Before I continue this series, a quick note to anyone looking for my March Daring Bakers Challenge. As you will have seen on other blogs, I was supposed to make an Orange Tian like this one, or this one. To be very honest, I just couldn't muster up the enthusiasm. This dessert is a sweet butter cookie, whipped cream, marmalade, orange segments, and a simple caramel sauce layered together. Though it's time consuming to make all those separate components, I don't feel that any of them are particularly challenging, and Matt isn't the biggest fan of citrus desserts anyway. So, no tian for me. I'm looking forward to finding out what April's challenge will be!
Onwards to the next two Asian Grocery Stores on my list, both located within walking distance of the Kalkbreite tram stop. See also Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Aggarwal Indian Food
Aggarwal actually has two locations in Zurich, both in Kreis 4. Most online resources I've read point you in the direction of the Langstrasse shop (Langstrasse 62), but I've been to both and this one at Kernstrasse is by the far the better of the two. The store is quite large and spacious, with a neat and organized fresh produce section and a good choice of other imported dry goods, mostly focusing on Indian specialties (despite the Guinness in the picture!).
[Update 16.7.2010.] For those interested in Indian stores, another mostly-Indian grocery can be found at Baslerstrasse 102, which is quite a ways on Tram 2 towards Farbhof. They have a fresh produce secton, lots of beans and legumes, bulk rice, and special flours. This is the only place I found jaggery (unrefined Indian sugar chunks). The store also serves a hot lunch, to eat there or take away, for the low low price of CHF 9.90.
I found fresh paneer here, 350 grams for 5 francs, as well as an impressive selection of lentils, beans, and other pulses at prices much cheaper than your local Coop or Migros.
They also have a great choice of bulk spices as well as various Indian spice blends. If you don't like using the little packets of baking soda you can buy at Coop, Aggarwal carries larger containers. They also have liquid food coloring for the bakers out there. Furthermore, all mango lovers, listen up - Aggarwal (and a few of the other stores I've written about) carries canned alphonso-mango puree. I am usually averse to using anything canned if I can buy or make fresh, but this mango puree is far, far better than anything you will be able to make yourself from the pale and tasteless mangos Coop sells, and is cheaper to boot. Making a mango lassi to go with that curry? It's totally worth your time to get a can (or three) of this puree - you won't be sorry!
Aggarwal would be my first choice of store if I needed anything to make some great Indian food. The sister shop on Langstrasse has a few items as well, but it's a lot smaller and mostly focuses on hot lunch service instead of grocery. Another smaller, more crowded, and less clean shop called India Supermarket can also be found at Josefstrasse 91, 8005 Zurich.
New Asia Market
044 241 80 00
Mo-Fr 9-18:30 | Sa 9-17:00
Just a few windows in a gray building on a street with not much else to recommend it, New Asia Market doesn't look like much from the outside, but I would say without hesitation that it is the biggest and best Asian grocery store in Zurich. With shopping carts available at the entrance, it feels like a real supermarket, and the long aisles are packed with an excellent selection of pan-Asian goods. In addition to food there is also a whole aisle of dishes, kitchen utensils, cutlery, and electronics to fully equip your kitchen.
One thing I really appreciate about this shop, besides of course the excellent range of products, is that many of those products are sold in varying sizes. If you are new to certain ingredients and hesitant to buy a whole liter of chinkiang vinegar, this is where you can find a smaller bottle that another store doesn't have the space to display. On the other hand, if you're looking to stock up, you can find very generous sizes as well. It's the same case with canned goods.
New Asia Market also has a fantastic selection of fresh produce and frozen items, the biggest of all the stores in this list. They also sometimes have specials on certain items. The first time I was there I was standing in line for the cash register and noticed that every person before and after me was holding a box of the sweetest-smelling mangos. Naturally I grabbed a box too (a total steal at 6 mangos for 10 francs), and for the next three evenings Matt and I each ate a fabulously fragrant Pakistani mango for dessert. They were all gone the next time I went, of course!
Don't forget to keep your eyes open near the cash register - sometimes you'll find freshly made snacks and desserts to munch on the tram ride home...
Go to Part 5: Lian Hua and Barkat