In 2004, there was no Little India in Harris Park. There was just one grocer, a sweets shop and a restaurant, Billu’s.
Billu serves food from Punjab in North India, think butter chicken, naan, rogan josh, vindaloo and korma.
The restaurant’s most famous dish is tandoori chicken, smoky and slightly charred from being cooked in a cylindrical wood-fired oven, but tender and juicy from a 24-hour yoghurt-and-spice marinade. The iconic red colour comes from one of two things: for the spicy version, Kashmiri red-pepper powder, in the mild version, red food colouring.
Here, most tables will have tandoor-baked naan with dinner or, if it’s breakfast, bhatura (a puffy, fried flatbread) or cauliflower, paneer or potato-stuffed paratha (a buttery, dense pancake-like bread).
For those looking to try some North Indian dishes they’re not familiar with, ask for chicken kadhai (a mild, thick curry cooked with onion and capsicum), spiced kabab skewers or fish amritsari (a spiced, battered fish popular on the Punjab streets).
If you’re dining solo, get the daily Punjabi thali, with four curries, raita, pickles and galub jamon (those syrupy doughnut-like sweets) – it’s like a mini one-person banquet.
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