Friday, February 19, 2010

A taste of Aggarwal

We love international foods in our household—the different flavors add variety to our everyday menu and account for much of the joy of travel. My husband mastered Tom Yum Gai at a Bangkok cooking school, and I’ve fooled with various recipes to create a saag that closely resembles a Sherpa’s staple. International eating is such a part of our lifestyle, that after an initial overindulgence in Swiss chocolate and cheese, we were soon craving our Thai, Mexican and Indian favorites. At first glance, we feared we must rely on visitors to bring us bags of pintos and jars of salsa as many of the international ingredients we could find in Boulder supermarkets are not available in the Swiss general grocer. However, we learned that most everything is available in Switzerland if you know where to look. A number of smaller specialty stores abound throughout Basel, including the fabulous Aggarwal. Brought to my attention by Rylla and Nicole, Aggarwal carries a wide variety of international foods from throughout Asia and Africa, and even has a small section of Mexican foods. Authentic curry pastes, rice noodles, soy sauce, fish sauce, dried galangal, candied ginger, coconut milk, garam masala, mango chutney, mixed pickle, tortillas, bamboo shoots, fresh cilantro/coriander…they’ve got it all! Especially impressive is the selection of dried beans and lentils in reasonably priced large bags.

My first trip to Aggarwal was with a good friend who originally hails from India. She helped me explore and answered my questions about brands, spice mixtures, produce, and “what do I do with this?” My crash course introduced me to some exciting meals that are both simple and delicious! I heartily recommend the following: Gits Sambhar Mix, which makes a sour and spicy lentil curry with practically zero effort, and MDH Pav Bhaji masala, which adds a special zip to otherwise boring vegetables. Of course, I also whipped up a batch of tasty pintos...

1 comment:

Erin said...

mmmmm, that looks SO good! aggarwal rocks! :)