Spices make plain dishes sing with excitement. Check the price of a single jar of curry at the supermarket and you realize this is a great item to get at a small ethnic market such as Samosa House and Bharat Bazaar at 11510 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066. And not only are they a market, they have great prepared foods in their deli if you need an entire meal or just some side dishes.
These spices come in large bags at a small price. Save all your small glass containers and you can start your own collection. Put on cute labels and give them as hostess gifts or share the cost with a friend.
How about a spice bridal shower? Everyone brings their favorite with a recipe. Sure you can go to a restaurant and pay $30 to $50 per person, sit around while you are served mediocre food, and buy the bride another toaster oven. Or you can dress up your home with some Indian table cloths, have everyone bring a yummy dish with a bottle of the spice used and recipe as a gift to the bride, and give her a day that will be remembered every time she opens her kitchen cabinet.
Now I love Indian food, however you can also use a French theme and have everyone bring a dish with their favorite herb. Try the Japanese Mitsuwa Marketplace, 3760 Centinela Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90066 , where they have all the ingredients for a Japanese meal and a fantastic selection of teas. How about some exotic flavors of ice cream for dessert? Go to the Saffron and Rose Ice Cream on Westwood Blvd. and pick up pistachio, ginger, or mixed berries.
Check out the ethnic markets in your area and see what there is. Frugal Divas want the best and they know how to get it.