The Spot: New India Bazaar and Cuisine, open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.
See also: - Khaana Khazana: Fun to Say, Fun to Eat Indian Cuisine in Chandler - New India Bazaar & Cuisine: Shedding Light on a Grocery Store's Secret Restaurant - Fujiya Market in Tempe: What We Bought, What We Skipped and What We're Still Lusting Over
What We Bought: For all you Phoenicians craving curries and masalas and kormas, stop by Indian Bazaar and Cuisine on Seventh Street for lunch or dinner. If you're interested in continuing the adventure at home, the market section of the restaurant has pretty much everything you'll need (aside from talent) to re-create your favorite dish at home. If you're short cooking skills, don't fret -- MTR packaged curries and masalas are not only idiot-proof (you just boil the bag), they're also tasty and $1.99 for a full meal.
Also idiot-proof are the quart jugs of delicious, sweet, creamy and tangy mango lassi ($4.99), one of our favorite Indian beverages. For more adventurous drinkers, we recommend the Rooh Afza ($4.99) "Summer Drink of the East," which is fruity, floral, and herby and hailed for its mysterious cooling abilities. It also goes great in a Hendrick's and tonic.
Finally, we do have to mention the grab-and-go treats and sweets at the deli counter like veggie samosas and sweet peda pastries. The most irresistible item in the case definitely is the $1.29 portion of rasmalai, a pudding-like paneer and cream dessert flavored with cardamom.
What We Skipped: We're going to make this skip list quick. Why? Because India Bazaar is cool and we can just be finicky sometimes. Times like when we see canned, pickled turnip cauliflower, for instance. Or other times, when we pick up a bottle of mustard oil, which was once incorrectly considered not safe for human consumption in the United States. However, we really don't get why anyone would buy a Cuppa Mania freeze-dried masala noodles when you can get those MTR packs are just as easy to make and cheap, but way more tasty than that cuppa nonsense.
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What We're Still Lusting Over: We've got wicked condiment lust after visiting India Bazaar's jarred goods aisle. Hot lime relish ($3.49) and sweet mango chutney ($6.99) would both make excellent, exotic additions to our collection of pickles and preserves. We also still long to have a "Chai Moment" with the $4.99 boxes of either masala and cardamom tea, but our tea collection is even more overwhelming than the jar collection. Next time.