6 at Astor Pl.; L at First Ave.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
From the street, the unassuming entrance to this basement-level Indian market gives no hint of the huge selection of foodstuffs, snacks, and health and beauty products to be found inside. If the blast of sandalwood incense lures you, you'll find several long aisles literally stacked to the ceiling with goods from all over the Subcontinent. Hard-to-find Indian brands of packaged vegetarian foods and Ayurvedic toiletries share shelf space with cheap, bulk-sized bags of spices, nuts, dried herbs, rice, lentils and grains. The shop prepares its own line of masalas, sauces and chutneys, among them a mango chutney that's as good as the overpriced varieties you'll find in gourmet stores, and comes in 24-ounce jars that should last for more than a few meals. There's also a wowing side room filled with what must be among the East Village's most comprehensive selection of beersó400 international brews, to be exact.Extra
Beyond comestibles, the store showcases an impressive array of essential oils and incense, as well as traditional Indian tableware.