What stuff can I get at the groceries in India?


Since I am easily fascinated by all the wonderful things I am discovering at the groceries, or any food market places here in Kolkata, I thought I’d put up a photo to all those curious and wondering of how shopping for groceries in India could look like. The groceries are from a popular supermarket called Spencer’s, a chain that’s present in all the Indian cities. Shumi, my help, who came out shopping with me, found the prices quite high at Spencer’s, so now i have a good idea of what’s high-end where food’s concerned!

On the very top left are 2 loaves of bread. I was curious to try them because the label on it said ‘masala bread’. I wondered if it would have any spicy stuffing in them. Sadly, it was just a smear of spices coating the bread surface, so not happy after a few bites, I sacrificed it to the sparrows and mynahs outside on my balcony, who attacked them soon enough!

Below the bread is a cellophaned case of mung bean sprouts. I had them with some chopped cucumber and tomatoes and a dash of lime, and it was so yummy!

Below the sprouts is raw green bananas. And the bulging cylindrical green vegetables in the cellophaned case, next to the bananas is a kind of gourd (I’m not sure exactly what kind!). Shumi will be using the bananas and this gourd to make a super exotic dish called ‘Shooktoh’. I will be making a post on it’s recipe soon enough! Above the gourd are 2 pieces of cucumber wrapped in cellophane. I have noticed that cucumber sizes are small in india, and the colour of the peel is yellowish-light green. Above the cucumber is a bag of potatoes.

To the right of the potatoes, is a green packet containing frozen cubes of an Indian cheese called ‘paneer’. The taste and texture is similar to mozzarella. Paneer has to be cooked before eaten, it is either lightly fried, or added to the curry sauces straight-away. To the right of the paneer in that rectangular yellow box, is a salty butter, and the brand name ‘Amul’ is very popular here in india. In fact, I personally am crazy about it’s taste! 🙂 A little bit of it smeared on indian bread or chapattis is so good!!

Below Amul is Cadbury’s dairy milk chocolate. Cadbury chocolates are hugely popular in India. In France, you normally don’t find them anywhere (because the French are partial towards their own chocolates! 🙂

Below Cadbury’s, that almost-obscure looking shiny rust coloured item is a heavenly dessert, made of dried and sweetened mango flesh. Speaking of which, it was indeed so obscure, I had completely forgotten that we’d bought it, until i see it now in the pic! So i will take a tiny break and fish it out of the fridge and eat it!

Nom nom! Gulp! Colgate and Listerine need no intro, but below them in that plastic wrapping, the tiny yellow shreds are actually julienned and fried potato sticks. I pointed out to Shumi how fattening they must be for someone to eat it just like that, out of the packet. She replied that no, people usually added it to their meals of rice mixed with lentils. I was curious, and I must say, I am hooked now to have those fried potatoes with my meals. And I do need to return to Spencer’s again, I urgently need to buy myself a weighing scale! With all the lovely food I’ve been having lately, I will need to keep myself in check!!


10 thoughts on “What stuff can I get at the groceries in India?

  1. lovely read…as usual…and i totally agree with Shumi…vegetables are way too expensive in Spencer’s. In fact the local markets will have farm-fresh stuff brought by villagers from nearby localities. Its true where I stay, ought to be true in other places too 🙂 but, I love the aam shotto of Spencer’s 🙂

    • Thanks Know All! I do agree the aam shotto is excellent in Spencer’s, and do you think I could probably get even better elsewhere?? I remember as a kid, the layers of the mango flesh were thick and even juicy!! Yumm, now I wish I hadn’t devoured it, feel like having it again!

      • haha..i usually devour one pack at a time…and then feel guilty about it 😀 you can get the thicker ones at the local fruit vendor’s…but i have a feeling the ones at Spencer’s are better… 🙂

  2. Awesome. I enjoy seeing what people find on their shopping adventures and the explanation of each and how you might be using it has my brain (and stomach) on overdrive.

    I live in Vancouver Canada, so we have a huge mix of different ethnicities here. The local grocery stores are wonderful and contain ingredients for many different types of cuisines. I love exploring them and sometimes will fashion my meals based on what I’ve found to experiment with.

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