Shopping For Groceries in New Delhi

Shopping For Groceries in New Delhi

I thought some people might want to know or see what shopping for groceries is like in New Delhi. Shopping for groceries in India is a bit different than shopping for groceries in the USA, and I actually like it quite a bit!

For produce, we usually go to our local markets, which open up on the eve of Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, in different locations nearby. The markets start setting up around evening, and go on until well after 9 PM, where it starts slowly closing down. Salesmen and women line the streets, in sometimes commercial and sometimes residential areas. Some will lay down a giant rug and lay their produce on top, while others will set up their produce carts. In crowded markets, it’s frowned upon to take your produce cart for a stroll, so they are usually stationary.

Customers are free to stop anywhere and buy their produce. Salesmen and women usually call out the prices for their products every few minutes. We look for a combination of price and quality, although usually we don’t come across any produce that is bad quality. It occasionally happens, and we are now very aware of what to look for.

When a customer selects what they want, either by sorting it in a basket or asking the salesman to do it, the salesman will then weigh the produce, pack it in a bag,  accepts the customers payment, and the customer leaves with their produce.

Not just produce is sold, but sometimes pasta, chips and snacks, and sometimes non-food items like kitchen supplies, make-up, clothing, curtains and more. This depends on the market, though. Some markets have more shopping options than others.

We used to go to our local grocery store once a month, on pay day. It was far from us, so it wasn’t convenient. Which made getting supplies for American food quite tricky. We had a closer store – sort of a convenience store – but customers waited at the counter while the employees brought their items. Perhaps even less convenient, as there was always a large crowd of people waiting.
Luckily, a grocery store just opened near our Wednesday market! We are thrilled, and even more thrilled that they carry everything we buy at the other grocery store, so there is no longer a need to make that trip.

Ah, but enough talking about it. I’ll just show you the video I made. 🙂


6 thoughts on “Shopping For Groceries in New Delhi

  1. In my area there are a few good markets, but it is generally more convenient to go to the very permanent produce “tempos” or the supermarket. We also have Grofers that works quite well in our area, so I do a lot of grocery shopping via the phone app since their prices are what you would get in the market in my area.

    For all pantry items and exotic stuff give Amazon a try, they have a gourmet food section that is often offering some discounts. They have all those American items, as well as local organic non perishable items, cash on delivery for most of them.


  2. I love the markets in Mumbai – Dadar has a huge great market near the station and I used to go often to the fish market in Charkop.
    I remember sending a visiting Brit friend to my local street market in Kandivali as he wanted to buy some chicken and the look of shock on his face when he came back – chickens are all there in cages and you point to the one you want. They promptly snap its neck, peel off its skin and plonk it in a bag for you still warm! (Very pleased to be a vegetarian when I think of this!)
    When I lived in Goa I used to go on my bike with my baby each day to the fish market by the jetty in my village. She loved seeing all the crabs and shellfish, squealing when they moved!
    I love the abundance of fresh produce readily available for cheap prices.You can eat really healthily and discover new vegetables and delicacies. It’s also a great opportunity to practice your Hindi and haggling skills.
    I would now and again go to the supermarket and always had a peek in the foreign produce aisle – I discovered a very funny thing in one supermarket – imported tins of tesco value soup being sold for five times the rrp! Would never have thought it could be considered ‘exotic’!


  3. must be fascinating for u all the sights and sounds. u get to bargain which I guess is unheard of in America. your English sounds very Indian no American accent.

    about those apples beware they use wax to get that shine. scrape The surface u may find wax. steer away from those veggies and fruits which are unusually bright or big. They put chemicals to get that shine and size. choose those which are normal.

    We too have such weekly markets in dwarka. u are slowly getting the hang of things here which is wonderful. your husband seems to be bit distressed, he gets to carry all the bags.

    such urbanised villages are all around us. One can tell the one from other. The people though are bit aggressive.

    what is the water situation. We are facing water problems due to agitation in neighbouring state haryana.


    1. We are having the same problems, and now it’s becoming impossible to get a hold of our pani wala. He must be very busy. :/
      Anyway thank you! We do watch out for veggies that seem really brightly colored, and such. We had some peas that turned out to have been dyed, so we know what to look out for there.
      I was surprised to see those apples because the apples we normally buy are bright and large apples. These apples were a very deep red. They seemed like a different type of apple.
      Our normal apples smell wonderful and taste almost too sweet. But these apples had no smell and were less sweet, but nice flavor and texture.
      I guess my accent really has changed, haha 🙂


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