Jagdish Singh owns House of Punjab, an authentic Indian restaurant, which opened mid-July. For 5 Questions this week, the Grand Forks Herald sat down with him to talk to him about it.
Q: What is your personal connection to Indian food?
A: I have a background from there. All of my background is related to Indian food, and I wanted to bring this to our community, to Grand Forks to have Indian food, and to have my family here to serve Indian food to our community.
Q: Why did you decide to open an Indian restaurant to Grand Forks?
A: I worked in Fargo for it, and I (saw) there was an interest for it. A lot of guests that asked for us to open an Indian restaurant in Grand Forks, because they need something original, and that’s why I am here.
Q: What kind of styles are unique to Indian food?
A: Lots of masalas. There are certain kinds of masalas we make to get that authentic taste for Indian food. And there is like a lots of sauces. We make a tomato-based and an onion-based sauce. We have an authentic clay oven where me make this bread, the fresh stuff, and that’s called a naan. So, there’s a huge line of naan bread. There’s paneer naan, regular naan, we’ve also got garlic naan… The taste of India – you can taste the difference.
Q: What importance does having a tandoor oven play in cooking authentic Indian food?
A: That is the most important part, because whatever grills we do, we use that. We do a chicken tandoori, lamb… We put it in the skewer, and then we grill it in that oven. That is the most important part of an Indian restaurant.
Q: What would you say to people who haven’t tried Indian food and are considering coming to House of Punjab to get their first taste?
A: We have lots of people, lots of guests who think that our food is always spicy. But, because we use lots of masalas, there’s a little bit of spiciness, but we give customers the option to have mild, medium or hot spiciness. That is how we make our food.