I am wondering about the quality of it - anyone know?


Leah said...

I didnt even know that there was such a thing as powdered coconut milk. Im curious, how do you use it?

Bethany said...

You are very exciting... I mean, you make for an exciting cook. Very adventurous. I don't even know what half of those things were. I'll have to have my Asian friend take me to the Asian market in Rochester. I've never seen mangoes so yellow/orange. Ours are always green/red. And what do you use "lots" of coconut milk for? I bought two cans of Goya's coconut milk when I had a coupon. I have one can left. Any suggestions?

Brittany said...

I live in north Mississippi and there are lots of cheap random things to do. Look up a place called Graceland Too. It's insane & you must go! You'll never forget it. I think admission is $5 and open 24/7. Not sure what kinda food you are looking for but of course BBQ is everywhere in Memphis about 15-20 minutes from Southaven, MS. Let me know what else you are looking to do and I'll give you some ideas. Have fun!

mum said...

Coconut milk makes an amazing soup base! I just made chicken vegetable soup with a tin of coconut milk. Have Esther bring some popadums up please!

steph said...

How fun! My family and I love to go to the Hispanic markets here in town... there are all kinds of fun things we don't see at our regular grocery stores. Plus, we have found fresh salsas and tortillas made locally that just taste so much better.

Mel said...

The yellow/orange mangoes are Alphonso mangoes and are loved for their sweetness (although they don't keep long...good thing they're so yummy! :). We use the green ones more in curries rather than eaten just as a fruit (my husband is Indian). I buy my yougurt for a similar price at the Indian store and it is always great - however it is intentionally tangier than American yougurts so consider what you will use it for when you buy it. My favorite brand is Desi.

Stacy said...

I would totally buy yogurt at an Indian store- they use a lot of it in their cooking. It may be thicker than what you're used to (more like greek yogurt), and will probably be tangier, but we like it that way. Maybe you could find a smaller container just to try the brand.

Becki said...

What fun! I love international food places. And I am jealous about the mangos! When I lived in China we used to get those yellow ones for around $.50 a pound! I think I've found them in the States once since then.

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