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This Ones A Winner
“I have been living in Ballito for many years and have seen numerous restaurants opening their doors for a couple of months and then having to close.
If you want food that is affordable to most of our budgets then i would love to say, give Sawagat North Indian Tandoori restaurant a try.
If you want curries with a difference, that are so jammed packed with flavour that you will be licking your lips and wanting to go back again, lets support Kumar and his brother Jasbir. This is one restaurant we want to see grow from strength to strength.”
A taste of Northern India
By Shannon Hopkins
A new restaurant in town has tongues wagging
The North Indian restaurant Sawagat, which means welcome in Pujabi, was opened in February this year and is now really starting to make a name for itself with its unusual and beautiful flavours.
It is the first of its kind in the area, and the cuisine is spectacular, giving one a true sense of India.
You can find them in Sandra road next to Towel Haven in the old Ballito CBD.
The owners, Dharminder Kumar and Jasbir Singh, are from Punjab originally and say they each moved to South Africa about eight years ago in search of opportunity.
“It is very difficult in India for people in the middle class to advance themselves, there is too much competition, so we came here to develop ourselves,” said Kumar.
Both of their families are still living in Punjab, but Kumar plans to bring his family over here soon.
Kumar and Jasbir, as they asked us to call them, are experienced chefs, Jasbir having worked at a restaurant in India for five years learning to be a chef. Kumar learnt to cook at a North Indian restaurant in Johannesburg, where the two were working and struck up a friendship in 2009.
They then decided to open their own restaurant in Pietermaritzburg with the financial assistance of a another friend. As many of their customers were from Ballito, they decided the next step was to bring the flavours of India to our seaside town.
Kumar and Jasbir stick to a very traditional way of preparing their food, some of the recipes of which are their mothers'. Their naan breads and some of the meats are cooked in the traditional clay oven, and all the spices are bought whole, being ground especially for each meal. One of their specialities is an Indian cream cheese, paneer, with a similar flavour and texture to Japanese tofu. This is made fresh, painstakingly by the Sawagat chefs.
Kumar said their food is totally different to the oily curies of Southern India, and are very healthy. As many people are farmers in the Punjab, they try to keep a wholesome diet so that they are fit and strong enough to work in the scorching Punjab summer. Even one of the puddings, gajjar halwa, is made from grated carrot, though you'd never say so!
These two entrepreneurs are very positive about being in Ballito and said the restaurant is already quite well supported.
“We have had such a positive response from the community we are very much enjoying living and working in the area!” said Kumar.
Tel : 032 586 1384
Cell: 078 751 8945
Where to Find Us:
27 Sandra Road, Ballito (near Ballito Accomodation)