I'm looking for these two ingredients and have been unable to locate them in any Indian groceries. I'm hoping maybe other cuisines use these ingredients ( maybe be known by a different name). I currently get them shipped from India and would like a more economical way of getting them.
One is called Nagkesar. It is not a kind of kesar / saffron. It is the English and Sanskrit name for the buds of the cinnamon tree and is use in Ayurvedic remedies and as a spice in certain regional Indian foods. It looks like cloves, but the stem part of each bud is thinner and the bulb part is a little more globular.
The second is a kind of jaggery / gur. I have been able to locate dark and white sugarcane jaggery, hard coconut jaggery but the soft / butter like date jaggery still eludes me. It is used in Bengali cuisine.
I'm also looking for a source of good "Bottle masala" and dried "Mawal ke phool" / cockscomb.
If anyone is looking for sugarcane vinegar, coconut palm toddy, dried tulsi or kadipatta powders, kachri powder, etc., I have located stores which carry them. You may have to travel a bit around the bay area...but you'll get these ingredients. Just email me.