German craving for Indian food (volo@work)


It’s business as usual inside the kitchen of Mogul restaurant where the aroma of Indian spices fills the air. Mogul is one of handful restaurants that have sprung up in Bonn in the past few years.

The number of Indian restaurants in Bonn has doubled in the past six years, with at least four new Indian specialty restaurants. In fact many Italian food joints have added Indian delicacies to their menu to cash in on their growing popularity.

“In the mind of the German people, they think Indian food is very spicy. But when they come here and taste the food one time. They say, Oh the food here is not as spicy as we had heard”, said Meem Latif, the Pakistani owner of Mogul restaurant in Bonn’s Altstadt area.

“Once they have tasted the food they tell others to go and taste the food.”

Latif also cites the rising popularity of Bollywood in Germany and elsewhere as another reason for the mushrooming of Indian restaurants. It’s no surprise to hear a song from a popular Indian movie play in the background as people from several nationalities relish their meal.


59-year old Indian Ramkishan Bhatt, the owner of the first Indian restaurant in the city, says the international character of Bonn makes it a great destination for Indian food. He, however, picks spices sourced from India as the secret ingredient behind the popularity.

“We don’t use spices from shops. We buy bulk spices and ground them here. Different kinds of spices, it’s not just one taste here,” Bhatt said.

Bhatt’s Indian Palace restaurant, with colorful traditional Rajasthani paintings on its walls, has hosted popular Indian music maestros such as Pandit Ravishankar and Bismillah Khan over the years. Now Bhatt gets bulk of his business from Germans, French and Britons.

“I like Indian food because they are so many spices inside, so many different tastes and I like the Curry you know. I do not normally go to restaurants but when I go I go to an Indian restaurant may be two times in a month,” said Nasser, a German national, while savoring a Chicken tikka at Mogul.

The number of Indian restaurants in Bonn is still a fraction of the total number of Chinese Restaurants in the city.  As is evident from the busy Kitchen at Mogul the love for Indian food is ensuring a brisk business for the Indian Restaurants.

Ashutosh Pandey is a journalist from India. His interests include politics, business and environment. Twitter: @ashutoshpande85.

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