Even until recently if you wanted all the ingredients, spices, and exotic sounding vegetables and roots to make those Indian and Asian recipes that you have been drooling over, you had almost no chance of sourcing them all from your local chain supermarkets. Instead we quickly learnt that we should head over to the neighbourhoods where a lot of those ethnic people lived as you know that they have to buy it all somewhere. In Nottingham that meant regular trips over to Gregory Boulevard to one or both of the two local ethnic supermarkets. These days many of the big supermarkets do sell most of what you need, but in my experience you will pay a much higher price for them and you may not get the full range or choices.
The two places we head to these days is the Medina Food Store and Sharif & Sons Superstore which are on opposite sides of the road at the corner of Gregory Boulevard and Radford Road. Medina Food Store is at 92 Radford Road, Sharriff & Sons is at 106-110 Radford Road. You can park in a small car park around the back of Shariff & Sons but I would get the Tram up to the Forest Stop which is also a park and ride site, so you can park up there for free and walk the 5 mins along Gregory Boulevard to both.
As you approach the corner you pass the outdoor fruit and veg section of the Sharif & Sons store. It spreads along for about 50yds and looks pretty impressive as you head over there. Prices are good and the quality and range is extensive and all encompassing.
They had everything that we were needing on this particular occasion a carrier bag’s worth of chillies, okra, and fresh spinach came to about 3 quid. It would have been twice that for half as much in a chain supermarket.
If you need rice they have huge bags of the stuff all at a good price. I know that you would really need to be eating a lot of rice to make it worth the effort, but I am always tempted to buy a great big sackful (I have not yet though).
While I personally think that the Shariff store has the best range of vegetables, herbs, and fruits, the Medinah store across the road has a really excellent selection of spices, rubs, and mixes. Pretty much everything that you could look for is there, from dried herbs, whole seeds, ground spices, dried fish, curry leaves, I have always found the ingredient that had previously eluded me somewhere on their shelves.
I didn’t really need these, but I walked out with a bag of Mixed masala, and a pack of Hot & Spicy Duck/Goat Curry Powder (just because I could). The Masala mix was a 300g bag of Black Cardomons, Cloves, Black Pepper, Coriander Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Cassia Bark, and Bay Leaves. I have no idea what I will do with it, I just knew that I needed it. The curry powder is a blend of ground spices including; Coriander, Tumeric, Cumin, Fenugreek, Black Cumin, Aniseed, Chilies, and Salt. I imagine that will end up on a goat or duck curry as it just says to add a tablespoon to a pound of meat. Again I didnt need this but still bought it. Such is the power of seeing row after row, and shelf after shelf of packets of spice. It is practically illegal to walk out of such a store without several bag fulls.
These two stores in Hyson Green are pretty much your one-stop-shops for anything you might need for those Indian and Asian recipes. As an added bonus you can try out the currys at the New Art Exchange on your way to and from the Tram Stop at the Forest as you will have to walk right past it as you do so.