You can find me in Costco at least once a week checking out the huge bags, huge bottles, and the huge … everything else that’s sold there. During my recent trips, I’ve noticed a surge of Indian and Indian American products on the shelves.
Costco is very market-sensitive, meaning that not all Costcos carry the same items. That said, I’ve been able to locate these items at most of the Costcos I’ve visited, so you can surely make an easy, Indian-inspired meal anywhere you are. Here’s my list of 14 favorite Indian groceries I regularly pick up at Costco.
This tender, fluffy flatbread is an excellent sidekick to any Indian dish. Naan is perfect for scooping up the spiced broth in any curry, but I particularly love to serve it alongside a bowl of steaming chana masala, or dip it into smooth hummus. It’s a little less traditional, but my new favorite hack is using these to bake up some quick and easy naan pizzas.
Paneer is a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese that’s often used as a vegetarian protein in Indian cuisine. It has a texture that’s similar to squeaky cheese curds, but doesn’t melt when cooked. It also has a delicate milky flavor, not unlike mozzarella, but it’s chewy instead of stretchy and melty. I like to cut the paneer into cubes and use it as a topping for my naan pizzas, but the best way to make the texture shine is by soaking it in a spiced curry bath, like in this matar paneer, to absorb all the complex flavors.
This is fully cooked, pre-made chicken tikka masala that easily feeds a family of four. All you have to do is heat up these tender bits of chicken in a creamy spiced tomato sauce. Don’t forget the naan of course, and especially don’t forget the rice for sopping up all the extra gravy (more on that below). From heating to eating, including cooking up any sides for your meal, dinner can easily be on the table in less than 30 minutes! You can’t beat that for a hot meal at the end of a long day.
If you haven’t eaten one of these at an Indian restaurant, chances are you’ve at least seen it on the dessert menu. Gulab jamun is a delicately fried dough ball soaked in a fragrant sugar syrup. It is the most recognized Indian dessert there is. While this classic Indian dessert may be new to Costco, it’s a most welcome addition!
Another Indian dessert you’ll find is milk cake. Not to be mistaken for actual cake, it’s a fudge-like dessert, made with just milk and sugar. The milk is cooked for a long time, creating a caramelized milky fudge. It’s best served cut into small squares or rectangles. The gulab jamun and the milk cake are the best desserts to have stashed in the fridge or freezer for when company comes over! 
I often buy a big bag of dates because they can be added to countless recipes. Not only are dates great for a delicious appetizer or dessert, but they can also be used as a natural sweetener when I make date and tamarind chutneys at home to temper all of those spiced Indian entrées. Sometimes I’ll make larger batches of chutney and freeze them for later — they’re the perfect condiment for samosas, pakoras, chaat, or any Indian appetizer.
Atta is an Indian whole-wheat flour, and chakki is the type of mill in which the wheat is ground. Atta is used extensively in Indian households to make chapatis, rotis, or parathas. Typically, chapatis or rotis are made several times a week, if not daily, to serve alongside every meal, so you’d be wise to keep a large bag of atta handy.
These deep-fried, potato-filled pastries are a favorite snack across the Indian subcontinent. While these little bites are roughly a third of the size of typical samosas, they’re perfect for party platters. This particular brand has three different flavors: classic potato, spinach, and spiced tomato. All three are wrapped in flaky pastry and come with packs of frozen chutney for dipping.
If you read about atta above, you’ll have some idea of how to make roti, a traditional Indian flatbread. Enjoy it with dals or curries, riff on a quesadilla, or just snack on it by itself. These come raw and frozen and are ready to eat after about two minutes in a hot pan on the stovetop.
Yogurt, often called dahi in parts of India, is a staple of almost any Indian meal to cool down all those spices. You may have heard of raita, which is a popular yogurt dip with several variations, and Noga’s dahi is the perfect base for any raita recipe. What I love about Noga’s dahi is that it’s not thickened with gelatin or any extra additives, which gives it a nice texture and flavor.
Ghee is a clarified butter with a very rich texture that’s used as a cooking oil for many Indian recipes. With all the milk solids pulled out of the butter, it has a very high smoke point, which means that it lends its buttery flavor to dishes without burning. Spread on toast or naan with jam, or use it in a curry or dal for an extra-silky texture.
It’s no secret that an Indian meal is heavy on rice and dal. Having access to both of these in large quantities makes it both economical and easy to feed a family every day. Costco has two types of Indian rice: Basmati, a classic, long-grain rice that is often found in most grocery stores, and Sona Masoori, a short-grain rice that’s a favorite of mine.
Speaking of dal, this huge bag of toor dal will usually last for about three months in my house. I almost always have cooked dal in my fridge or freezer because I’m making it so frequently. During the winter months, a big bowl of yellow dal made with ginger and garlic and served over rice really hits the spot! It’s a deliciously efficient (or efficiently delicious) way to add more plant protein to my diet.
I go through a LOT of spices, so I love stocking up at Costco. Cumin seeds in particular, though, are used extensively in Indian cooking, and their flavor shines in a tadka, which is when you bloom spices in hot oil to develop their flavors before drizzing over curries and stews. I also love to roast cumin seeds and grind them into a coarse powder to sprinkle over salads and other savory dishes.
Do you have any favorites to add to this list? Leave them in the comments below!
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