XDDD The really hilarious thing? Okay I've made paneer and griddle bread from scratch before, but this was the first time I'd cooked Indian main dishes at all, let alone tried experimenting with 'em. I'd never used at least fifteen of these ingredients before in my life. But we have tons and TONS of Asian groceries in town. And a couple health-food stores with great collections of bulk spices that you can get a couple tablespoonsful of for about 50 cents.
Soooo... set me loose with a spice rack, some kind of neutral-flavored oil, and a box of saltines, then stand back and watch the explosions! :3 Once I figured out what flavor families things belonged to and how strong they were, there was no looking back.