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babycakes

Jul 8, 2009, 8:10 AM

Post #1 of 13 (7049 views)

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Indian/Arab Ingredients in Mexico

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I am looking for the following ingredients. I would like to know if I have a chance of finding them here in the D.F. and where

black loose leaf tea
rose water
saffron (the real saffron, not the Mexican saffron)
fenugreek seeds
fennel seeds
curry leaves fresh or dried, or perhaps a jar of curry paste

thanks for the help!



esperanza

Jul 8, 2009, 8:57 AM

Post #2 of 13 (7037 views)

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Re: [babycakes] Indian/Arab Ingredients in Mexico

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I live in Morelia and can't speak for the DF...but:

Black loose leaf tea, rose water, and fresh or dried curry leaves and curry paste: I've never found them either in Guadalajara or Morelia.

Fenugreek seeds in bulk should be easily available from one of the spice vendors at La Merced.

I wish I'd known you wanted fennel; I have way more than I need, brought to me from the USA, and I was in the DF just a week ago today.

PM me and I will give you a DF contact who MIGHT be able to point you in the right direction for some of these things.




http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Brigitte Ordoquy

Jul 9, 2009, 6:47 AM

Post #3 of 13 (6994 views)

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Re: [babycakes] Indian/Arab Ingredients in Mexico

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Curry is a mixture of spices , all available in Guadalajara and curry paste is available down here. Pray tell what are curry leaves? Garam masala can be found or you can make it.
The Arabs make their mint tea with green tea (not the japanse one) Green tea is available at Superlake for a high price and in bulk at the abastos. The mint grows here.

I have problem finding Keffir lime leaves since my tree died but I use grapefruit leaves to replace it. Cannot find many of the Arabic mixed spices but most of the spices to make it are available here or can be grown here.
You cannot find the soft thin skin yellow lemon they use in tajine down here.
Cannot find Sumac or berbery for Persian food, I buy it when I go to France or the States.
You can now find rose water and orange blossom water at Superlake in Ajijic, Jal.

You can find or grow a lot of ingredients for Thai and Indian food down here.
It is more difficult to find ingredients for Arabic food although there are quite few Mexican Lebanese down here and I bet they know where to find what they need.
All ingredients you have listed are found here except for the curry leaf which I do not know. No need to go to DF , Superlake has more than any store I have ever been to in Mexico. Finding these items in DF would require a lot of searching but I am sure you could find them too.


bournemouth

Jul 9, 2009, 7:05 AM

Post #4 of 13 (6987 views)

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Re: [Brigitte Ordoquy] Indian/Arab Ingredients in Mexico

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I had never heard of curry leaf either but Google provided a lot of answers - here is a basic overview:

http://www.plantcultures.org/plants/curry_leaf_landing.html


babycakes

Jul 9, 2009, 7:14 AM

Post #5 of 13 (6985 views)

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Re: [Brigitte Ordoquy] Indian/Arab Ingredients in Mexico

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There is indeed a curry tree, which produces rich aromatic leaves that are used in Indian cuisine much like bay leaves. I actually did not know that curry referred to a mixture of spices in the dish... and may not always contain the curry leaves! That's really confusing. So we both learn something new.
I am actually located in D.F. & I don't think we have any Superlakes around here.
What Indian/Thai/Arab ingredients do you personally grow here in Mexico- or have you seen at the local plant nursery?


Papirex


Jul 9, 2009, 8:13 AM

Post #6 of 13 (6978 views)

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Re: [babycakes] Indian/Arab Ingredients in Mexico

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There is only one Superlake in México. We used to live in México, D.F. before we moved to Cuernavaca. It is my wife's home town. Doris did find one little store there that would order hard to find items from Texas. Often their supplier up there could not supply the things she ordered, but often we did get them. I,m sorry I cannot give you the name or location of that store. I never went there, Doris used to just call it the Jewish store.


When I asked her what the name of the store is, she told me she didn't know, it was small, and there was no sign. It was run by a very nice elderly Jewish couple, so she just called it the Jewish store.


An aunt and a great-aunt have lived in Ajijic for over 50 years. Our visits to them always include a shopping trip to Superlake, there is nothing like it anywhere else in The Republic. Price be damned, you can buy things there that are not available anywhere else in México. Newcomers that have not traveled around this country much, do not realize what a jewel it is.


