The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

South Asian Small Businesses

Pabla Indian Cuisine and The Grateful Paratha
South+Asian+Small+Businesses

When we think of South Asian Cuisine, what comes to mind? Is it the aromas or flavors of the foods? Is it the tastes and textures that set it apart? Personally, something that comes to my mind when I go to a South Asian restaurant is the drive and passion of its owners. When I discover that I am getting the opportunity to taste a delightful meal made by hands who are passionate about what they do and give it everything, I am honored. And what could be more fulfilling than experiencing the enchantment of a small business and the passion that marked the start of their dream? 

Today, we come together to talk about two small businesses in the Pacific Northwest that encapsulate the true passion of what they do. 

I talked to the owners of Pabla Indian Cuisine in Renton WA and The Grateful Paratha in Bellevue WA.

 

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Pabla Indian Cuisine: 

What are you passionate about doing at your small business?

“Pabla is my family’s last name. I started in 1995 in Washington state for sweets and my restaurant to share meals.”

What were your goals/purpose when you started your small business?

“I first started a restaurant in Seattle, then I planned to open a sweet shop and grocery store in Renton ‘98. After ‘98 I started a few vegetarian restaurants in Renton. No meat, no eggs, no alcohol. 

What would you recommend to new customers or people coming for the first time?

“I offer tandoori chicken, chicken curry, lamb curry, and some varying vegetable dishes. Saag paneer, aloo gobi, and daal.”

Any accomplishments you would like to share? 

“In 2001, Kosher certified my restaurant. It is a very special thing.” 

 

The Grateful Paratha: 

What are you passionate about doing at your small business?

“I am very passionate about creating a new foodline or a new way of consuming flatbreads, which is paranthas, and make it convenient for busy people who may not have enough time or the skills to make these delicious flatbreads easily. So, my goal is to create a way of consuming these in a convenient way, cost effective, and putting healthy and nutritious flatbreads on the table without putting too much time into it.”

What were your goals/purpose when you started your small business?

The first purpose is obviously to satisfy a need that’s out there, and the second purpose is that I also would like to be able to create successful businesses, be able to create a new product line, be creative about it, be resourceful about it, and put a company together. Even if it’s a small company initially, to assemble a group of people that are helpful and passionate just like I am, and be able to put a business together that is independent and self-sustaining.”

What would you recommend to new customers or people coming for the first time?

“What I have found is that the most popular ones are the stuffed potato and one that is stuffed with paneer (which is cottage cheese) and flavored with spices. These are the two most popular ones that I get requested most often. I personally also recommend koki which is also a little bit of an ethnic dish in the household that I grew up in. It’s a flatbread that has onion and cilantro in it, and it’s thick and crisp on the outside and soft on the inside and it’s delicious with eggs or with yogurt.” 

 

I also talked to some students here at Hazen to learn how they feel about these small businesses, and if they would recommend them to others.

 

Via Billing, Grade 11: 

Have you eaten from any of the following places? 

“I’ve eaten at Pabla before.”

What stood out to you about this restaurant? 

“I really like the diversity of their menu! They have a lot of different dishes to choose from.”

Do you have a favorite dish or something you often purchase? 

“My favorite dish is probably the samosas.”

Would you recommend these restaurants to people looking to learn more about the South Asian Cuisine/small businesses? 

“I would definitely recommend Pabla to others who are looking to learn about South Asian Cuisine because like I said they have a very diverse menu and there’s something for everyone to enjoy!”

 

Reeya Kharel, Grade 11: 

Have you eaten from any of the following places? 

“I’ve eaten at Pabla.”

What stood out to you about this restaurant? 

“I mainly go to Pabla for their bakery and sweets section. They have a really wide variety of authentic South Asian desserts.”

Do you have a favorite dish or something you often purchase? 

“My personal favorite is the jalebi. they make it from scratch every morning so if you go early enough it’s still super warm and gooey.”

Would you recommend these restaurants to people looking to learn more about the South Asian Cuisine/small businesses? 

“Pabla is a great spot to learn more about South Asian cuisine because they focus on more complex traditional foods that aren’t normally available in more Westernized restaurants.”

 

Senuki Atapattu, Grade 11: 

Have you eaten from any of the following places? 

“I’ve eaten from The Grateful Paratha.”

What stood out to you about this restaurant? 

“Hm, I’ve only eaten from them once but I would say the variety of parathas stood out to me.”

Do you have a favorite dish or something you often purchase? 

“My favorite was the aloo paratha.”

Would you recommend these restaurants to people looking to learn more about the South Asian Cuisine/small businesses? 

“Yes, I would definitely recommend it! I think getting to cook the paratha yourself is a very cool experience to learn about the different ingredients and techniques used in South Asian cuisine.”

 

Shuhala Hoque, Grade 11 would also like to add that, “I think it’s important to support small business because it helps support the local economy and community! Also you often find better food at small businesses over large chains.”


After these student interviews, we have discovered that getting the opportunity to start a small business and create new ideas for people to innovate and flourish is vital. Small businesses are often tied to the emotions and aspirations of those who came together to make them. 

For many, starting and running a small business is a deeply personal endeavor. It is often driven by passion, a desire to pursue a dream, or a sense of purpose. The emotional investment in their business can be immense, as they pour their time, energy, and resources into making it successful. There’s a sense of pride and accomplishment in building something from the ground up and seeing it thrive, which is one of the aspects of why we need small businesses. These small business owners have created a land of opportunity for those who plan on beginning their small businesses and have become the backbone of what is keeping these dreams alive. The beauty of seeing these South Asian entrepreneurs come together and create something innovative brings more attention to the community as a whole. Without their efforts and resilience, we would not know what these years of hard work can someday create for us. 

 

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Eshana Gill
Eshana Gill, Staff
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