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Old 02-03-2016, 02:56 AM   #41
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Kayelle, you want links? I could probably find enough for you to make a bracelet.
The Spice House
Run by the sister (and her hubby) of the guy who owns "Penzeys". Some of the blends are the same under different names, most are their own.
Spice Merchants
I've shopped in two of their stores, never online. The stores were located in vacation, touristy areas. I really like their Thai Coconut blend on shrimp, but at $4 an ounce plus shipping I can do without. I'm cheap that way.
Savory Spice Shop
IF I remember the story right, one or both of the couple who founded this used to work for Penzeys. There was some legal dust-up about stealing blend recipes and stuff, but I think it's all been settled. Any review I've seen from people who have shopped with them (like RP) have nothing but good to say.
Spice Barn
Have never dealt with them, but I did have a link in my "Coffee, Tea, and Spices" folder when I went snooping around online one night for stuff. It doesn't cost anything to look, right? :

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPCookin View Post
The only reason I try to throw in a different option is because there are differences, especially with custom blends. I know that Penzey's has blends that Savory doesn't and vice versa. It pays to shop around...
Yes, it does. Sometimes one will offer a certain something that the others don't and you just NEED that item. I'm like that with powdered bay leaf. Used to be able to pick it up at Caprilands in CT when we first moved here. They since have fallen away from what they were; Pays to look around. Found it at the Spice House. Happy me!
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:47 PM   #42
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Ha! I don't know if I should thank you or not CG! All those links lead to the rabbit holes we all fall into. I'm on a hunt for the Herbs de Provence without lavender so it may be a while before I come up for air.
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Old 02-03-2016, 03:08 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
Do you have a link Rick? I'd like to check them out, and can't find it.
SavorySpiceShop.com
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Old 02-04-2016, 12:58 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
Cumin is another good one to have ( if you like Mexican or Indian ).

If your really enjoy Indian food, there are probably a half dozen or so spices that can be added to the list.
ONLY half a dozen????

NAY, my friend, if you REALLY like Indian food, there are far more than half a dozen spices you'll want to have on hand, LOL!

Cumin
Coriander
Ajwain
ground chili (not chile powder)
Turmeric
Asofoetida
Kala jeera
Ground mango or ground papaya seed (astringent)
Cardamom
Black cardamom
Cinnamon
Cloves
Nutmeg
Fenugreek seed
Fennel
Black or brown mustard seeds

There are several others that are less frequently used, such as sesame seed, mace, nigella (onion seed), basil seed, etc. At least in my style of cooking. A list of the most commonly used spices varies greatly depending on the region.

But with the exception of kala jeera and maybe the ajwain, I'd be hard pressed to do much cooking on a regular basis without everything in the list. And I may have left one or two items off the list.

And that coriander? Buy whole seed only, dry roast, and grind it fresh. The flavorful oils in coriander seed are extremely volatile. No pre-ground coriander is worth spit, you might as well sprinkle your food with dust. It is best ground up just before use, but I generally roast and grind up about a half cup at a time and keep it in a small Lock 'n Lock container. Fresh ground is the best, but stored this way in a super-duper-air-tight container that is as small as possible (reduces oxidation), it will last for at least a couple of months without totally losing all scent and flavor. I know because that is how long I've had my current batch and its still OK.

Cumin is also best when fresh roasted and ground, but it will last a lot longer than ground coriander even in a "regular", not particularly air-tight spice container. I don't bother with either cumin or coriander in the pre-ground state anymore.

Just in case anybody wants to stock up and do some serious Indian cooking. And that's not even TOUCHING the herbal components, LOL!
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Old 02-04-2016, 01:38 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
<snippage>
I'm just posting this so you can see the variety of curries available - and these are just some of the Indian ones. Take a look at the ingredients and see which appeal to you: https://www.penzeys.com/online-catal...4/p-1550/pd-gb
OMG, that is freakin' expensive! I love Penzey's, but that is ridiculous!

Don't buy that - you can buy the stuff to make your own way way more cheaply. For that much money you could fill your pantry with nearly every spice used in Indian cooking (excluding saffron which is mondo expensive and really more herbal than spice). Even the more esoteric stuff.

Garam masala is super easy. You can make it from ground spices if you'd rather not grind your own. Even so, it'll be way better than any pre-packaged version. One super simple recipe is here:

Easy Garam Masala

Note that you should never ever buy coriander in ground form, buy only whole seed and roast and grind it yourself, takes only a few minutes. Keep it in a super-duper air tight container as small as possible - I use small Lock 'n Lock containers. Cumin also benefits from being treated this way, but its nowhere nears as bad as ground coriander for rapid flavor loss. Pre-ground coriander is no better than dust.

I can get a recipe for Balti if anyone wants it as well. Personally I rarely use it - I think it's a Kashmiri thing? Or Bengali? Something north. I cook S. Indian style and Balti masala isn't used there.

With the sole exception of Garam masala - which is easily made at home - there is nothing in that gift box that is very useful in any real sense.

There are 3 kinds of curry powder in that box, somewhat arbitrarily labeled "Sweet", "Hot", and "Maharajah". Curry powder is not a thing in India. It barely exists, and certainly not in any form familiar to USians. USian curry powders almost ubiquitously are composed of mostly turmeric, because its so cheap. If you want a curry powder (I admit I use it occassionaly, as did my S. Indian MIL) buy it from an Indian grocery. You don't need 3 kinds of it though. Stay away from anything that is predominantly yellow - its mostly turmeric.

Then they list Garam masala and Balti (which is more properly Balti masala as Balti is the dish you cook using that blend of spices). You can make either of these at home quite easily.

As for the rest of it - Tandoori Seasoning, Rogan Josh seasoning, Vindaloo seasoning - none of those are a thing. AVOID!

You CAN buy most of this stuff as prepackaged spice mixes in an Indian grocery - but that's sort of like doing all your cooking using McCormack's spice packets.

My gosh, that's nearly $10 per small bottle. Make your own, or if you're really attracted to the commercial mixes, at least buy the far cheaper and much more authentic mixes from an Indian grocer or online. I like iShopIndia.com.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:39 AM   #46
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If you pay attention, I clearly said I was posting it to show the variety of curries and what is in Penzey's version of each one. People can decide on their own whether it's worth it to buy a blend or buy the individual components. If you've never had a particular one before, it can be a good idea to buy a blend to try it out. And I don't think Penzey's is expensive for the quality and amount you get. YMMV, of course.

Not every place has an Indian grocery store.

You remind me of another member who thinks his way is the only good way. It's not true for you, either.
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Old 02-04-2016, 06:20 PM   #47
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I buy spices from my spice sage http://www.myspicesage.com you usually get a free 1 oz. sample (sometimes you can choose from several) and free shipping.
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:43 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by msmofet View Post
I buy spices from my spice sage http://www.myspicesage.com you usually get a free 1 oz. sample (sometimes you can choose from several) and free shipping.
Thanks MsM. I sure like they have free shipping even for small orders. I just ordered some granulated garlic because that's all I need right now, and they're sending (my choice) of Jamaican Jerk seasoning for free. Great deal!
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Old 02-05-2016, 09:19 AM   #49
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Thanks MsM. I sure like they have free shipping even for small orders. I just ordered some granulated garlic because that's all I need right now, and they're sending (my choice) of Jamaican Jerk seasoning for free. Great deal!
You're welcome K. Glad you're happy and got a good deal.
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:26 AM   #50
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Penzey's has a couple of coupons available right now. You can use them in stores, online, or over the phone.
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