Going strong now for almost 30 years, Don and Margaret Prasad are well-established in the world of spices – originally setting up shop in The Shire, then later moving to what was then the rough end of Newtown. Noticing what was lacking in the market, the Prasad’s provided staples such as yams, plantains, cassava and taro to many of the Islander community at affordable prices. Over the years the Islanders moved to the ‘burbs, and today the bulk of their clientelle are non-Fijian and non-Indian.
Fiji Market is a one-stop shop when it comes to all things Islander, Indian and Sri Lankan. Hang around long enough and you may even catch chef Peter Kuruvita of Flying Fish rummaging through buckets of spices for the larder at his swanky harbourside Pyrmont restaurant.
The congested aisles are packed with just about every spice imaginable, including curry mixes and masalas such as the Natraj label, ground and blended on site. This comes with a personal recommendation as I use it a lot at home.
But it’s not all about spices. Colourful jars of chutneys, cooking oils and pickles mingle with incense, cooking vessels, wooden chapati rollers and grinders. A separate room out the back is home for sacks of rice varieties and the back wall holds many types of lentils and dried beans.
A small area on the side wall is dedicated to many things Mexican and Latino, including tomatillos, dried ancho chilli, chipotles and guajillos. Valentino hot sauces can also be found, and even Mexican hot chocolate. Need to find achiote paste in Sydney? Get it here.
The fridges are stocked with fresh galangal, ginger, pandan, bunches of herbs and betel leaves and at the entrance of the shop you’ll find potted herbs, recipe books and even young curry trees to take home to grow in the garden.
Throwing a Bollywood party or just knocking up a sari? Then grab all your glittery essentials here, like beading, trim, sari fabric, bindi’s, bangles, buttons, you name it. Why not grab a Fijian hibiscus shirt while you’re at it!