Indian Spice Tours of Chicago's Devon Avenue

Spice/Bollywood Tours of Chicago’s Little India

Get a group of at least 10 together and join Anupy Singla for a walking tour of Chicago's Devon Avenue. 

Indian spices: Green cardamom pods, whole

Discover the hustle and bustle of a Delhi market right here in Chicago with Anupy - a former journalist and the author of the countries' two best-selling Indian cookbooks, The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes and Vegan Indian Cooking. Her third book, Indian For Everyone, will be out in fall 2014. 

With Anupy, you'll walk through the aisles of Indian grocers, peruse the shelves, learn which spices to buy, figure out the difference between aachar and chutney, and decipher the world of legumes and lentils.

You'll also walk over to Anupy's favorite produce market and learn what karela is - seek out curry leaves - learn about which chile pepper makes for the best Indian dishes. Don't worry - you'll have plenty of time to shop if you want to under the watchful eye of Anupy - who can answer any question that might crop up. Do you know what that is below to the left? If you answered 'ginger,' then you need to take this tour. It's fresh turmeric! 

Fluent in Hindi, Anupy will introduce you to many of store proprietors, many of whom modestly work the counters and check out lines. You'd never guess they were part of the revolution that started the Indian grocery business in the United States. And, yes, much of it started right here in Chicago. 

When you visit Devon did you have any idea how many sub-cultures exist on just one long strip? From Indians to Pakistanis, to Punjabi, Gujarati, and South Indian, Devon has it all - and most visitors have not a clue. You'll learn the differences. 

You'll also hang out in Anupy's favorite snack shop and learn to order street food like a pro. Sure, you may know what samosas are, but do you know the proper way to dip a gol gappa in spicy water and slurp it down? Or know which chutney goes best with your bhel puri? Or, for that matter, know how to order dessert? Let Anupy not only show you - learn to eat everything the Indian way.


Sure, there are a few folks organizing Devon tours out there, but only Anupy sees it from the perspective of an acclaimed home cook, an award-winning journalist, and an Indian-American.

Anupy’s food-related work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Sun-Times and various other publications. She teaches classes for Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park and across the country, Williams-Sonoma, and Sur la Table. Born in Punjab, she came to the U.S. at the age of three. Anupy grew up outside of Philadelphia, but headed to visit family in India almost annually. She truly grew up with one foot in both countries. 

We'll meet on Devon Avenue promptly at 10 a.m., and wrap up around 12:30 p.m. If you're late, no worries. Text Anupy to catch up with the group. 

You'll pay $100 per person, which includes heavy food samples along the way. Tours can be scheduled in advance for weekends or weekdays, and are only subject to Anupy's travel schedule.

Additional details will be sent via email.

Cancelations with three days notice - so by Wed. morning of that week. No refunds though you have a year to make up your tour.

WHEN YOU DO SIGN UP, PLEASE EMAIL ANUPY AS WELL AT and send her the names of the people in your group. Again, you'll need a minimum of 10 people and everyone must be paid before the evening before the tour. 

Call or Text Anupy directly at 312 961 2565 if you need more information. 

chicago henna

It's Here! ...Anupy's very own Bollywood Tour. You'll start your afternoon at a Devon salon getting a look at the tradition of mendhi, or henna, for the latest in 22 karat gold'll learn how to tie a sari...and shop for the latest in Bollywood tunes. This is NOT a tacky tourist's take on Bollywood. You'll get inside information from a Punjabi-'Amriken' who has grown up dancing banghara, shopping in India for the latest in jewelery, and listening to filmy music. We'll meet on Devon from 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. Sign up on the link above, indicating which tour you are taking. This one is $50/person as well for a minimum of 10 people, and includes Indian snacks along the way. Henna is extra and usually runs about $5-10/hand plus tip.