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Oct 5, 2012 06:28 AM

Where to get Indian Spices?

Where is a good place around the DC/NOVA area to get Indian spices, or just any place to get lots of spices and herbs in general? I'm looking for a place that has a lot of variety, and is really busy with good turnover so that the spices I get aren't stale.

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  1. For Indian Spices in particular, Patel Brothers on Lee Hwy in Fairfax.
    For herbs in general, Super H on Fairfax Blvd. in Fairfax.

    1. Delhi Bazaar 265 South Van Dorn Street Alexandria (Landmark)

      1. I'd recommend Lotte Plaza in Chantilly. High turnover, huge selection of Indian, and other Asian and Middle-eastern, spices.

        5 Replies
        1. re: anakalia

          I second Lotte Plaza. They have everything in there. The Indo-Pak dry goods section is very large, but they also have a very well stocked produce section will all the fresh herbs and desi vegetables you might want, too. They have opened a second location in Ashburn but I haven't had a chance to check it out yet.

          1. re: anakalia

            Is any Lotte okay or is it specifically the one in Chantilly?

            1. re: takadi

              In between now and the time I posted, I have been to the Ashburn one also. The one in Chantilly is bigger and better but I think it would serve your purpose of getting spices at either one as the Indo-Pak sections are huge and well stocked in both locales. I see from google that they have Fairfax and Germantown locations also. I can't imagine why they wouldn't be as good, you'd have to see for yourself.

              One thing I like about Lotte is that they have a great number of spices from all regions, while if you go to an Indian or Pakistani market the selection can be limited by what region the owners or main clientele are from. Lotte has a full regional spectrum of ingredients including things like ground garlic-chile thecha chutney from Maharashtra, kokum from South West India, peepal or long black pepper (odd to see any place stock this, most places in the US don't have it), a great variety of chiles from North to South preferences, and more. They also have a variety of brands so you are not stuck going with one main brand of spice even if you prefer one brand for one spice and another brand for a different spice. Lots of desi people shop there so they have a high turnover and their spices don't seem caked or stale.

              Hmmm, I should be in a commercial for them :D

              1. re: luckyfatima

                well, you probably know more than 99.9% of people -- even those who specialize in indo-pak and vietnamese cuisines!

                1. re: alkapal

                  I really don't, but thanks your compliment makes me feel speshul :D

          2. Penzey's is good but expensive. The Whole Foods in Fairfax just added a new spices section with great prices, literally half to one quarter the cost of Penzeys. You serve yourself. I think their cumin was $7/lb, it's $14/lb at Penzeys. Their Chipotle was $9/lb (maybe $12) it's $41/lb at Penzeys. Herbes De Provence was $12/lb or less, it's $52/lb at Penzeys! Everything I've used so far seems to be just as good as what I've bought from Penzeys.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Rick

              the Whole Foods spice section always surprises me. despite their "Whole Paycheck" reputation, there are bargains to be found and spices are one area this occurs (granted you can still go broke over 3 oz. of nothing if that's your cup of pudding)

            2. I go to lotte's will have to try whole foods but have to say even if expensive penzies is always fresh and you can get spices I have never seen else where - their spanish seasoning blend is the best salt free lemon pepper I have tried and I go just to get their ground lemon peel - put that in the flour when pan frying fish and the lemon flavor is great.