México City is a huge megalopolis, but you will never find the equivalent of a Superlake there.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


Brigitte Ordoquy

Jul 9, 2009, 8:20 AM

Post #7 of 13 (6974 views)

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Re: [babycakes] Indian/Arab Ingredients in Mexico

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Thanks for the inormation. My friends in England were from Northern India and I have never seen them use or speak of curry leaves or Neem leaves and they always made they own curry paste. The tree looks really pretty, I wonder if we could grow it here in Ajijic. It would be interresting to get some fresh seeds.
Since you live in DF the climate may be too cool in the winter to have some of the more tropical plants from the Far East.
Here I have a litchee tree, I have tons of lemon grass (te de lemon)which is very comon here but used differently. The gardener takes the leaves and I take the white part .I had a keffir lime tree growing in a pot which the gardner forgot to water and killed this year. We grow the mint and many spices to have them fresh when we need them.
The pink bays grow wild here at lakeside on the pirul trees and you can buy them at Superlake for 60 pesos a little jar. The sweet thai basil grows well here. I grew it from seeds a friend gave me from a garden and not using so much of it I let it go but it does well here.
BY the way I used to have family bring me rose water and orange blossom water evertime they came and all of a sudden they showed up in our local market so someone in Mexico imports them.
Since you do not have a Superlake in DF, I guess you have to go looking for things or take a bus and load up on what you need. You can also ask the restaurants in your area the name of the distributors and importers where they get their ingredients.
Most of the spices are available it is a question of looking and looking.


gbatrucks


Jul 9, 2009, 9:48 AM

Post #8 of 13 (6966 views)

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Re: [babycakes] Indian/Arab Ingredients in Mexico

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Fennugreek seeds are available at the Abastos in Guadalajara...Check at your major produce distribution center in D.F. And you are right...so-called mexican saffron is absolutly NOT a substitute for real saffron...Check your local Walmart mega store..It is available at the one in Ajijic.
"The trouble with life is there's no background music."


Brigitte Ordoquy

Jul 9, 2009, 10:44 AM

Post #9 of 13 (6945 views)

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Re: [gbatrucks] Indian/Arab Ingredients in Mexico

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What they call saffron in Chiapas is curcuma or turmeric sometimes with chili. You can also find it fresh, they are small roots like ginger.
In Chiapas a lot of the spices I use are found in the medecinal shops, we have a running joke on it with the owners, they always ask me what I am going to cook with the spices and they tell me what ailment they treat.
Saffron is very expensive so there is no getting mixed up with anything else.


whistler

Jul 9, 2009, 12:22 PM

Post #10 of 13 (6932 views)

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Re: [Brigitte Ordoquy] Indian/Arab Ingredients in Mexico

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It's nice to see some other Indian food fans here in Mexico. I thought I was the only one. I have four curry leaf plants growing in my home in Morelia. I also have most of the common Indian food ingredients, as I bring them from the USA.

Curry leaves are key for cooking the cuisine of Southern India, different from that of the north.

All the Indian ingredients that arent available in Mexico can be brought from the USA, but the curry leaves need to be fresh. When my plants get bigger, I will have seeds and will give them away.

The seeds can be bought through the mail from sources in the USA and India, but they remain viable for only a few weeks at best after being harvested.


Brigitte Ordoquy

Jul 9, 2009, 12:58 PM

Post #11 of 13 (6925 views)

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Re: [whistler] Indian/Arab Ingredients in Mexico

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Please let me know when you have seeds, the tree looks vry nice and since it it is not a huge tree I would love to add it to the garden. A friend of mine is supposed to bring seeds in October but who knows if they can make it until here, you are a lot closer than Florida.
I will try to get another keffir lime if I can. If you are interrested let me know.


Anonimo

Jul 9, 2009, 4:39 PM

Post #12 of 13 (6897 views)

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Re: [babycakes] Indian/Arab Ingredients in Mexico

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"Al Diwan", a store of Middle Eastern ingredients and pastries, PLUS coffeehouse; on Avenida Cuautehmoc, Colonia Doctores (just barely into Doctores where it borders Colonia Roma Norte.)
It's on the east side of Ave. Cuautehmoc, a very few blocks south of Ave. Álvaro Obregón's eastern terminus.

I can't say that they have everything you are looking for, but it's likely. The day we were there in late December, they closed at 6 p.m., but that may have been holiday related.

By the way, I have a surplus of fennel, so if you are in the Morelia-Pátzcuaro area, I can supply a modest amount.


Buen provecho,
Anonimo

Edit: Nick Gilman, of "Good Food In Mexico City" fame, has posted on his blog a compendium of Middle Eastern (really, Lebanese) restaurants and a Lebanese shop or two in Mexico City.

Read it here:
http://tinyurl.com/lqwf56

(This post was edited by Anonimo on Jul 17, 2009, 4:53 PM)


gbatrucks


Jul 11, 2009, 1:04 AM

Post #13 of 13 (6841 views)

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Re: [babycakes] Indian/Arab Ingredients in Mexico

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There's an English lady that owns a deli in Melaque that stocks a lot of Indian and Balti spices...I got curry leaves and tandori powder on our last trip. I think she gets them in the states. curry leaves, lightly fried with onion seeds, sometimes fennugreek seeds is often a base in receipes from this region.
"The trouble with life is there's no background music."
 
 
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