Field Guide: Ethnic Markets
We explore five of the city’s best ethnic-food markets, and find homemade salsa, fragrant curries and budget-friendly bentos.
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India Market smells pleasantly of nose-tingling aromatics, due, no doubt, to the shelves lined with spices—everything from cardamom to cumin. There are also curry pastes, chutneys, teas, Middle Eastern sweets and the island’s only selection of halal (Arabic for lawful or permitted) meats. “We sell a lot of heat-and-eat items,” says owner Shereen Khan. The selection includes pre-made samosas, curries and naan (leavened, oven-cooked flatbread), all of which make for an easy dinner. Round out the evening with a Bollywood DVD from the store’s rental selection. 2357 S. Beretania St., 946-2020.
Norman Salva, of Palama Supermarket.
Palama, which has three locations, is the go-to source for all things Korean. On a recent visit to the Kalihi store, the store’s plate-lunch eatery was, as always, busy with folks ordering barbecue and fried mandoo (Korean dumplings). The grocery section has everything—well-priced meats, fish and produce, kim chees galore, as well as dry and canned goods, sweets and drinks. But garnering the most attention were the grab-and-go meals, which included pigs’ feet and seasoned octopus. 1210 Dillingham Blvd., 847-4427; 1670 Makaloa St., 447-7777; 98-020 Kamehameha Highway, 488-5055.