A Treasure Trove For Foodies
Friday - April 16, 2005
Del.icio.us | Podcast | WineAndDineHawaii.com
Shereen Khan travels the world to stock
his India Market with exotic ingredients
and ethnic foods
A reader e-mailed me the other day asking where to find particular ingredients for a Thai dish and I sent them off to a somewhat unusual source.
India Market, on South King Street across from Star Market, is not just a store that sells Indian goods. It is a veritable treasure trove for foodies looking for elusive ingredients. It is also a culinary haven for those who grew up outside Hawaii and miss certain delicacies of their childhood. Like me, for example. Shereen Khan is the owner of India Market, and the store has been a work in progress, in a sense, for almost 20 years.
“I’ve worked for United Airlines for more than 20 years,” he says, “and in that time, traveling the world, I’ve managed to pick up knowledge of the best and most popular products around the globe. When we decided to open the store, I wanted to bring in everything that I’d seen that I knew people would want.”
The result, after three long years of sourcing individual products, is a veritable culinary Aladdin’s Cave.
If you’re an Australian, you’ll find beloved Vegemite here; if you’re British, I’m happy to report sightings of Quality Street, real Cadbury’s chocolate and lots of biscuits. For Pacific Islanders, he has stocks of palusami. And for those who enjoy the sweet taste of Middle Eastern desserts, there’s halva.
There are literally rows and rows of exotic ingredients that you may have only read about in recipes including spices, curry powders and pastes, chutneys, pasta, sauces, frozen meats, rice and flour, and he seems to have packed everything onto the shelves from pickles to grape leaves and olives to roasted peppers.
There are Indian foods — as you might expect — including a line of packaged, ready-to-go vegetarian dinners that are preservative- free and full of flavor.
Shereen has durum flour (essential for first-rate chappatis or papadams) and almost everything you need to make an Indian meal from scratch including spices, chutneys and yogurts.
There’s even a section devoted to rice — a wide variety of some of the less common varieties, including fragrant basmati.
Corned beef from New Zealand, Bulgarian sheep’s milk and ladyfingers from Italy all sit tightly packed on stainless steel shelves next to saffron, exotic spices, rose petals and more.
Price-wise, I’ve yet to find anyone to beat him (ladyfingers, for example, are $2.95 for two dozen, and Ashoka ready-made dinners are about $1.25 less than in other stores). If you enjoy the occasional lobster dinner at home but can’t be bothered with the hassle of drawn butter, then there are several varieties of ghee (clarified butter used widely in Indian cooking) that keep well.
If you’re a foodie, an enthusiastic cook or just miss the taste of your favorite chocolate bar, I think you’ll love this store.
And Shereen says he can get anything (within reason) that anyone requests.
2570 S. Beretania St.
(Opposite Kinko’s near the corner of University Avenue)
10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily
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