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    • nearlyrich
    • By nearlyrich 6th Feb 05, 1:17 PM
    • 13,335Posts
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    Inexpensive Spices
    • #1
    • 6th Feb 05, 1:17 PM
    Inexpensive Spices 6th Feb 05 at 1:17 PM
    Hope this is in the right place, feel free to move it....

    I spotted large packs of spices in our local Tesco, things such as Hot Chilli Powder, Tumeric, Fenugreek and others suitable for Indian Curry style cooking.
    These were all under £2 for packs ranging from 400g to 1Kg which compared to the price of the tiny packs they usually sell was a massive saving for anyone regualarly making curries from scratch.

    I know they don't keep these in stock everywhere because we have other Tesco stores nearby and they don't have them there. Might be worth asking at customer services if you can't find them.
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    • tiff
    • By tiff 6th Feb 05, 1:24 PM
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    • #2
    • 6th Feb 05, 1:24 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Feb 05, 1:24 PM
    Also I found this last week, if you have The Range near you (check website I bought 550g of turmeric last week for £2.99 which I thought was a bargain. They had many other spices there too.
    “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” - Dave Ramsey
    • Sarahsaver
    • By Sarahsaver 6th Feb 05, 1:30 PM
    • 8,219 Posts
    • 13,174 Thanks
    • #3
    • 6th Feb 05, 1:30 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Feb 05, 1:30 PM
    Or if you have Indian grocers near you they may be even cheaper. Average size packs of spices for about 30-40p, huge bags of chilli powder, garam masala etc for £1.50 to 2 quid. Those little Scw***Z jars are a complete rip off.
    If you go to spain buy saffron there because its cheaper, else get someone you know is going to get some for you.
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    • tiff
    • By tiff 6th Feb 05, 1:34 PM
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    • #4
    • 6th Feb 05, 1:34 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Feb 05, 1:34 PM
    Another place abroad to buy spices is Turkey I noticed Morrisons sell large packs too.
    “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” - Dave Ramsey
    • VickyA
    • By VickyA 6th Feb 05, 3:00 PM
    • 4,448 Posts
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    • #5
    • 6th Feb 05, 3:00 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Feb 05, 3:00 PM
    Our local market has a stall that sells packets of these spices and herbs for very very reasonable prices. The same stall also sells things like packs of lentils, soy sauce for equally as impressive prices! Shame I don't get to go at the moment, but I have to rely on my boyfriend knowing what I'm talking about!
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  • raeble
    • #6
    • 6th Feb 05, 7:44 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Feb 05, 7:44 PM
    Also look in Iceland they have a huge range of rajah spices in packets for under about 50p, the big 400g ones are about a pound. On a par with the indian shops on price, they may under cut on some.
  • chardonnay
    • #7
    • 6th Feb 05, 11:33 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Feb 05, 11:33 PM
    thanks will look out for them
    • hilstep2000
    • By hilstep2000 7th Feb 05, 8:36 AM
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    • #8
    • 7th Feb 05, 8:36 AM
    • #8
    • 7th Feb 05, 8:36 AM
    If you have one, your local 'Scoop' shop (where you weigh stuff out yourself) sells inexpensive packets.

    Remember that if you don't use spices that often, they go off. Madjur Jaffrey used to despair of the English making curries with "stale, stale, useless herbs!"
    I Believe in saving money!!!
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    • Austin Allegro
    • By Austin Allegro 7th Feb 05, 1:38 PM
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    Austin Allegro
    • #9
    • 7th Feb 05, 1:38 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Feb 05, 1:38 PM
    Well you can tell Madhur Jaffrey that I've got a big jar of curry powder I've had for about 5 years and it still tastes bloody hot!
  • seth
    Spices do age...
    Some more than others, this is due to the volatile oils evaporating. Chilli gets it's heat from capsaicin, this is an alkaloid that chilli plant produce to deter mammals from eating them. (Birds are not effected, this is the preferred vector of dispersal.)

    Haldi (Turmeric) 2-4 years
    Chilli 2-4 years but some flavours fade
    Chilli power (roasted: lots of the oils are lost in the process anyway) 4-6 years
    Oregano 1 year (herb)
    Cloves 2-3 years, (1-2 to if you care!)
    Cardamom 2-3 years, (1-2 to if you care!)
    Cinnamon 2-3 years, (1-2 to if you care!)
    Bay leaves (indian) 3-5 years
    Bay leaves (arabic) 2-3 years
    Bay leaves (thai) 1-2 years
    Toasted blended sesame 1-3 years (cover the tops to prevent flavour loss) not for Cooking!!
    Salt indefinitely (the caking is simply the anti-caking agent being used up) no impact on taste.

    If you want to buy the fresh coriander ask for Methi leaves at your local Asian store, also Chinese supermarkets do a great 2Kg pack of thinly sliced dried garlic around £1.50 if you want fresh a 1KG bag of fresh garlic (will keep for a month of 3) is about £1. Oh while you are the bag some buk choi, tofu (the £10 bags are great value) or long life tofu in carton (the Japanese ones are the best) and Soya source in 1.5 or 2 litre bottles , about 70p to £2.30 for Kikkoman. Also rice vinegar (I like the Thai brands) is around 80p to £1.20 a big bottle. For sesame oil remember to buy toasted blended sesame for Chinese cooking (as add as a flavour after serving) this is not the same as sesame oil in Asian stores for cooking! Also there is usually a great range of vegetarian canned produce about £1 a can mock abalone, and vegetarian “oyster source” is not called “stir fry sauce” in the EU as it has no oysters, around £1.80 a bottle.

