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BEST INDIAN GROCERY Minneapolis 2004 - Flavors of India

Flanked by The Donut Connection and across from Lyndale Garden Center, Flavors of India, with its faded window sign and dull lighting, is easy to miss. But once inside, the fragrance of dried rose petals, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and musk mark this exotic and authentic place. You'll find shelves of freshly ground spices, whole seeds for grinding, with names we can't spell, plus legumes and nuts, three types of Basmati, two kinds of Jasmine (in short, lots of rice) for half the price you'd pay in most grocery stores. There are rows of canned and jarred chutneys, sauces, pickles, and preserves; quarts of fresh mango and papaya juice; plus fresh odd little cucumbers, curry leaf (much different than dried curry spice blends), tiny eggplants, and peppers. If you don't know how to use them, the woman at the counter in a beautiful mauve sari with gold threading and a red mark on her forehead will tell you and then sell you the makings of a great meal. If you're not quite that adventurous, then take home frozen entrées (curried vegetables, Pooranam, or steamed dumplings) in slick microwaveable packages. Offering the latest Indian movies in DVD and VHS, music CDs and cassettes, vases and religious totems, this passage to India is well worth the trip.

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