The Taj – Indian Grocery Store

The Taj is an Indian specialty food store that has an impressive selection taj1of spices, legumes, rice, flour, breads, mixes, snacks, etc. fairly near the heart of Makati. I love to eat Indian food but I have not attempted to cook any serious doses of it so far – the array of spices is somewhat intimidating. Particularly when every Indian cook you speak to seems to have their own mix of spices that is “just right” and the rumor of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves or chilli in a dish makes all the difference. While I do have a well used recipe for a relatively westernized version of shrimp curry, can throw together an oven baked chicken tandoori under duress and even have a bottle of homemade Batangas green indian mango chutney in the fridge, I had never really ventured into an Indian spice store until yesterday.

With just 6 or 7 very short aisles, the Taj carries an impressive array of imported spices that include cloves, cardamom, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, cinnamon, curry powders, taj3 bay leaves, cumin seeds, peppercorns, etc. They are all pre-packaged in plastic bags that are clearly labeled. I am not a spice expert, but some of these spices seemed wickedly cheap if not reasonably priced. A small pack of very aromatic bay leaves was just PHP4.00 (yes, no mistake on decimal point there). If you were looking to make a pomander for any reason (cloves stuck in an orange), the cloves were PHP35.00 for a fifty gram bag. A dozen small nutmeg seed kernels were just PHP55.00. Besides the spices, the store also carries an impressive array of dal or lentils. There were red, orange, brown and at least 4 other kinds of lentils. There was also a nice selection of other dried legumes or pulses including black eyed beans, white and red beans, etc. Indian rice, rice flour (hard to find in other food stores and perfect for those who are allergic to wheat), ready to cook pappadums and chiller fresh naan were just some of the carbohydrates that I recognized. I have to admit I hadn’t the foggiest clue what 70% of the stuff was! Some of the more interesting finds included dried lotus root, dried lemons (which apparently are boiled and eaten as part of an appetizer or added to dishes or made into chutney), and dried tamarind (not in pulp form). There was a lot of stuff for purely vegetarian dishes as well.

The store also carries several brands of Indian condiments, snacks, prepared taj5curries, etc. such as MTR, Haldirams, Ruchis, etc. There is a chiller section that has samosas and other cooked items that are ready to cook or eat. There is an assortment of pots and pans and other Indian novelty items. Oddly, they also carry personal care items like shampoo and deodorant… They are located at #1 Guijo, Bagtikan Street, San Antonio Village, Makati. If you know where Santis Yakal is, this is the next street over and nearer to Makati Avenue. There is parking for a few cars out front. They are open from 9am to 830pm daily and can be reached at 7573992 if you need more detailed directions.


28 Responses

  1. Oh this is just heaven-sent! I’ve recently acquired a palate for Indian food & was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find the necessary ingredients in Manila. Thanks for the tip :)

  2. I love indian food and I am desperately searching for a brand of curry pastes and sauces that I used to use in Europe called Pataks. My love for indian food unfortunately does not extend to me making all these delish dishes from scratch and this brand is not a bad substitute for those that don’t have the time to whip up a truly authentic dish. Problem is, I can’t find it anywhere here! I have already called the Taj and they don’t have it. I you, or anyone reading this post, has seen Pataks bottled sauces and curry pastes anywhere in Manila please, please let me know. I am panicking as the supply I bought in Singapore is running out!

  3. Joey, will keep my eyes open for Patak’s. I used to see the brand frequently in Singapore and Melbourne. Actually, if I am not mistaken, its an Australian food company that makes it… anyway, there are some other Indian food stores like a good one on U.N. Avenue that might have it. Taj has other lines of instant pastes and sauces that might be a reasonable alternative to Pataks.

  4. Thanks Marketman! I am planning an excursion to UN avenue as part of my search :-) Will check out other brands as well…thanks!

  5. I am visiting Manila from Japan on business, will be staying at Makati. Do you sale Indian movies DVDs? If yes, Can I get information how I can reach to your shop?

  6. This was just perfect! I scoured all the major spice markets I know and none of them carried cardamom!

    Thank you! Thanks so much! I was going to make a really special dish for my little brother’s first birthday away from my parents. So thanks, thanks! :)

  7. I worked on assignment in Chennai for 9 weeks and got hooked with Biryani. Now that I’m back in Manila, I know where to get basmati for all the masalas I hoarded. :)

  8. I really love indian dishes.I wish I could find not only indian food but indian hair care products as well.Can you recommend me a store that sells those products?Thanks

  9. I would like to ask what is the address in your good store
    would like to get some spices and so on
    BR Pertti

  10. i need to know where else i could purchase lentils…do you have a branch in cebu? in bacolod where i could buy it? thanks coz i’m just crazy about this legumes.

  11. Namaskar,

    I want to gift Indian mithai(sweets) on 27October on ocassion of Diwali to a friend in Manila, can you help me.

    Vishal Latke

  12. warm regards!!!

    hello my name is nihar.. i m a student here in philippines… ryt now i m in vigan,ilocos sur… as we do not find any indian grocery materials here i was searching for de same in manila… i found ur store quiet imprssive…. actualli i m coming to manila in few days n would like to buy some indian snacks from there… cn u tell me what u have in store??

  13. I am told that there is an indian store in Cebu, which I am unable to find.
    If there is none here in Cebu, is there a market for Indian spices in cebu?


  14. Hi. Would like to answer Kristine’s inquiry.
    We have another branch of the Taj grocery in Alabang. It’s at One Legacy Place Don Jesus Drive Alabang Hills tel no.8093417.
    Derrick, we can ship your orders to Cebu :)

  15. Hi, i’ve been posted to Manila and my office is located in Makati City. Can you please tell us what type of groceries are available with you. I am planning to bring DAAL and BASMATI RICE with me …do you think you have these available with you so that i should not bring them.

  16. HI Deepa,

    If you ship to Cebu, could you give me a list of your items, especially the spices, and their corresponding prices?

    Also do you have the Indian cottage cheese and will it spoil if it is going to be shipped? Why don’t you guys just open a Cebu branch? *LOL*

  17. I know ASSAD Indian Grocery in U.N. Avenue. Where is Taj Indian Grocery Store? Of just the telephone number so I can call them.
    Thank you.

  18. Hello Marigold,
    Yes, we do have the indian cottage cheese, but it will get spoilt while shipping. There are indians in Cebu who get their orders shipped together, and there also is an indian store in cebu. For more info, you can call or email Taj at

  19. @Sharmeen,
    Yes, you do get all types of daals and basmati rice also in Taj.

  20. Hello everybody,

    I´m very new here in Manila and the Taxi Driver´s are not very fimillar with the Streets. Can you please post a Map.

  21. @ David
    Welcome to Manila. I’l try posting a map soon, but till then you can tell the taxi driver to take you to pasong tamo-bagtikan. All taxi drivers are familiar with pasong tamo or chino roces ave.

  22. I’m located in cebu city.

    I would like to buy sweets for my colleagues.

    If you can ship it to cebu, let me know about availabile sweets, charges and delivery time.

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