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2018-02-07 06:00
PHOTO: suppliedJasbir Singh

PHOTO: suppliedJasbir Singh

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THE North Indian restaurant Sawagat, which means welcome in Punjabi, was opened five years ago in February 2013 at the Ballito Village and has made a name for itself with its unusual and scintillating flavours.

It was 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 owner Jasbir Singh is from Punjab originally and says he moved to South Africa about eight years ago in search of opportunity.

Singh is an experienced chef, having worked at a restaurant in India for five years learning the skills of the job.

Singh sticks to a very traditional way of preparing food, some of the recipes of which are his mother’s. The 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.

Their food is totally different to the oily curries of Southern India, and are very healthy.

As many people are farmers in 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.

Singh is positive about being in Ballito and said the restaurant is well supported.

“We have had such a positive response from the community and we are very much enjoying living and working in the area.”

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