Indian Grocery Shopping!

So much has happened this past month, my goodness! Three major events that occurred, in this order, that influenced my blogging absence (although I’m not making excuses):

1. Official acceptance into the Dental Hygiene Program. Which begins in 22 days exactly. So stoked. It still doesn’t feel real yet. Maybe once I put on my embroidered wine-colored scrubs and shiny new white Danskos it will. I was a nervous wreck for the majority of the month previous to finding out, being on the fence, not knowing whether or not I’d be in starting this Fall. I was the second to last person to be accepted aka. the caboose at the end of the train. So that means I am in the graduating class of 2012! And that I be even more absent blogging on here! But, it also means that at the age of 23, I will be an RDH, able to support myself independently in any state I wish to move to and then I will be able to enjoy my baking/blogging/artsy life all over again. Two years of sacrifice will be totally worth it.
2. Graduating from the Ayurveda program at MMI, receiving a diploma for Ayurvedic Diet & Lifestyle Counseling. That 7 month program went by in a flash. It felt just like yesterday Dr. Lad was feeling my pulse and examining my tongue on my 21st birthday. Although I have to say I don’t feel quite comfortable consulting or charging any clients yet, the program was a great foundation to build off of in my life long discovery and learning of Ayurveda. I still have a lot of information to process, digest, and assimilate before I feel comfortable consulting others. And, unfortunately, the subject will have to be on the back burner for quite a bit while I’m studying more of a Western approach to preventative health. It’ll always be there, though.
3. Ran my second half-marathon in San Francisco!
Phew! Yeah, that was a jam-action-packed month, for sure. But a lot of fun. Now it’s just a little less than 3 weeks left of buckling down, working a lot, and preparing for the next two years. Craziness.
Well, while I was in the lovely city of San Francisco for the weekend of the marathon, I managed to do a lot of other fun things besides subjecting myself to the mandatory expo and 13.1 mile run over the Golden Gate Bridge and back. The GPS was my best friend and took me on all sorts of adventures–SF Underground Market, Indian grocery shopping at Bombay Bazar and New India Bazzar, shopping on Valencia St., brunch crab omelet at Fritz, thai food, Plant Organic Cafe brunch, Ferry Building and (AMAZING!) vegan donuts, and Humphry Slocombe ice cream. I had a great weekend, indeed. And now I realize it was all involving food. Ha!
I intend to do full individual posts on each of the places above but first I want to share with you my Indian grocery store shopping experience–something I had been looking forward to do for a while now. As you can see, I went a bit crazy. Stocked up on lots of Ayurvedic staples: basmati rice, mung beans, flours, and spices. Kitcharee will be my low-cost, go-to, get-through-school meal staple throughout the next 2 years, so I’m planning ahead and it will be cost effective in the long run. And it’ll give me a great excuse to drive to the city to buy more when I run out. Anyway, here are a few of the things that I try to incorporate into my Ayurvedic and daily cooking. Maybe you’ll be inspired to do some of the same! You can also click on the links below to find information on health benefits and uses in the kitchen.
(When I asked if it was okay to take pictures in here, the store clerk asked me if I was associated with Yelp. Hah.)
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They had the most AMAZING ice cream flavors. I wanted every single one. But…
I had a pakora instead.
Indian films.
Ghee!
Rose syrup, which I’d never seen before.
Here’s what I took home:
-“Chakki Atta“, whole wheat flour for making rotis
Rice Flour for gluten-free baking and cooking
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Recipe to make your own here.
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Neem (curry leaves).
Great for so many recipes and dals.
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Asafoetida (aka. hing & Food of the Gods), a strong & unique smelling Ayurvedic herb, is a great cooking aid for high Vata conditions and helps reduce flatulence (add to bean dishes!)
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Perfect for making kitchari.
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Masoor dal.
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Herbal mouth freshners and preserved sugared rose petals.
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Rose Water. Essential.
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Tamarind paste. Great for making curries and peanut sauces.
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Sindhav salt. Ayurvedically, the only salt that is cooling, not heating (great for Pitta).
Has more trace minerals than regular salt, and increases metabolic efficiency.
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Ajwain seeds, similar to the smell of thyme.
Great for aiding digestion.
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Chakki Atta = “freshly ground” whole wheat flour (refers to it being freshly ground by human power). Yummy! This will be put to use to make chapaits.
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Also purchased: basmati rice, coconut powder, a strainer for ghee, a henna kit, and other spices.
And, of course, you can’t leave without bendis.
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A masala dabba. Finally! I’ve been wanting one for so long. But they gypped me on one spice tin.
(Pictured above starting at top left: ajwan seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon sticks, saffron, asafoetida, and cardamom pods in the center)

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