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What should I bring back?

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Leaving for India in a couple of days. I'll obviously check out all markets and pick up what looks great but wondering if there are specific things you've brought back that were worth the luggage space. We'll be in Delhi/Jaipur and then in Kerala and the south - so lots of spice and tea plantations. And any suggestions about saffron? I've gotten Kashmiri saffron online before but wasn't impressed with the quality - any recommendations?

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  1. I always bring back spices from Bangalore as well as sandalwood sachets for freshening closets/drawers and incense (I realize the last two aren't food).

    There is a beverage that was available in grocery stores when I was living there, it had won new product of the year in 2010 I believe. It is coconut water based and flavoured with different fruits (lime, pineapple, mango, etc...) and is "all natural" no added sugar, etc... I plan to search these out on my trip in Feb and bring back as many as I can safely get into my suitcase. These are incredibly tastey but especially the lime version.

    I looked for the name of the product online but can't find it. If it's still around it'll be in the cooler section of major grocery stores, in small clear plastic bottles with a white/green label.

    1. We're recently back from India and Indonesia. I bought many spices and teas both for us and as gifts. You may want to pick up cardamon pods, both green and black. And consider a spice called ajawain. There are masalas for every conceivable item: lamb, fish, veggies, chicken, etc etc. Or get a round spice box. Teas. Check out Mittal's tea shop in Delhi. They'll let you taste, and are very helpful. (They also have a few spices.) Oh, and cumin! Shopping in Jaipur is great. Jewelry, of course, and textiles. Don't forget textiles! Anoki is The Place to go.

      1. I have the same question, if anyone else has any ideas. I've never been to India and unfortunately am still not going, but my brother is. I'd love to give him a list of things he could bring back for me (taking up no more space than a small handbag). Suggestions appreciated!

        1. Textiles.
          Or, if you mean food related items - cookware (e.g. idly pans) and cookbooks.

          1. An easy place to start shopping is Fabindia, which has branches in various cities. (Mumbai was ours.) You can also check out their website to make a list. They have good textiles (think kurtas, etc) and also carry some spices and teas. It's well organized, and you can see exactly where they are located based on where your brother is going. A friend recco'd them to me. They also have some nice costume jewelry.

            2 Replies
              1. re: hyacinthgirl

                I forgot to mention, the website sure doesn't show everything, but you'll get an idea. Be sure to recco a BIG Fabindia location for the best shopping. There's a tiny branch across the st from the Taj that's not worth the time, for example. Bangle bracelets are big in India, too, if you wear them.