after experiencing some of the best food I’ve ever had at Dishoom in London, I have dreamed of their insanely excellent meals ever since, salivating in my sleep to memories of black daal and bombay coladas. so for Christmas, my mother decided to gift me with the ability to bring some of those dishes to my own kitchen, and gave me the brand new Dishoom cookbook!
a white person someone who doesn’t usually cook Indian food at home, I quickly realized that I was missing several ingredients required to recreate these delectable dishes, so I called in an expert: my friend Neelam. she took me through the “little india” of orange county (a lovely halfway point for us) and we had a day of dining, shopping, and grocery acquisition.
my favorite part was going to the grocery store and getting to enjoy the aromas, art, texture and color of all these magical things we’re not exposed to in the average american supermarket. ’twas a mini cultural excursion (I do, after all, think food is a beautiful form of cultural storytelling).
this (above) is just one part of the haul I brought home… and it was all less than $100 (this stuff is crazy affordable). I’m stocked on cardamom and fenugreek seeds, several masalas, jaggery and deggi mirch chili, rose syrup, whole nutmeg, frozen naan, the tastiest powdered chai I’ve ever had, and of course, maggi ramen.
I can’t even begin to express how fun it was to step outside my white bread (literally) kind of grocery shopping and get to taste so many flavors from a different type of cuisine. I’ve always loved eating Indian food at restaurants and via takeout (what’s movie night without a good tikka masala and mango lassi amirite), but to have the chance to dig deeper into the components of what goes into some of my favorite foods — and experience new ones! — was seriously exciting.
if by now you’re like “girl wtf, it’s a grocery store, r u ok” to that I say “LET ME LIVE!!!!” we need a little extra happiness rn ok?? let me romanticize grocery shopping JUST A LITTLE.
plus, JUST LOOK AT THE COLORS!!!
another favorite treat I brought home was the Rooh-Afza rose syrup from Pakistan (above), a concentrate used to make sparkling drinks. v excited to make some spritzers from the Dishoom cookbook.
I’ll update with more details once I make more recipes. So far I’ve made LARGE quantities of pav bhaji (seriously, insanely good) and I’m finally ready to start taking on more throughout the book.
hopefully this has inspired you to try making some new recipes at home from different types of cuisine, and to explore a new type of market when get your next grocery haul! either that, or it has distracted you momentarily from the existential dread of a global pandemic that has pushed our nation to the precipice of an economic apocalypse. food blog!
PS major shout out to Neelam, the best grocery guide and Indian cooking mentor a girl could ask for. ILY.