The first exciting curry story is that my boyfriend, while driving around north of Seoul in Pocheon, found a Thai grocery store run by a Thai gentleman that couldn't even speak Korean. (I don't mean that as an insult, it's just that you find non-English speaking foreigners often speak excellent Korean due tot the fact that they tend to need Korean more than folks from English speaking countries.... I just mean that you know this is really a grocery store for Thai people, not Koreans if they don't speak Korean there) At this little grocery store, the boyfriend found lots of exciting Thai foods for us to eat, including some Thai curry mixes and coconut milk to make them with, and some Thai ramen too. I guess my boyfriend tried to communicate in his elementary Thai skills that he picked up over various trips to Thailand.
Then, Sunday night, we decided to take a trip to the amazing Everest located near Dongdaemun Station. This is a Nepalese owned restaurant that specializes in Nepalese and Indian food. I ordered an amazing Mali Kofta, some basmati rice and naan.
After another amazing meal at Everest, we decided to try to find a store in the area that sells Indian spices, since they tend to be so expencive and hard to find at normal grocery stores. We found a few stores down the alley where Everest is located, but as they don't look like normal Korean stores they are rather intimidating to enter. When we opened the door to the tiny shop we were greeted with the strangest looks. There were a few people hanging around there plus the owner of the shop. When my boyfriend asked in Korean if they had curry, all she understood was curry and tried to send us back to Everest. Finally she understood that we wanted curry powder. We found that English was a much better mechanism for communicating here and we finally decided upon some basic curry powder.
We followed the directions on the box to mix it with yogurt and make it with some meat and veggies, but it was definitely lacking something. It was also a bit on the sweet side.
Here's my question for my readers: Do you make Indian food in Korea? As spices are hard to come by, what would you consider essential for making a good curry and what can you skip on? Do you use the plain yogurt that is sold in the regular grocery stores? It seems much sweeter than I remembered plain yogurt being at home.