One of the common concerns of working in the U.S. is to decide what stuff you would like to bring from India. If you are coming to the U.S. on a temporary work visa you must make a list of essentials you would like to carry. If you are coming for a very short while there is no need to carry a lot of things. However, if you are coming on the H/L/F visa it is better to know what you are getting into. This article explains what things Indians must carry when you come to the U.S. for the first time. The article also sheds light on the products that are easily available in U.S. and some of the alternative products that can be purchased from the local market.
To start with, Indian grocery stores are prevalent in several parts of US today. If you are coming to San Francisco Bay Area or say, New York you will find an Indian store in almost every neighborhood. Conducting an online search of such available stores in your proximity would be a good idea in terms of planning.
However, having many Indian stores in other parts of U.S. is not always the case. If you prefer to eat Indian meals you must consider carrying some basic kitchen essentials with you. Here is a list of things that you may consider bringing from India. We have also compiled a list of alternative products that you can buy in the U.S. We have clearly mentioned what you can purchase from an Indian store as well in the table below.
|LIST OF ITEMS||AVAILABILITY OF ALTERNATIVE ITEMS IN U.S. AND AVAILABILITY IN INDIAN STORES|
|1. Chakla & Belan (to make chapattis or Indian flatbreads)||Available in Indian stores. You can also buy a rolling pin, boards, and related cookware from local stores.|
|2. Tava (to cook chapati’s)||Available in Indian stores. You get different griddles and pans used to make pancakes and tortillas. If you prefer a specific shape of Tava, it is better to bring what you like.|
|3. Pakkad/ Sansi (to hold hot utensils) and Chimta (to hold chapati on heat)||Available in Indian stores. If you prefer a specific type of utensil holder, it is better to bring what you like.|
|4. Cooker||Limited supply in Indian stores. You can also buy 4/6/8 quart pressure cookers available here.|
|5. Kadai (to fry)||Available in Indian stores. You can also buy electric fryers used to fry onion rings and french fries.|
|6. Small stainer (Channi)||Available in Indian stores|
|7. Serving spoon for dal||Available in Indian stores|
|8. Idli mold.||Limited supply in Indian stores. If you prefer a specific type of idli maker, it is better to bring what you like.|
|9. Indian Mathani (to beat/blend dal, curd etc. properly)||Available in Indian stores. You do get electronic hand blenders in local stores. These are used to blend soups and curries.|
|10. Some common balms such as Moove, Iodex, Zandu Balm, Amritanjan, Vicks etc||Limited supply available in Indian stores. Carry these with you for immediate use.|
|11. Needle and Thread, hook buttons, press buttons, shirt buttons, etc.||Very limited in Indian stores. Carry these with you for immediate use. You can buy these from Michaels or other art & craft stores.|
|12. Nada (string for pajamas)||Carry these with you for immediate use.|
|13. High quality 100% cotton||You may not get 100% cotton everywhere. There may be limited lines of cotton available at different price points. Bring clothes as per your needs. You can buy clothes at several clothing stores here.|
|14. Extra set of your undergarments||Available in local departmental stores|
|15. Extra pairs of formal shoes for office wear. (What you find here are little different in style)||Available in local shoe shops & department stores.|
|16. Music lovers should get the choice of their cassettes and CD’s||Limited supply available in Indian stores.|
Remember that you will find all the items listed above in U.S. However, as a new immigrant to the country you will take some time to adjust to the cost of living and price points in U.S. It is likely that you will find everything expensive!
We have compiled this list to reduce the ‘shock’ element for a newcomer. After you get settled to the new life, you will find that everything is available in U.S. You may not find the same product but there are many alternative products available in stores that work just as well.