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Jul 15, 2008 12:16 PM

Source for Chile de Arbol Powder and Cumin Seeds

Any local sources for chile de arbol powder and cumin seeds? Thanks in advance.

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  1. Christina's Spice in Inman Square, Cambridge and Penzey's Spice in Arlington.

    1. I buy cumin seeds at Polcari's in the NE..chile arbol available at many Latin markets.

      I find I get better results buying the dried peppers and just grinding to a powder.

      3 Replies
      1. re: 9lives

        Instead of crushing cumin seeds is it a reasonable substitute to use dried cumin?

        1. re: paulgardner

          This will veer into "home cooking," but I usually grind the cumin seeds too..maybe mix with mustard seeds and other spices..depends on what I'm making. I don't use the whole seeds in cooking too often.

          Some people like to toast the seeds before grinding.

          If I'm feeling lazy, and need a lot of cumin for a meal, I'll let Polcari's grind it.

          I just find that spice powders don't seem to keep their flavor as long as whole seeds or whole peppers.

          1. re: paulgardner

            I use both. Some recipes just call for ground cumin, but for some Indian , and Indian-influenced recipes, there's something about heating the oil, and throwing the seeds into it til they release their scent, that just can't be beat. Makes me weak in the knees!

        2. You can find them in pretty much any grocery store in the Latin section. At least all the Star/Shaw's I go to have them, and the Indian markets carry cumin seeds, though often just the black.
          The freshness isn't great at either source, so if that's important, I'd go to Christina's.

          1 Reply
            1. Harvest (Food Coop - don't need to be a member) in Central Square, Cambridge, has cumin seeds in bulk, so you can just get what you need. Didn't check out chile de Arbol, but they may have it, also.

              2 Replies
              1. re: fredid

                How about Penzey's on Mass Ave in Arlington?

                1. re: Frank Enbean

                  Penzeys also has a catalogue if you can't schlep to Arlington....
                  (dependng on where you live....) I find it easeir to have my sister bring it from Wisconsin, where Penzey's is around the corner from her house!)