Indian restaurant Little India is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
Little India is a family business. Founded by Sukhi Gill in Dunedin in 1991, the family restaurant has grown from humble beginnings to a nationwide business with 11 restaurants throughout New Zealand.
Sukhi and Joanna Gill began with a small dairy and adjoining fish and chip shop in Ravensbourne just outside Dunedin. When Sukhi’s mother and father visited from India, Sukhi decided to add a few Indian dishes to the fish and chip shop menu. Soon there were lines of people down the street waiting for a taste. With a single electric stove struggling to keep up with demand, Joanna and Sukhi decided to open a New Zealand Indian restaurant.
After training in a family friend’s restaurant in Australia, Sukhi returned and opened the first Little India restaurant in 1991.
The Gill family comes from the Punjab region of North India and the recipes they use are Grandmother Premjit Kaur Gill’s recipes. Premjit has trained every head chef in her own kitchen in Chandigarh.
What makes Little India’s dishes special is the preparation of North India as well as traditional tandoors, which have clay pots and are fired by charcoal, and give the naans and meat their authentic flavour.