You won’t get some, actually most of this stuff in Walmart. You might not even get it at Costco, Home Depot or Sam’s Club. That’s because the products that I am writing about are quintessentially Indian. They are things that we’ve grown so dependent  on. And catering to the Indian demographic in the United States are Indian stores. Some of them are small corner shops, while some have grown into large chains, like Patel Brothers that has shops in several cities across the United States.

I’ve visited a few Indian stores in Jacksonville, Florida and here are some of the most useful things I found inside. (This is a WIP post which I intend to update over time.)

  1. We don’t like eating bread loaves everyday. We like our traditional flatbread but hey, it’s not easy to make. And there’s nothing like ready-to-eat flatbreads – chapatis. It’s healthy, Indian and quick.

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    Ready to eat chapatis
  2. America has so many different kinds of Greek yogurt tubs and cups, it’s amazing. But a desi likes desi dahi. And this Indian yogurt is popular because of its distinct taste.
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    Indian dahi

    3. Lychee. Yes, those irresistible sub-tropical fruits are specially sourced at stores like Apna Bazaar.

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    Litchis!

    4. Punjabi samosas are high on nostalgia value. Besides, fresh ones placed strategically at the cashier’s counter become even more tempting.

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    Fresh samosas

    5. Indian vegetables – from roots to leaves, they’re the ingredients you need to make Indian bhaaji and without them, the kitchen is incomplete. Tough to find all Indian vegetables at Walmart. Tindli, paapdi zindabad.

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    Leaves! Tandaljo, Gongura, Poi, Dill, Methi and Cilantro (Kothmir)

    6. Deep fried goodness. From chakli and shankarpali to gaathia, khakra and other ‘namkeen’ (savoury) snacks, stores like Patel Brothers stock them all.

     

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    Chakli and shankarpali
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    “Loose” snacks or what we call farsaan in Mumbai

    7. Indian religious and festive accessories. We need them to celebrate and follow customs!

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    Pooja material

    8. And finally, the one object I myself had a tough time finding. Buckets. For bucket baths, of course. I found one at Home Depot that is used for painting and then saw these at Patel Brothers.

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