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May 14, 2014 01:34 PM

Supermarkets in/around LA for Indian spices & ingredients?

When I am cooking Chinese or Vietnamese dishes, I head for 99 Ranch Market. (Or, one of the other supermarkets out in Monterey Park.) There are unfortunately zero supermarkets here in Santa Monica that carry all the things I need for my recipes.

Are there supermarkets in LA that carry the spices needed in Indian cooking? I am NOT looking for the smaller Indian markets that can be found all over . . . I'm specifically looking for the larger ones (ie, similar to 99 Ranch Market). Do any exist on the Westside of LA? If not, anything relatively close by? If I do end up having to drive down to Artesia, what are some of the larger markets/supermarkets that you'd recommend?

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  1. obligatory india sweets and spices

    samosa house in westside

    bhanu in arcadia

    2 Replies
    1. re: ns1

      Thanks for the quick reply.
      Indian Sweets, and Samosa House--both of their selections were, unfortunately, too small. That's why I'm looking for more of a full market or even supermarket. Don't know anything about Bhanu (I don't think I've ever been to Arcadia in my 30 years of driving around Los Angeles) :-)

      1. re: santamonica811

        Bhanu is the same as the other 2. Don't think there's anything like 99 ranch for Indian foodstuffs, hopefully some other more knowledgable hounds can chime in

    2. I don't know of a Deshi-oriented "supermarket" anywhere in greater Los Angeles/Orange County, on the order of Patel Brothers on the east coast (50+ locations); there's just not the popular demand which would support such an establishment. Consider the Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese populations of greater LA, and the size of their respective "ethnic business districts", when compared to the population of everyone from the Indian subcontinent.

      Having said that, what are you looking for that you can't find? ISS has, well, all the sweets and all the spices you need, and lots of other grocery stores have the produce and beans.

      1. What exactly are you searching for that you can't find in a place like India Sweets and Spices? That's pretty much the "Supermarket for Indians." All the Indians I know (including yours truly) shop at IS&S for groceries. I supplement with stuff from my local middle eastern markets too. I shop at the Canoga Aprk and Northridge IS&S and have never had a problem finding spices/ingredients. You can go to Artesia, and try a place like Pioneer Cash and Carry, but they carry the usual stuff too.

        1. While there is no Indian supermarket even the size of the smallest 99 Ranch Market, the one in Artesia that is most well stocked, and consequently most crowded (on weekends) is Pioneer Cash and Carry. Ambala Cash and Carry also has a good selection, but their space is smaller.

          1. Punjab or Bhanu.

            Or just wander around Artesia until your head explodes.

            4 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              I go to Bhanu's all the time because it is the closest to me.
              Bhanu's wares are very limited. Very few fresh vegetables, often limited stock of frozen prepared foods, limited stock of spices, rice.
              When someone is looking for a Indian supermarket, Bhanu's would be a desperation choice!

              1. re: suvro

                Agreed that Bhanu isn't a full grocery store, but it does have enough spices, jarred condiments and seasonings, etc. to make a go of it.

                Re: fresh vegetables. Are there specific vegetables to Indian cuisine that one cannot get at a Chinese or Asian style market?

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Yes. Short list of what is more readily available at Indian grocery stores but not in other Asian markets.

                  Parwal or Pointed gourd - Trichosanthes dioica
                  Methi saag - fenugreek greens
                  Kundru - which is like the pointed gourd
                  Drumsticks - Trichosanthes dioica - though this is not always available in the Indian stores
                  Gawarfali - a type of cluster beans

                  Many of the other India specific vegetables are increasingly available at SG Superstore - like
                  Ucchey - which is a smaller version of bitter gourd
                  Ridge gourds
                  Barbati - long beans

                  1. re: suvro

                    Interesting. Thanks for the list of veges/produce.