It’s lunchtime in Heidelberg, and you’re craving some soul-warming Indian food? Head over to Masala in Weststadt, a Indian grocery store which also serves lunch.
Masala is owned and run by Usha Middlemas, who hails from Bangalore in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. She came to Germany in the late 1970s to visit relatives in Hamburg, and ended up staying. Usha and her family eventually moved to the Rhine-Neckar region in the mid-1980s. In 2001, she set up Masala in Heidelberg selling Asian grocery items because back then, such specialty food items were hard to find. These days, Masala stocks mainly grocery items from India, exotic spices, fresh specialty produce and ayurvedic products.
One-stop shop for Indian grocery items and fresh produce
In addition to packaged food and drink items, you will find Usha’s own extensive range of spice blends on the shelves – the “Lemon Masala” is a bestseller! Growing up, she was inspired by her gourmet grandmother. As a little girl, she would help her grandmother in preparing, roasting and grinding spices, picking up valuable knowledge. Usha learned how dishes were prepared from scratch, and these skills were honed over the years.
Looking for hard-to-find fresh fruits and vegetables used in Indian cuisine? You can find a nice variety at Masala. Amla, arbi/taro, bhindi/okra, drumsticks, gawra beans, green and ripe papayas, plantains, labosiam, long squash, ravaya (pink aubergine), sambar onion, snakegourd, and Thai aubergine are amongst some of the offerings.
South Indian food and more
Step into Masala and you will see high tables and chairs set up in the middle of the store. Lunch is served daily from noon onwards, till all dishes are sold out. Thursdays are “Dosa” days! Choose either vegetarian (€8), chicken (€8.50) or a mix of both (€8.50). Plain dosa costs €5 each. Get an extra serving of coconut chutney to go with your dosa for €2. Usha prepares a few more South Indian treats on Saturdays – vada (€2), idli (€2) and sambar(€2).
On other days, fans of Indian food can enjoy a variety of curries, thali and chutneys. Choose from the following degrees of spiciness – light, medium, hot and “Indian hot”. The menus change seasonally – Usha regularly tries out new dishes, incorporating her knowledge of spices in enhancing the taste and also choosing spices from a health point of view.
Are your tastebuds piqued? Drop by Masala the next time you’re in Heidelberg!
Masala, Bahnhofstraße 55, 69115 Heidelberg
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