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Rice: Sop Up Sauce with a Stickier Grain
Spices are usually the most expensive component of an Indian dinner; top-quality cardamom, garam masala and curry powder can quickly add up. Add pricey basmati rice, which features prominently in many dishes, and you may start to wonder if takeout would be cheaper. Basmati, which has a dry and fluffy texture, is one of the most costly grains: $11 for a 5-pound bag. Jasmine, which originally comes from Thailand, is stickier, with a shorter grain—but still tastes delicious smothered in a fragrant curry sauce. A 5-pound bag costs about $6.50.

Switch and save: $4.50 per pound