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Indian Grocers

We have just begun experimenting with cooking Indian food. I've seen several Indian grocers in Frazer but I'm wondering if there is one grocery store with Indian food supplies that is better than the rest. Doesn't have to be one in Frazer...that's just what I've seen in my travels...am specifically looking for things like fresh foods that aren't in Whole Foods/Trader Joes like fresh curry leaves...Thanks for any help.

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  1. If you're up for the hike, Shiva Grocery in Trooper (Ridge Pike and Park Ave., next to the Shell station) has fresh curry leaves and a bunch of produce I have no idea how to prepare. Tons of spices, rice, canned goods and teas as well. They've been there for almost 20 years, so they must be selling OK.
    CP

    1. You may want to check out Assi Market in North Wales. It's not specifically Indian, but it has a wide variety of Asian-specific spices and produce. However, it's so large that it can be a bit overwhelming--in my opinion, a good thing.

      1. though i haven't been out there in two years since i worked in that area, royal india on rte 30 near the intersection of rt 29 had a great little grocery store attached to their restaurant (though did they remodel, i thought i read? is the store still there?) that's a place to start.

        i'm in philly and i do most of my shopping at the place on walnut st around 42nd next to the 7-11... i think it has the word international in its name but i can't recall for sure. if you make it down to the city, they'll definitely have anything you need. the place is huge. though i've been working such crazy hours lately, i'm ashamed to admit that most of my groceries from there consist of instant paneer tikka masala and frozen pakoras (and they are tasty.). there's also rice & spice around the corner, which i haven't been to yet but plan on going to soon for a non-food item that the former place doesn't stock: meswak toothpaste. it's absolutely the best stuff on earth. it does concern the taste buds (it's got a strong licorice flavor), so i supposed it was worth mentioning. :) but on a totally non-food-related note the soaps they sell there (the green bar by pears specifically) are amazing as well.
        makkah market is also a half-block away, for more middle eastern stuff. they are open 24 hours a day!

        and though i wholly support all of these places over a trader joe's any day, i found out it is possible to make an amazing garam masala in a pinch with whole spices found in almost any ordinary grocery store + a toaster oven and coffee grinder. :)

        2 Replies
        1. re: rabidog

          yup, International Grocer(y?) on walnut is what came to mind for me. now I am going to have to try that toothpaste!

          1. re: bess

            this is what the packaging looks like: http://www.domain-b.com/companies/com... though intl grocery doesn't carry it, and their alternatives are nowhere near as tasty. :( the only place i've found it in town so far is a little soap shop near the 69th st terminal.

        2. Im Indian, and I specifically signed up so that I could respond to your post.... :)

          The answer to your question is an unequivocal "Yes!". You want to go to "Patel Brothers" in Bensalem. Its about 20 minutes from Center City Philadelphia, but it really is worth the drive. BY FAR the freshest food, by far the greatest variety around the philadelphia area, and the store is not unclean either.

          I strongly suspect that other indian stores in philadelphia city are supplied by Patel Brothers.

          While at it, grab some good indian food at "Food Castle" which is nearby.

          4 Replies
          1. re: siddkhar

            Is that the same Patel Brothers that is in Rockville, Maryland as well? I haven't been to the Bensalem one but I visit the Rockville one with my dad when I go to visit. Nice place.

            1. re: rabidog

              I think its a chain of grocery stores... almost like an ethnic walmart I guess.

            2. re: siddkhar

              I'm not Indian, but I'll second Patel Brothers in Bensalem. Best & freshest assortment of Indian groceries in the area. Indian Hut in the same shopping center has wonderful snack foods to eat-in or take out like dosas.

              1. re: siddkhar

                There is another Patel's on Rt. 309 in Montgomeryville. Going north, it is on the right-hand side after 5-points (Rts 309 & 202 intersection). Large, lots of fresh produce.

              2. I've been to the Indian grocer in Exton, and it's pretty good. The other place I've shopped for Indian spices and other canned/jarred ingredients (but not fresh foods) is Wegman's. They have a really nice selection at very good prices.

                1. Thanks for all the input! I can't wait to try these places. My husband just loves Indian food and will be so pleased! Siddkhar, thanks for joining Chowhound just to share that info. Altho Bensalem is a drive, you've inspired me to go there, esp knowing there is a good restaurant nearby.

                  1. For what it is worth I am 1/2 Indian...I go to the Patel Market in Montgomeryville...it is fairly close to the Assi Market. It is fine and has a decent selection plus the blue Pear''s soap my husband loves so much. I used to go to Subzi Mehndi (sp?) in Edison, NJ back when I lived near there. Oak Tree Rd is Little India and I would recommend you go for a culinary day trip.... there are lots of non-food shops as well.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: spicemistress

                      Howdy, sorry to interrupt the chow, but for discussions re: places in NJ, please continue on the New Jersey Board so that the local hounds can take advantage of the chow tips as well. Thanks!

                      1. re: The Chowhound Team

                        Jeeze, I just mentioned it, if you read the post I was mainly talking about the PA store!!!

                    2. We finally made it to Bensalem today and really enjoyed the Patel Brothers store. What a clean, organized, well stocked and well patronized store! They had everything on our list. We will definitely be back.

                      We also took siddkhar's suggestion and had lunch at Food Castle, which was about 1/2 mile away on the other side of the road. It was a buffet lunch that was terrific, albeit a bit expensive for a buffet at $14. However, it was all quite tasty and again, we'll return.