Have you been doing tons of cooking while you’re stuck in social isolation or quarantine? The uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and the calls for social isolation to ‘flatten the curve’ have forced many people around the world into their homes. While American supply chains are holding strong and stores have plenty of food, the thought of going store to store to find specialty ingredients is not appealing.
That’s why online shops are a lifesaver for so many home cooks. They offer incredible choice that you can shop from the comfort and safety of home. Some of our favorite South Asian ingredients, including whole spices, are found in these online shops, and are cheaper and fresher than you can find in grocery stores. Here are some of our favorite online retailers for spices and South Asian pantry staples, current as of the March 24, so double check store status at each website.
World Spice Merchants
Headquartered in Seattle, World Spice Merchants has closed their brick and mortar shop but offers online ordering. Flat rate shipping anywhere in the USA is just $5.95. They have tons of incredible spices available in sizes ranging from 1 oz to 1 pound. In addition to their bulk single spices, you can also buy their custom spice blends. TTheir South Asian section is expansive, and you can buy any blend either whole or pre-ground. Remember to sign up for their newsletter, so you can get 10 percent off your first order.
Boasting more than 600 different spices, herbs, and seasonings, My Spice Sage is a one-stop shop for any home chef. They have a huge variety of Indian and South Asian spices, including more unusual options like Balti spice and cardamom extract. In addition the store offers everyday pantry essentials, ranging from garbanzo beans and English breakfast tea to locust bean gum and soy sauce powder. Shipping on any order is free, and right now they’re running a promotion giving 10 percent off orders of $250 or more.
IShopIndian.com offers every possible South Asian pantry staple available. In addition to spices, herbs, and tea, you can find a huge selection of cooking oils, ghee, fresh-made rotis and naan, snacks from brands like Abhiruchi, Bombay Magic, and Sukhadia Garbaddas Bapuji, and dozens of varieties of pickles. Shipping is free for orders over $109, and they can deliver anywhere in the USA except Alaska and Hawaii. When you’re filling up your pantry, make sure to check for the rest of your house, as IShopIndian.com also carries personal care products, gifts, cookbooks, cooking utensils, and more.
If you’re on Amazon stocking up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer, make sure to check out Spice Jungle. They’re one of Amazon’s most popular spice retailers, and carry many spices that can easily be delivered to your home with Amazon Prime shipping. In the past, they’ve carried bulk spices in packages up to 25 pounds, but it looks like right now their supplies are a bit lower, so they're mostly carrying home cook-friendly packages of 1 to 4 ounces.
Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you should be eating crappy food that doesn’t make you feel good. With these online retailers, you can get your pantry restocked in no time, and get back to making tasty food you love.