Well, the obvious place is your local supermarket. Most good supermarkets stock a wide range of spices including curry powder, cumin, garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, coriander, fennel and cardamom – the list is almost endless.
And most good supermarkets also stock fresh ingredients such as chillies, ginger, cinnamon and spinach. Be careful when using chillies for the first time if you’re not sure how hot they are – it’s better to use just a little and build from there rather than use too much and kill your tastebuds. Be careful when handling chillies to make sure that you don’t rub the residue in your eyes (if you do this then you need to wash your eyes out with milk, rather than water).
Most people buy their rice from a supermarket and the range includes long grain and basmati (my favourite). If you’re into rice in a big way, or have a big family to feed, you can usually buy big bags (and sometimes sacks) of rice from your supermarket.
You can buy your meat from the supermarket or your can pop into your local butcher (if you have one).
Again, you can get your vegetables from a supermarket or you can visit your local greengrocer (or vegetable barn). My local greengrocer has a wide range of produce including spinach, aubergines, fresh herbs, onions, etc.
Most large towns and cities have Asian food stores where you can buy a vast range of fresh ingredients as well as all of the different types of flour to make those yummy poppadoms, chapatti and naan bread. The more lazy of us can just buy these items ready made and heat them up in a microwave or oven – who says you have to work hard to enjoy good food? The Asian stores or supermarkets are also good suppliers of lentils and beans that you need for your favourite dal. And you can also pick up jars of your favourite mango chutney or lime pickle from these places (or you can make your own chutney or pickle)
If you don’t know where your good supermarkets or Asian food stores are located just search Google or check out your local yellow pages web site. You’ll find what you need very easily.
Remember to experiment with your recipes – that’s part of the fun of cooking for yourself. If there isn’t enough curry powder then add some more. If you think there’s too much garam masala then cut back a little. If you want more heat then add another chilli. Food is different for everybody.
If you’ve got a good recipe then why not post it on to the CurryFocus web site? We’ll publish it for the world to see and try. And we give you the credit. Here is the new recipe page address.