    Green/Red chillies are about 60p a pound to £1.20 depending on quality
    Scotch bonnet also available from West Indian food stores cost more but no one can use lots of these as they are officially the hottest in the world!! Yum
    Remember chillies freeze well, no need to thaw just take them out and finely slice.

    Thai kaffir lime leave Thia supermakets. The dried ones are worth considering if you cook Thai <2 a month.

    If you are serious about cooking with spices consider investing in the specil stainless steel case and containers for there use a complete set is about £1.50 to £3 depending on quality and will last forever. Again an Asian provision store will have these. And don't go to the first store, look around and look at price and quality if you have a choice.

    I periodically review the spices with the Mrs and we replenish stocks as a managed portfolio, with periodic reviews:

    1) Fresh: Garlic, Ginger, Chillies (freeze excess) (monthly)
    2) Dried (annually) dump old stuff
    3) Grains / Flours Annually

    Rice should cost around £12 to £19 per 20-40Kg sack for basmati.
    Par boiled and other types (Thai) et al are cheaper, except for Japanese rice that is in its own world! I use stick Jasmine cheaper and with rice vinegar I cannot tell.

    Finally spend some money on decent storage for these items. Glass (old jam jars and coffee bottles is best for spices) and (WARNING COSTLY ITEM) the huge plastic AIRTIGHT drums are best for flour / Rice. I get mine from a catalogue return store in Hounslow called wheelhouse, you must have something similar locally. DO NOT KEEP THESE ITEMS OUTSIDE THE HOUSE FROST IS NOT GOOD FOR FLAVOUR!!

    Nerd alert:
    Last edited by seth; 07-02-2005 at 11:44 PM. Reason: portfolio
  • raeble
    Ooh, I can't be bothered with all that chucking out. If it's moldy I'll throw it out. I'm sure I must have had a few spices at least three years.
    • chrislee765
    • By chrislee765 21st May 06, 12:09 PM
    • 375 Posts
    • 155 Thanks
    Buying Spices.
    Dear fellow MSE users,

    I want to build a spice collection so i can start cooking my own curries from scratch. Im not worried about jars or anything because they wont be on show.
    I dont have a local 'ethnic grocer' and wondered if anyone can recommend where i can buy spices from that are good quality and cheap. Ive seen a few online retailers but is there any anyone can recommend?

    Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life.
    • Jolaaled
    • By Jolaaled 21st May 06, 12:53 PM
    • 1,038 Posts
    • 2,504 Thanks
    Round my way, health food shops see spices by weight from large does work out a bit cheaper than the outrageous Schwarz-type jars.

    My cheapest source is when i go to France ( which, luckily is just down the road from me!)..their spices are much cheaper in the supermarkets..even at CitiEurope, and you get loads that seem to be far better flavour too.
    • newleaf
    • By newleaf 21st May 06, 1:50 PM
    • 3,007 Posts
    • 3,450 Thanks
    I dont have a local 'ethnic grocer'
    by chrislee765
    Really? Where on earth do you live? It's a shame, because they are a goldmine for the money conscious shopper. A health food shop is probably your next best bet, and our Tesco has a good stock of spices packed for the Rajah brand, but that is aiming to cater for the local ethnic community.
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  • helen81
    Ive bought the odd jar of curry and chilli powder from Lydls and it tastes lovely
  • lady_fuschia
    Julian Graves is good for most things, although the bags they come in are a bit pants, so you may want to transfer the to jars (I use empty pasta sauce jars) they often have 2 for 1 offers. Mixed green herbs I get from Holland and Barratt as they do a huge bag for 99p and they're very good quality. If you want to buy in serious bulk it might be worth planning a trip to the nearest town that does have an "ethnic" store (I wish there was a better word for that, it always sounds a bit pretentious to me!) and stock up. Your local supermarket might also have an Indian food section that sells bags of spices far cheaper than those in the spice section- Somerfield. Kwik save and some Tescos (usually those in areas with a large Asian population) definetely do this, and there may be others too.
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    God for a man who solicits insurance..." - Dorothy Parker
  • SusanCarter
    You could try a local market. I buy virtually all of my herbs and spices from a man in the market in Durham.
  • puffinmuffin
    Do you have local Curry restaurant that you like, maybe you could ask them where they source their spices.
  • madauri
    The Range has got large containers of assorted spices for quite a good price. And Lidl has cheap ones and they're good quality.
  • lady_fuschia
    Just to let you know, my local Tesco has just started stocking a really good range of curry spices in large jars. They've also started doing really good value Indian cooking ingredients such as chapatti flour- it could be worth a look.
    "People who "do things" exceed my endurance,
    God for a man who solicits insurance..." - Dorothy Parker
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