Interesting Find for Spices and indian Masala blends in Stafford
On the recommendation of an Indian my wife works with I checked out Chandrika Masala in Stafford.
This turned out to be a unique kind of enterprise tucked away at the back of an industrial office style "mini mall" on Murphy Road.
This is worth checking out. It is not in any way your standard indo-Pak type of place. It focuses on spices, spice blends (masalas) to the owner's own recipes, flour, dals and medicinal spices also. (The medicinal ones were totally unknown to me: things I truly had never heard of.)
I went on a Saturday morning and found an indian family shopping there (it is a very small space) and visiting on the provided sofa (this is clearly a place where you stop by for a while and catch up on local gossip).
If you shop in the likes of HEB international section you'll know the Parampara cooked masalas.
These ones are just the dry spice combinations so they need to be cooked and then the ingredients added. But a great time saver and all the spice measuring is done for you with these authentic masalas.
The owner was there and willing (in fact keen) to share any info needed.
He let me smell some of his turmeric and it was as potent as most you get in spice jars is impotent. The arome leapt into and assaulted your nostrils.
I used his rogan josh masala and the result was very good. I am trying some of the dal ones today. Clearly this is aimed at genuine Indian cooks, not "throw together a curry" but actually you'd throw together a better curry with these masalas I think than any known curry powder(!). But don't expect to get other ingredients. This is all about the dry spices (flour & dal) and nothing else.
A unique shop though well worth checking out. Check hours however. It's located around the back although there is a sign on Murphy Road for the mall with its name on.
The other thing I forgot to mention is that the prices are very reasonable. I think this may be the original (he said 5 years here) before that 2 years operating out of his ho
me, and the outlet at the "London Sizzler" mini-mall @ Hillcroft an outgrowth. I am not sure but the fact the owner was in Stafford and not there on a Saturday is the tip off. . Not sure.
Yes, I checked out the website after posting and did get the impression the Stafford location is the 'mothership.' The one on 59 moved about a year ago - it was on the other side of Himalaya.
Does he supply restauranteurs, do you know?, i.e., with his blends or just individual varieties of spices?
I don't know. incidentally I did not note a comprehensive selection (A-Z) of base spices (particularly commonly available ones seemed absent). He seems to stock mainly his own recipe blends and exotic spices for the most part. Oh and rice of course also. Got an excellent large bag of basmati again at very reasonable cost. It is certainly an interesting business model. I'd be interested in anything you find out from the owner if you drop in. I amde some vegetarian "tiffin" today with his chana masala and various of his dals. Photo attached.