Suji’s Indian Grocery
Updated: Oct 27, 2019
Post by Onna Carr
Suji's Indian Grocery in Lincoln, Nebraska, is a delightful ethnic food store ran by Mr. Chaudhry, who came to America from New Delhi, India. Mr. Chaudhry holds Agricultural-Engineering, Computer Science, and MBA degrees. He used to teach at a community college in Council Bluffs, Iowa. One day, he looked out the window of his office, and he remembered the Indian proverb "Be your own man, even if you are a cobbler.” Mr. Chaudhry called the dean that day, and he resigned. He then opened Suji's Indian Grocery that is named after semolina flour— “Suji’s,” in Hindi. His wife’s name is Sujata Chaudhry. She is known as Suji at home, which is her nickname. Mr. Chaudhry and his family run the grocery and are delightful to talk to and true blessings to their customers.
Suji's Indian Grocery specializes in dried legumes, rice, and flours (gluten and gluten-free), spices (whole and ground), specialty chai mixes, and Indian food mixes to make authentic dishes with greater ease. The Swad Brown Basmati Aged Rice that comes in a 10-pound, zippered bag is absolutely delicious—smelling like buttered popcorn when cooked. As Mr. Chaudhry explained when we asked what was so superlative about basmati Rice, "You put this rice in a pot with twice as much water as rice, and you cook it until it boils, and then turn it off. Your neighbors will come over and say 'Hey, what's cooking here?'" Swad’s whole, green cardamom pods are $6 per 100 grams (3.5oz) and are delectable in homemade chai and thrown in with meat dishes to slow-roast in a Crockpot or in a Instant Pot. The Quik Tea Cardamom Chai Instant Tea Packs are delicious and only require hot water to make. They come with milk, tea, spices, and sugar already added. The naan and poori breads found in the store’s frozen section are also tasty and quick, only requiring reheating.
Suji’s Indian Grocery also sells ladoo, gur gajaak, and peanut chikki—incredible Indian treats that are horribly addictive and wonderfully portable:). Lastly, but certainly not least, marsala dabbas, dry fruit dabbas, tiffins (organizers/lunch boxes), and even silk sarees are available. Dabbas are around $20-$25 and sarees are approximately $40-$50. Mr. Chaudhry also sells beautiful produce such as ginger, turmeric, fenugreek, etc. Suji’s Indian Grocery’s ginger is the most beautiful & fresh ginger I have ever seen and is under $2 a pound. My family and I travel seven hours to get to Suji’s Indian Grocery, and we recommend the shop to anyone interested in food of great quality at reasonable prices as Mr. Chaudhry will accept orders via phone and will ship products through the post.
This year, Mr. Chaudhry has started to teach culinary classes on Indian food at the Lincoln Yoga Center on the second Thursdays of each month in the evening around 7:00 p.m. These classes are open to the public, free admission, and last approximately one-and-a-half hours. This month’s cooking class was on vegetable biryani while next month’s class will be on mango lassi/mango shake & aloo chat. Once again, we can say of Mr. Chaudhry—“The teacher is back!”
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