Closest Approximation to Indian Home Cooking in a Restaurant Setting

Masala Cuisine

At the only Indian restaurant located in Deep East Oakland, customers sit at the edge of the kitchen, just steps away from where the onions are chopped and the dough for the makki di roti (the Indian equivalent of corn tortillas) is patted down by hand — where every dish is prepared to order, more or less from scratch, by owners Rooplal and Sushil Masih. There’s a novelty to sipping hot chai and digging into a plate of butter chicken in this setting, in a tiny hole-in-the-wall located on a desolate stretch of International Boulevard populated mostly by used car lots. But Masala Cuisine wins converts based on the merits of the Masihs’ home-style cooking — from the earthy, ginger-kissed sarson ka saag to the not-so-deep-fried vegetable pakoras to the welcoming service, like what you’d expect to receive at the home of a dear uncle and auntie.

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