Where to find them if you are in Manila
Manila is home to a number of Middle Eastern or Indian supply stores where one can source spices, ingredients and other food items. Actually, it is possible to find just about any just about any food stuff you need for your pantry and beauty cabinet.
Aside from packed cooking ingredients, products from the region where they originated (Spicy instant noodles, anyone?) they have cooked delicacies, personal care and even small things you need for your home like incense, etc.
Assad's in U.N Ave. and Jupiter Street
In UN Avenue alone, Assad's Minimart and other similar stores are located. The stores carry alll imaginable dry goods and special spices and all other middle eastern products to suits one's cooking and kitchen needs. Upon entering the stores, one is transported to another place with the mix of wonderful aroma. It is a true delight visiting these stores. If you are fond of cooking middle eastern or Indian dishes then you are in the right spot. Any ingredient for your dish can be found here.
In Assad's one can find rows of shelves filled with food and non-food items, snacks and sweets, dried and spices, canned meat, and even non-meat products made from gluten. Aside from these, one can get an array of other items like beauty and health products, incense sticks, bread and pita, both frozen and fresh. There are also naan, pita, paratas and samosa and sweets like gulab jamun among others which come in cans or freshly cooked. If you are here for the sweets, make it a point to visit earlier since they are the first to run out.
Parking is also available in the UN area and unless it is on a weekend or near closing time, one won't have trouble finding a parking spot. Store hours may vary from store to store hence it is best to inquire with the store staff on this detail. Assad's in Makati closes at 7PM and on Sundays. On the other hand, the stores in UN Avenue closes around 9:30PM so make sure to do your shopping early.
If you have been searching for garam masala, a popular Indian spice mix, they are many different combinations in these stores. Take note however, that another ingredient, the yogurt may not be found here. Indeed, the specialty shops are a haven for cooking enthusiasts specializing in middle eastern cuisine.
The prices are quite reasonable so many people even the locals get most of their ingredients here. Understandably, most of the items may not be found in the local malls and groceries. In case you plan on a trip there, make sure to bring your list to make it worthwhile and you don't forget anything.
Aside from the UN Avenue store, those living near Makati will find another branch along Jupiter Street near Makati Avenue. The store is just walking distance from Petron gasoline station along Buendia Ave. (corner Makati Ave.). If you are bringing a vehicle, there is also small parking space in front of the store. You might have to inquire if they are open on some days because last time I checked, I was informed that they (Jupiter branch) are closed on Sundays.
Along the same street you will also find Little India and Talwar Grocery though these shops are smaller compared to Assad and may not carry a complete list needed ingredients and spices. It is worthy to take a look at all these stores just in case you don't find something you like in one.
Incredible India along Osmena Hi-way
Incredible India along Osmena Hi-way is located beside a 7-11 convenience store in the compound of PTT Gas station. They have food and other supplies and the great thing is you can also dine in as they have a small resto inside.