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Jun 6, 2009 12:29 PM

KCMO- Indian Grocery

Looking for garam masala, fresh curry leaves and tamarind juice. Which grocery has the best selection?

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  1. I haven't been able to find fresh curry leaves for a while. When I can find them, I buy lots and freeze them. That works quite well.

    My favorite place for South Asian groceries is India Emporium at 105th and Metcalf, close t o Marty. I've been to Ambica and the chaat place at 149th. Both of those places are good, but I always go back to India Emporium.

    2 Replies
    1. re: zataar

      Glad to know that place is still there. I haven't been in 18 years (to buy a nosering, nonetheless). So, I'm assuming this place had them when they were found? How long will they last in a deep freeze wrapped well? My friend and I have a curry cook-off every Friday and we're trying to hit the apex. Any ideas?

      1. re: inbiz

        The last place I bought fresh curry leaves was at Global Foods, in Kirkwood, MO. That isn't much help!. They last about 6 months in the freezer with no flavor loss. After that, they get a little subtle.

        India Emporium didn't have them 2 weeks ago. Maybe I'm just hitting them at the wrong time. I didn't try Ambica.

        I usually just make my own garam masala, but we used Spice Hunter were I worked because it was readily available at the grocery store we used. It is excellent, but pricey.

    2. Give the Asian Supermarket in River Market a try. They have lots of Indian, Korean, and other curry-friendly items.

      1. At the India Emporium or Patak's (indian/pakistani grocer across from Whole Foods at 91st and Metcalf), you can generally get a good deal on the Swad brand Garam Masala in a small or bigger size, or the bag of unground spices to grind yourself too. Or if you do hit the river market and go to the Asian Supermarket, go on a Saturday, and you might be able to find a curry plant from one of the farmer's market vendors. I got mine there.

        1. Ambica has had fresh curry leaves the last several times I've been in, with produce. 91st and Metcalf.

          5 Replies
          1. re: amyzan

            I need to get back to Ambica. I bought a great paratha rolling pin there for 4 bucks!

            1. re: zataar

              This is great. Does anybody have any favorite types of curry or ingredients to use? I'm thinkin' mango and chicken. What do you guys think?

              1. re: inbiz

                Are you thinking of a tomato or coconut base with the chicken and magoes? If you have a coffee or spice grinder, buy whole spices, toast and grind them fresh. It will make a HUGE difference in your curry. I usually cook the onions, chile, garlic, and ginger in coconut oil, because the flavor is strong, but coconut oil may be an acquired taste for some. Mustard seeds and lots of chile with potato based curries, I'll try to think what else...

                1. re: amyzan

                  Definitely w/coconut milk. I've only seen one recipie that's called for tamarind juice. Is that a common ingredient and what will it impart?

                  1. re: inbiz

                    Tamarind has a flavor of it's own, really--tart and lemony, fruity, raisiny. It's a great complement to potatoes and starchy foods. You've probably had it at Indian restaurants as a sauce usually served with appetizers, along with cilantro and mango chutneys, and an onion relish. Very common, especially in the south. It's flavor tends to dominate, though it does play well with others in say, a soup, where it will blend with tomato base harmoniously. Sambhar has a nice tamarind element, great with dosa.