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660 Curries, 1 grocery

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I am delving into Indian cooking with the help of the new 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. It's a great introduction for a novice to this cuisine. Like many cuisines, there really are more than one...regional variety is covered in many of the seasonings and explanations.

Chef Iyer's a great teacher and it's easy to see why the IACP acknowledged him as such.

Anyway...I have found only one grocery so far that carries the fresh curry leaves. It's on Harvard Ave in Coolidge Corner and some of the items there were pretty stale looking. Didn't even get my dal there because all the pkgs were outdated. The store was really warm too, so I was worried they'd be rancid.

Making one of my new favorite recipes cardamom-fennel rubbed (wild Copper River) salmon with coconut milk sauce I do notice a difference without them.

Any suggestions? T accessible would be best.

Thanks and check out the book. I'll be reviewing it soon in my column, stay tuned!

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  1. I've not yet checked their spice selection, but I recently moved to Davis Square and am delighted by the little Indian bodega there. (Across from McDonalds.) I've seen bags of various spices (whole cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, etc) of large variety, so they very well may have fresh curry leaves. Their produce selection can be nicely varied, if small, (I think that's their focus), so they may have the fresh curry leaves. Their dry bags of daal seem just fine, no visible mold.

    Also, have you checked the Indian grocery in Central Square - Shalimar? They may have it.

    I am a total FIEND for coconut fish curries, and your post has made me hungry. Sorry I can't write. It's 4AM.

    1. The one right in the middle of Central (like, directly outside the Alewife-bound stairs) is my favorite in that area for selection and cleanliness. They also sell injera, if you ever find that useful. They certainly have curry leaves. They have a good stock of frozen grated coconut, which is something I haven't seen in many places.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Luther

        Injera, as in the tangy Ethiopian flatbread? I didn't expect that!

        1. re: Prav

          Yeah, I think it's the same person who makes the injera they sell at the 7-11 at Prospect and Hampshire.

      2. Cheema's in Allston/Brighton is a Pakistani/Indian bodega that may have what you want. It's on Brighton Ave. before you get to the Twin Donuts coming from Brighton Center, accessible via 57 and walkable from where the 66/57 transfer stop.

        1. The best Indian stores (one a full blown supermarket and the other two excellent green grocers) are all on Moody Street in Waltham. There are at least three. Way, way better then any of the other places mentioned. Search the board for previous posts.

          4 Replies
          1. re: StriperGuy

            Yeah, but they're not T-accessible (super long bus trips and commuter rail doesn't really count.. well, maybe it sorta counts).

            1. re: Luther

              Those places are a block from the Waltham commuter rail and if you really want good Indian Groceries none of the others even come close.

              1. re: StriperGuy

                The 70/70A bus out of Central Square, Cambridge (and by way of Watertown) also stops very nearby and runs a lot more frequently than the commuter rail. I agree that the Waltham Indian markets are well worth the trip.

            2. re: StriperGuy

              and sadly, they all stink compared to jax heights :( :'(

              but yeah, striper's right, it's worth getting out there every now and then to stock up on khana.