Spicing it up, in bulk (Day 165)…


There’s nothing that quite warms the soul like a kick-ass organic paneer kofta or a free-range chicken tikka masala. But as anyone who’s ever attempted to cook homemade Indian food knows, there are usually at least 15 different spices in the ingredients list, and once you start running out of all the garam masala and dried fenugreek, it can mean a lot more plastic every time something’s replenished.

But as Carrie so brilliantly pointed out last month, a good eco-friendly option is to head to a marketplace or bazaar where they sell spices in bulk (luckily for me, Toronto has a Little India). Not only will these probably be of higher quality but it also means you can bring your own container to refill, and you’ll definitely get more for your money.

So as of today, I’m walking right past the spice aisle in the grocery store and taking my own containers to the House of Spices just up the street.

Photo of spices in a Chamonix marketplace by Gavin Bell at Flickr

6 Responses to Spicing it up, in bulk (Day 165)…

  1. Hellcat13 says:

    Plus, the grocery stores tend to oversell the quantity – less frequently used spices always go stale before I use them up. I will have to search Ottawa and see what I can find, as I’m always grumbling about having too much prepacked this or that.

  2. zzgavin says:

    Glad you like the picture

  3. Chile says:

    Bulk spices are so much cheaper, too. I’ve been using the same spice jars that I got when I moved out on my own in college….and that’s quite a few years ago!

  4. Rhett says:

    How can I find a place that does this? I’d murder for bulk spices, but I know the local Whole Foods doesn’t do this and certainly the chain grocery stores don’t.

  5. Try ethnic grocery stores! We just found an African market (mostly Ethiopian) that carries a lot of bulk food, including spices, and several Indian products. Or look for a small Indian market – although I haven’t found one here (Denver, Colorado, USA) that has bulk spices. You can at least buy the right volume — freeze the extra and it will last longer and use less packaging.

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