Mouthwatering dishes

SAVORY COMBINATION Gilroy’s Little India restaurant serves authentic North Indian cuisine including Dal maharani, a lentil stew, and paneer masala, freshly cubed cheese in a tomato-cream based gravy.Photo: Lauren Piraro
Nestled between The Claddagh and Little Caesars Pizza in the Hecker Pass Plaza off of First Street, Little India is Gilroy’s only Indian restaurant. In a shopping center filled with an array of international cuisine options, Little India provides a warm atmosphere and an attentive customer service experience.

Owned by Rani Bains and Gurmit Singh, and managed by Nikki Bains, the restaurant, open since September 2015, offers local Indian food lovers a reprieve from trekking the distance to San Jose in search of a good quality South Asian meal.

Having been to India myself, this restaurant truly brings back tasty memories of eating in roadside dhabas. Customers are greeted with gentle Hindi music flowing throughout the room and a complimentary basket of papad upon arrival, which can be described as thin, disc-shaped food made with flours from urad, rice or chickpeas. Prepared similarly to a tortilla, but with the consistency of a wafer or flatbread, papad is often eaten as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to a meal. At Little India it is served with two delicious sauces, one red meethi (sweet) chutney and one spicy hari (green) chutney.

Its authentic take on North Indian food is mouthwatering. Their chole bhatura ($8.99) appetizer served with chana masala will leave your mouth in a joyful frenzy. The spices seem to dance on your tongue with this flavorful dish consisting of a large, fluffy and almost sweet-like bread served with a chickpea gravy sprinkled with cilantro on top.

A popular favorite is the chicken tikka masala ($13.99), as well as their many lamb dishes like the lamb sheesh kabab ($14.99). For an entrée, try their dal maharani ($11.99) or paneer masala ($13.99). Dal maharaniis a well-cooked, satisfying and savory combination of red kidney beans and lentils. The paneer masala offers a sweeter, tomato-like taste with chunks of fresh paneer, a type of cheese similar to queso fresco, but with a more subtle taste. Accompany your meal with a side of garlic naan bread and you’ll be in foodie heaven.

Nervous that Indian food may be too spicy? Little India gives its customers the spice level of their choosing. Every meal is customizable to taste and spice preferences. But it’s good to note that the masala definitely doesn’t disappoint.

Give Little India a try and explore their wide variety of dishes. Looking for something sweet? Their kheer ($3.99) is a rice pudding dessert restaurant goers are certain to fall in love with.

Little India is located at 1340 First St, Suite A, Gilroy.

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