The nice thing about living in the ozarks is that life is cheap. One of the sucky parts is that organic nutmeg is considered an exotic spice. I’m trying to get into making indian food, but I simply can’t find the things I need on good enough quality or quantity. I can’t find cardamom pods anywhere. I’m trying to make a good garam masala.
They also have some retail stores, but great stuff. 8 oz of spices is a lot more than you think. Word of advice!
They have several kinds of cardamon pods.
I second Penzey’s
I see I’m late to the party, but Penzey’s is what I came in to say.
I have 3 different types of cardamon. None of the recipes I have specify WHICH type to use, so they sit unused. I’m not sure if there is a largish town around you, but an indian grocer is a fantastic place to find spices. The first time I went was when I truly understood why people took such pains to get to India and back.
I haven’t tried Penzey’s, but have heard nothing but good things about them over the years. I think Alton Brown uses another spiceteria, he’d have it listed on his website.
Heh. Another board I read had a similar question last week, and there was about a 20-post simulpost for penzey!
Pendery’s, just to be different.
What about Penzey’s?
I’ve only shopped in-store, not online, but it was an amazing experience. The staff knows a LOT about herbs/spices.
I work at a Penzeys store. We have three kinds of whole cardamom (white, green, and black) plus ground cardamom. We also carry garam masala, but recipes for that vary widely and may be different than what you make.
White is used in European recipes and baking, green is used in Indian recipes and in things like Chai. Black cardamom is from Africa and has a stronger smoky taste. It was a cheaper substitute for green caradamon, but is now sometimes used in Indian cooking in its own right.
Thanks guys Penzeys was perfect. I may have gone a little crazy. My wife may kill me for this. Here is what I ordered.
Cardamom #2 Green Pods 4 oz. bag
Sanaam Chili Peppers 8 oz. bag
Coriander Whole 8 oz. bag
Cumin Whole 8 oz. bag
Ceylon Cloves Whole 8 oz. bag
Cinnamon Sticks 4" 1 lb. bag
Mace Blade 4 oz. bag
Saffron Kashmir 1G jar
Nutmeg Whole 8 oz. bag
Garam Masala .9 oz. 1/4 cup jar
It’s too bad they didn’t sell good spice grinders. Once I started spending, there was nothing to stop me. I’ll have to get a cheap coffee grinder. My book claims that some of these spices should be pounded rather than ground. I’ll also need to find a good way to store them in the deep freeze and still keep them dry.
That’s a lot of whole nutmeg. I bought some years ago, and STILL have a lot left. I grate it with a fine Micro-plane grater, which works…well…great. Just curious as to what you are making with all those aromatic spices?
Oops, never mind. I’m an idiot.
Just to add one more name to the party: When Alton Brown did a show on spices, he went to World Spice (which just happens to be based here in Seattle, no, I’m not mentioning it for hometown partisan reasons, not at all, nope).
Dude, you have no idea how much spices you just ordered! A pound of cinnamon? That’s going to be enough to build quite a few Lincoln Log cabins. I’m still working on the 3 whole nutmegs I got 2 years ago. One hasn’t been touched yet, and the others are still quite large.
I don’t know. I went through an ounce of corriander, an ounce of cumin, and half an ounce of cardamom pods in a month. Granted, I’m not finished using the curry powders I made with them, but I’m going through them pretty quickly. They are great spices to add to steamed veggies. Toss in some yogurt and your practically making an indian dish right there, and it only takes ten minutes. The recipe I have calls for a half cup of most of these spices. It’s true, I can cut the quantities in half or quarter, but I don’t really see the need. As long as I keep the dry in the deep freeze, they should last a long time.
Somewhat related question based on the pound of cinnamon sticks: I remember hearing or reading somewhere that you should never buy cinnamon sticks and grind them (unlike the advice given on other spices, which is generally to buy whole and grind yourself) because the sticks are made from inferior cinnamon. Does anyone know if this is actually true?
Maybe not inferior, but definitely lower in flavor.
I must admit, I was a bit dissapointed with the fact that there was no selection for cinnamon sticks, but all of the recipes I’ve encountered specifically require me to cook the cinnamon in stick form then grind.
I’ve shopped in-store at The Spice House and was utterly delighted.
It’s almost impossible to beat Penzey’s ground Vietnamese Cassia for high oil content and a potent punch.