Updated: Dec 4, 2020
The saga continues...
The KTK Masala Shop is now open! A new Indian and ethnic grocery store on 639 Baker Street in Nelson, B.C. (near Pharmasave)! They opened their doors to an excited crowd of adoring fans on October 19th, 2020.
Not to worry about the volume of customers! The beautiful and bright store has everything under control; all the necessary Covid -19 protocols are in place, from hand sanitizing station, floor markers for social distancing, and staff wearing face masks.
Congratulations to Cirajpremanantham Prabhu Gomez, his wife and business partner Martina Majeba and their family on their new venture! Kudos to these hard working and industrious people for starting yet another business during the pandemic, while they are already operating their busy wonderful South Indian restaurant across the street! The award winning Kootenay Tamil Kitchen restaurant is the first of its kind in our region. If you have not ordered from there yet, make it a priority to try their delicious food.
Please, read more about this unique eatery on my previous blog: https://www.munchmorefoods.com/post/kootenay-tamil-kitchen-authentic-south-indian-cuisine-in-the-heart-of-nelson-b-c?fbclid=IwAR1SpH0EqxzFiEpBvnIIuYOCY6ctBnSYCDk7v
Now, once you have gotten a real hankering for the East Indian cuisine, you might be inspired to try some cooking at home. The new store has everything you need to do so.
It is not just any other Indian grocery shop. You can find so many things here. Check out these cook wares: stainless steal pots, even pressure cookers, woks, tawas- special frying pans to cook dosas or chapatis on, induction cookers, idli makers (for rice cakes), drinking cups and stain steel serving plates (Thali platters) and so much more. Everything is reasonably priced.
I scored some cute clay chai cups, the same kind I had encountered on train voyages in India. During the whistle stops at stations, chai vendors would offer their delicious hot milky tea drink in these single use clay vessels through the open windows of the carriage. When one was finished, one simply tossed it out the window onto the tracks, where in turn the broken pieces would get gathered up in order to be ground down and baked again into new cups. That's an example why I find India so intriguing. Such a brilliant concept of sustainable recycling!
Here's a link to a recent news story about it: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/dec/03/all-change-indias-railways-bring-back-tea-in-clay-cups-in-bid-to-banish-plastics?fbclid=IwAR0TdUg1MiGD6LLv5542akKY
Ethnic cooking ingredients are plentiful at the KTK Masala Shop. Fresh affordable spices, masala mixes, sauces, canned goods, chutneys, pickles, dried beans and peas, breakfast mixes, rice, flour, real cane sugar and specialty products like jaggery (gur in hindi) adorn the shelves. Jaggery is a concentrated product of cane juice and date or palm sap, which then is not highly processed, and still contains molasses; therefore is supposed to have many health benefits. It is loaded with antioxidants and minerals like zinc and selenium. It is prevalent in Indian cooking, especially to balance out the acidity and heat of Southern Indian dishes. This could be your secret ingredient to wow your guest with your chef skills. Check out the picture below.
The KTK Masala shop also provides fresh and frozen produce for the culinary adventurer. I glanced at frozen shredded jack fruit, jack fruit seeds, cassava and "drumsticks", the green tender pods of the miraculous moringa tree. I have yet to figure out how to cook with all those exotic ingredients myself and looking forward to this adventure. Frozen ready to cook meat items include seasoned goat meat, spiced chicken thighs, tandoori chicken and seafood.
Browse the aisles yourself to discover more unusual items amongst the Indian snacks and treats. In the big cookie selection I spotted some crunchy delights with cardamom and cashews! They sound so good and they are.
Let's talk about the exciting fact that the KTK Masala Sop has deli coolers filled with their products, produced by them in their restaurant across the street. Here is a partial list: samosas, butter chicken sauce, vegan palak sauce (spinach), chutneys, house made yoghurt (Dahi), ready to cook meats, mango pickles and dinner entrees. They will soon be bringing in vegetarian and non-vegetarian thali type take-aways as well. Go and see for yourself. I took home eggplant and tamarind chutney to try.
The owners and operators are family minded and community orientated. One display fridge is dedicated to feature products from local food manufacturers, for example the fermented veggies from Kootenay Culture. They are planning on bringing in more vendors.
If you are a local farmer or a small business producing food products, contact them asap as they are still looking to fill up floor space.
Searching for Indian beauty, fashion jewellery, health products and incense at a good price? The new Indian grocery store carries them; hair oil, activated charcoal tooth paste, bindis (traditional forehead decorations), sandal wood soap, bangles (colorful bracelets) caught my eye.
They have it all- you wanna dress up as a Indian princess or harem girl for Halloween, find the accessories there to go with it.
The festive gift giving season is coming up. The KTK Masala Shop even has that covered. Browse the store for ideas, there are drums and treasure chests and an ever new expanding inventory to inspire you.
The employees here are very approachable. Don't hesitate to ask them any questions you might have.
You can also view and order their products on their Kootenay Tamil Kitchen website.
Store hours are as follows: Monday to Saturday - 10:00am to 7:00 PM Sunday - 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM