Indian ingredients in sunnyside/woodside
You might want to look in Orchard Farmers Market (not actually a farmers' market), which opened today at 43rd & Greenpoint Ave. They bill themselves as gourmet, so they might have that stuff, though probably at a markup from Jackson Heights.
Also: Have you looked in the Foodtown? They have pretty extensive spice selections and "ethnic" food sections.. for a regular supermarket.
Last idea: Woodside, slightly closer than JH. The big Asian grocery just east of the 61st stop (I think it's called... HK?) definitely skews Chinese, but they might have some of the stuff you're looking for -- they have tons of spices and hard-to-find food things at good prices. And Veggie Monster on 61st is like a tiny Whole Foods (same prices, too), so they might carry some of the things you're looking for.
But yes, as others have said: For Indian ingredients, Jackson Heights is by far your best bet.
39-86 61st St, Queens, NY 11377
Thanks for the suggestions!! I have checked the food town, they didn't even have garam masala. Although, I could have missed it since I didn't have any expectations of finding it.
I completely forgot about H-mart and never even thought of veggie monster. Have you checked out orchard yet? I've been looking forward to them opening. They're a little out of my way for day to day shopping, but would like to give it a try.
H-mart at Woodside and 59th is actually Korean with some Japanese ingredients - I shop there frequently , but not for Indian ingredients. Nor have I seen Indian ingredients at Veggie Monster except in most general terms (like ground coriander and basmati rice).
On 61st across from the post office, there is a small convenience mart called Janata (?) with some dry goods, some produce and a freezer full of fish (I think they might actually be Bangladeshi). We had a bad experience buying rice there five years ago (infested with meal bugs) so I haven't been back - but someone else might have a more positive recent report.
Kitty corner from Sripraphai is the Himalayan Mini Mart at 39th & 64th, with an aisle full of Maya products (dal, spices) and a small selection of decent produce (plus some interesting Nepali products). Not extensive, but if you're not up to trekking into Jackson Heights it's very clean and convenient.
Once you have spices, Long Cheng, a Chinese market at 58th & Roosevelt, can pinch hit for some Indian ingredients - they have mung dal, coconut milk, chillies, coriander leaves, eggplant, long beans, bitter melon, green mangoes and bottle gourd.
You can also buy masoor dal at Turkish markets like Sunny Grocery on 43rd Ave or Turkiyem on Skillman, or some spices at El Shater at 43rd & 43rd,
Since there is an increasing Bangladeshi presence in the Sunnyside/Woodside area, you might try some of the convenience markets on 43rd Ave and Skillman. I seem to remember one called Tasneem somewhere in the area.
But really, when I need to stock up, I go to Patel Brothers in Jackson Heights.
64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377
43-02 43rd Ave, Queens, NY 11104
45-26 43rd Ave, Queens, NY 11104
37-27 74th St, Queens, NY 11372
39-86 61st St, Queens, NY 11377
39-30 61st St, Queens, NY 11377