One of the best places to buy spices at a relatively affordable price is at Little India. You can purchase from the small spice shops in Little India, Tekka Market or Mustafa centre.
After all, India is the top spice producing country and the best place to shop spices is at Little India where you can find food imports from India in Singapore.
For me, I prefer to shop for spices at Mustafa centre because of the variety of spices available and at the same time, I could shop for other food products like dates, nuts or Indian chips.
Where to find spices at Mustafa Centre?
If you haven’t check out Mustafa centre before, you are really missing out! It’s the largest departmental store in Singapore which offers a whole range of items from electronics, perfumes, beauty products, supplements, toys, sports equipment to souvenirs and luggage. They also have a huge supermarket on level 2 which offers the widest variety of food items which are imported from countries all over the world. You can find mostly imports from India like their spices, snacks and other cooking ingredients.
Their spice section is located at the supermarket section near the frozen food section. Mustafa Centre has a strange way of categorising their food items. I had absolutely no idea where they could classify the spice section as Masala Chilli and Masala powder. However, there are really A LOT of masala powders and other Indian spice blends at that section.
If you are looking curry spice blends found in sealed packets, you can get it right at Mustafa for about a dollar. There are also numerous premium spices and spice blends which costs a little more.
What are some of the spices you can find at Mustafa?
You can find curry powder, 5-spice powder, Garam Masala, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger powder, turmeric, cloves, coriander and more. There are also notably a lot of other superfoods like Amla powder and Moringa leaf powder.
The prices ranges from $0.50 to $12. The most expensive packet of spices I saw was this 200-gram packet of organic cinnamon spice which goes for $12.
There are also several exotic spices and herbs like caraway seeds, fennel and cardamom.
Why I buy spices? What can they be used for?
Spices are natural food flavourings which also carries an immense number of nutritional benefits. They are relatively cheap and easy to use. A dash of ground cinnamon is enough to spice up my peanut butter oatmeal porridge. A sprinkle of ground black pepper to my sunny-side-up egg is enough to make it taste so heavenly. Coriander makes great marinades for all kinds of savoury dishes.
Personally, I like to add spices like turmeric and cinnamon into my green smoothie to boost the nutritional content and flavour of it.
I am really thankful to be living in Southeast Asia where spices are readily available. More than two hundred years ago, spice trade was booming in this region and today, we are still able to purchase spices of all sorts.
My Spice and herb stash: How much do they cost?
I bought Moringa leaf powder, ginger powder, turmeric from Sarva and cinnamon, cayenne pepper and black pepper from Greenfields – all for $17.10. That mounts up to a lot but if I were to purchase it elsewhere like NTUC and Sheng Shiong supermarkets, it will definitely cost more than $25.
- Cayenne Pepper (75 g): $2.50
- Ground Black pepper (75 g): $2.90
- Ground Cinnamon (75 g): $2.90
- Turmeric (100 g): $2.50
- Ginger (250 g): $2.80
- Moringa Leaf (250 g): $3.50
Storing spices in glass jars
I store my spices in recycled glass jars and I will try to finish them within 6 to 8 months. Though spices can usually last for about 2 years, it’s best to consume them within six months when it is still rather fresh.
If you are interested to find out how I store my spices, you can check out this video below.