Spice Trade Relocates to South Orange Avenue
A local cooking coach makes a happy discovery in R. S. Asian Market
Good news for those who love to cook and eat: R. S. Asian Market has moved from Irvington Avenue to South Orange Avenue. Owner Ravi Puvanaraja has relocated the popular store to the strip of stores across from Rite-Aid, close to on-street and a municipal parking lot.
When the store was located on Irvington Avenue, Patch writer and chef visited. We look back at her review:
As a cooking coach who teaches Indian cuisine, I always struggle to guide people to the right store for the appropriate spices. Most of the common spices are available in local stores like Eden Gourmet and Pathmark, but some of the more exotic ones are harder to find. In the past I sent everyone to Edison, NJ, which is full of Indian grocery stores but it is a good thirty minutes away and the big stores are a bit overwhelming.
I gave the store a visit recently and realized all the exotic spices I cook with are available at this tiny little gem. You may have to navigate your own way around, as the friendly woman sitting behind the counter was not fluent in English. That shouldn't be a problem since the store is not big.
I was able to find the most asked about curry leaves for -- are you ready for this? -- .50! Yes, that is right, a whole pack cost .50. Most recipes call for about eight to 10 curry leaves, so as long as you store the rest in a ziplock bag in a freezer, you will be able to reuse them whenever you want. The leaves impart their flavor once they come in contact with hot oil- be careful not to burn them.
I also found brown mustard seeds, another very sought-after spice, which is not available in most grocery stores. A small pack that will last you for a very long time is $2.49. I store all my bulk spices in a spare freezer in my basement and keep a small quantity outside in my kitchen.
Another essential is fenugreek seeds, probably the hardest to find of the three. Most people I meet are unfamiliar with fenugreek seeds. The best way to describe the flavor is to compare it to fresh thyme, but twenty times stronger and pungent. A little goes a long way. A pack of fenugreek seeds was $1.49.
You can also buy loose teas, variety of hot sauces, ketchups, canned beans, lentils and pickles at very reasonable prices.
All of you have no excuse not to cook your favorite Indian dishes from now on. Here is a cauliflower recipe cooked with mustard seeds and curry leaves. Visit my blog for other easy, healthy dishes and to utilize all the spices you buy from R. S. Asian Market.
Cauliflower and Potatoes with Mustard Seeds & Curry Leaves
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
3-4 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
6-7 curry leaves
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons coriander powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a wok like pan, heat the olive oil. Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and ginger. Saute on medium high heat for a minute, or till the seeds begin to sizzle. Add the cauliflower and potatoes. Mix well. Add the turmeric, salt, coriander powder and cayenne pepper. Mix well and sauté for 5 minutes on medium heat. Lower the heat and cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or till the cauliflower and potatoes are soft and tender.