Have you checked out the Indian food, fashion and more at Vancouver’s Punjabi Market? If you haven’t, Lisa Corriveau has the scoop for you.
A Taste of India
The centre of Vancouver’s Punjabi Market is generally considered to be at 49th Avenue and Main Street in South Vancouver. If you’re looking to start cooking Indian food at home, Punjab Food Centre (6635 Main Street) is a good place to stock up on ingredients. Here you can get a large range of bulk spices and authentic Indian snacks as well as great prices on south Asian veggies. For crispy alternative to potato chips, pick up a packet of poppadums. Toss one in the microwave for 15-20 seconds, until it inflates and becomes crisp. They’re awesome dipped in mango chutney.
Though most people think of Main Street when they think of Little India, don’t forget to head east a few blocks to Fraser if you have the time. I highly recommend the veggie samosas and Indian sweets at Dhaliwal Sweets (6555 Fraser Street). I generally buy the samosas by the dozen, because they’re so addictive: you can’t eat just one! A dozen spicy vegetarian samosas will set you back just $4. Don’t forget to ask for the sauce, too. What would samosas be without that sweet, tamarind-based sauce to dip them in? The sweets are also worth buying in bulk: a pound of mixed sweets is only $6. I’ve heard great things about the Dhaliwals’ restaurant, too.
If it’s clothing you’re looking for, check out East West Quality Wear (6657 Main Street) for saris, pashminas and more. You’ll find a wide variety of affordable accessories to add a dash of colour to your wardrobe. Palika Gift House (#3, 6526 Main Street) is a great place to pick up some bling, specializing in bangles of all colours. If sewing is your thing, check out the amazing fabric selection at Rokko’s Sarees (6201 Fraser Street). Besides the lustrous silks and intricately embroidered fabrics you would associate with saris, you can also find outerwear, incredible spangled stretch knits and quite a selection of swimsuit fabric. It’s a great place to go for dress-up materials.
The Punjabi Market is a great place to go any time of the year, but if you can, try to time your visit around one of the many Indian festivals celebrated here. There’s a huge parade for Vaisakhi, the harvest festival, celebrated in April. Diwali, the festival of lights, is over for this year, but it falls in November in 2012.
Have you explored the Punjabi Market? What’s your favourite place to shop there? Leave us a reply and tell us about it!