The India resource website Thokalath.com lists only three Indian grocery stores in the entire state of Alabama. By comparison, there are ten in Sunnyvale, California (and that is NOT including the one I visited). I am not a big connesseur of Indian food, but I love shopping at ethnic and specialty grocery stores just to see what types of foods they offer. I almost always find something new and inspiring.
Someone like me needs to go through one of these shops with a person who knows what everything is. I had my foodie sister-in-law who was able to explain the various items to me.
I tried to be very careful not to load down my suitcase with heavy items, which would qualify my luggage for extra fees, but I did pick up some cool items:
It's a good thing my suitcase has wheels.