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Dec 1, 2012 07:00 AM

Jackson Heights shopping list help!

I get out to Queens so infrequently, and am excited for a trip near the big Jackson Heights subway stop. I have a running list of Indian groceries that we need (frozen parathas, frozen paneer, cardamom, methi, rice) but where's the best store for us to get those things? What other stores should I hit? What other products should I get? Snacks that'll travel home well, or can be frozen, would be welcome.

And what about good snacks that I can bring to a lunch-y potluck? Samosas are covered already, but is there somewhere good for flautas? Tamales? Where are the best pakoras?

Thanks so much in advance!

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  1. Patel Brothers is your best bet for South Asian shopping, especially bulk spices and the like. you might want to pick up some papadum as well. they have packages along the far wall, opposite side of the store from the frozen stuff. no refrigeration needed and they cook up well in either a skillet or microwave, even.

    also, consider a stop at Pacific market, on 75th and broadway, just one block over, for south asian goods. chinese sauces, canned veggies, frozen dumplings, and so on. get a bag of shrimp chips to nosh on on the way home :)

    there are a few places to grab snacks. on 74th, there's an indian carryout attached to delhi palace for vegetarian stuff. the tamale ladies are usually gone well before noon, since those are basically breakfast eats around here. there's a cart on roosevelt and 75th, in front of chase bank, with a pretty wide variety of snack type stuff of the mexican variety, including flautas.

    enjoy your visit!

    1. Since you mentioned parathas, you should stop in at Tawa Foods for fresh ones ...

      Patel Brothers is definitely a good start, and then once you get to 37th Avenue, make a left and you'll see plenty more places to choose from. When I go to JH, I usually cover about a half dozen or so stores. Selections vary of course, but each might have that one gem you're looking for. I usually buy rice at Subzi Mandi or Apna Bazar (just a fyi). Someone should chime in as to what "sweets" you can sample while you're there too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Cheese Boy

        Agree that Tawa has the best parathas. my family is partial to the potato ones. and i find Patel to be the best for all-around shopping. The other stores may do some things better, but not sure it's worth stopping in more than one, as Patel should serve your needs.

        As for snacks, take a walk down the snack aisle at Patel. Favs in our house include the surati brand chakri murukus (addictive!) and punjabi mix, and something called chivda (or chevda), the best of which is found in a giant bag with a silver back (sorry, forgot the brand.)

        Agree with rec of Rajbhog as well. try the Dhokla for a snack, if they have it.

      2. I usually stock up on Desi groceries at Patel Bros. They will likely have everything you want and more. For snacks, Mama's empanadas is around the corner -- their baked flour empanadas should hold up well for a potluck. There is also a snack shop on the same block as Patel Bros. (I think it's named Maharaja Sweets) that is worth a stop for their stuffed chilly pakora.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JungMann

          the place on the patel block is the sweet shop of delhi palace. maharaja, which is also quite good, is around the corner on 37th avenue. :)

        2. Get some of the rare Gujarati specialties at Rajbhog for the potluck. Ask Nick to direct you, he is extremely loquacious.

          1 Reply
          1. re: AubWah

            that's great advice. i have been introduced to some amazing dishes at rabjhog. the use of coconut and heat, simultaneously, in a green bean dish, won me over for good. their sweets are good as well.

          2. If you're not tied to Indian food for the potlucky lunch, two of my favorite neighborhood snacks are pan de bono (a savory bread made w/yucca flour, corn flour, and cheese) from any Colombian bakery (like Abundancia, right by the subway on 75th/Roosevelt) and hotteok (sweet Korean nut cakes) from Pajunia, a new spot on Broadway betw 75th/76th. Delicious, and both cost around $1 for one.

            Or you could bring an order of papri chaat from Rabjhog and call it a day. Always a crowd-pleaser!