Kalustyan's Is The NYC Market Where Padma Lakshmi Has Shopped Her Whole Life

New York City is a food haven filled with countless grocery stores, specialty shops, and farmers markets where you can find ingredients and products from a range of countries and cuisines. Out of all of the options, Padma Lakshmi, cookbook author and former host of Bravo's "Top Chef," says Kalustyan's is one of her go-to markets that everyone should try to visit while in the city. In fact, she's visited the market since she was a child and accompanied her mother on grocery shopping trips there.

Kalustyan's has been operating since 1944 when it was opened by Kerope Kalustyan, an Armenian from Turkey who later moved to NYC, to sell Indian spices and other products. It's located in a section of Manhattan's Kips Bay neighborhood known as Curry Hill because of the many Indian restaurants and shops. Today, it stocks hard-to-find ingredients like spices, seasonings, and grains from India — plus its current owners have expanded to items from other countries like Bangladesh, Israel, Italy, Japan, Turkey, and the West Indies. Lakshmi isn't the only famous patron of the store, because the likes of Martha Stewart and many NYC–based chefs have been known to shop here for products that are difficult to find.

Shopping at Kalustyan's in NYC

One of the main draws to Kalustyan's are the shelves filled with unique seasonings and spices from its in-house brand. You can find a variety of whole and ground dried chilis both from places like India, Mexico, and Thailand. If you like using different salts, pick up some Cyprus black lava sea salt or applewood smoked sea salt flakes. To upgrade your spice cabinet, the market has everything from ground sumac and saffron to ginger root powder and ground juniper berries, the latter of which can be used in meat marinades.

You'll also find unique grains like black turtle beans, which are used in Latin and Caribbean cuisines. The store also offers a variety of dried fruits like Turkish figs, nuts, mushroom products, olives, and other vegetables. If you appreciate a mug of hot tea, you might like browsing its options like dandelion root and its herbal tea blends. You'll also find candied fruits, oils, and other snacks. And we must mention the pickled products and sauces like mango chili pickle and coriander chutney that any foodie could spend time browsing.