Over the last ten years or so I have recreated myself in the kitchen and I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way. I came from a cooking position of making mashing potato, boiling Westie veges and doing unspeakable things to meat (yes, this is still standard fare in Palmerston North – I know… ;-0 ) to discovering Jamie Oliver.
Jamie opened up a whole new world for me. I guess in a sense he is my Julia.
Anyway, I started to obsess. I adore cookbooks and discovering new cuisines. I love having a functional kitchen but most importantly I love having a full collection of herbs and spices.
In New Zealand we are served well by the large supermarket chains who have shelves full of beautifully packaged products by Greggs, Mrs Rogers and other assorted importers/packers/distributors. This is all well and good, but the reality is that this is a really expensive way to obtain your ingredients. Especially when you need to stock up.
Some years back I was introduced to Mahadeo’s – a foodie heaven hidden away in Eden Terrace – and it’s become a regular stop for me. They specialise in Indian cuisine and all that goes with it. Herbs and spices are presented in bulk bins and are very inexpensive. Do you want Paratha or Naan? It’s there. Methi leaves? They’ve got them. What I really like about this store is its vibe. It’s authenticity. The owners are fantastic people too.
To give you some idea of why you should shop there, I just purchased 21 different types of herbs and spices, ~50g of each, and the total bill was just over $10.00. That’s all. (NZD!!!).
So, if you’re into your food and cooking, and you live for exploring cuisines, I do recommend you explore markets such as Mahadeo’s. These stores are scattered all over the place in the cultural enclaves that have formed over the years. There are many in Auckland, and if you’re reading from other parts of the world, do venture out, explore and discover a world different from the one you’re used to.