Every so often, @evan and I go to Vik's Chaat in Berkeley for Indian food and a visit to the wonderful adjacent Indian grocery shop. Here's what we bought today.
  1. Paneer
    F8b0a2a4 b4eb 4ee8 996d e3ee667d4836
    I make paneer tikka masala a few times a month and I love this brand. Paneer has lots of protein, almost zero carbs, and it makes for a great vegetarian entree. At Vik's, it costs $2-$3 less than it does at Whole Foods.
  2. Tamarind concentrate
    96502890 70f3 4fbf 8781 a7314e04961d
    A sweet, slightly sour, very thick liquid made from tamarind pulp. I love glazing chicken thighs with it. You need very little, so a jar this size lasts a long time.
  3. Papadum
    70f48e28 1637 441d 8913 d4dc892b99e5
    These are the crispy crackers often served at Indian restaurants as an appetizer. They're made from ground lentils, and make a great snack. They are traditionally fried, but I crisp them up in the microwave or over an open flame on the stove. This brand features a small child and a pink bunny enjoying papadum together on the package.
  4. Nuts and seeds
    A54063f7 beb6 4463 8c5c 182a1ab76532
    Excellent quality, unbeatable prices.
  5. Turmeric
    7179b20d e390 447a 81b6 a4e270c25546
    Great for curries, a natural anti-inflammatory, and proof that your local Indian grocery store is the best place to buy spices. Because they come in plastic bags instead of jars, they are very inexpensive but still very high quality. I transfer them to small mason jars when I bring them.
  6. Ghee
    13fffb05 150c 4337 9b82 21973f281a8d
    Ghee is clarified butter that has been simmered with its milk solids for a long time to create a nutty, aromatic cooking fat. I use it for soups, stews, curries, and stir-fries.
  7. Besan (chickpea flour)
    9e80cd9e a704 4588 a499 1085857fce81
    I use this to make chickpea flour flatbreads and pizzas. Check out my list on socca for more information.
  8. Crunchy Indian snacks
    D0592005 bb9e 4618 afa0 8480d2ad712c
    Evan's favorites. Crunchy and savory.
  9. Shredded frozen young coconut
    7f020233 fe7b 484d 8c7c b3b1bc09b806
    I love putting this in smoothies. It has good fat and a nice dose of fiber, which keeps me full and satisfied for longer. Plus it makes my smoothies taste tropical.
  10. Sandalwood soap
    8967c6ef 781b 4bf4 94df bb3c6c896fd7
    Smells amazing, made with pure sandalwood oil, and costs $2.50 for a big bar.