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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

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ORAL HISTORY

Lisa and Abhijeet Purakayastha


Khana Indian Grill

Lisa, born in 1957, is from Houston, Texas. Abhijeet Purakayastha, born in 1962, was raised in India. Abhijeet moved to Texas from India to attend the University of Texas. They met in Houston at an advertising agency. A few years after they married, they opened an Indian leather import business.

In 2006, the Purakayasthas left Houston and moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas. Lisa and Abhijeet were used to the accessibility of Houston’s diverse food scene. When they first moved to Arkansas, they had difficulty finding Indian spices and vegetables. And they missed the easy access to Indian grocery stores and restaurants. As they settled in Northwest Arkansas, Lisa and Abhijeet began to make Indian food for their new community. Soon after, they decided to start an Indian restaurant. In 2015, they opened Khana Indian Grill. Khana serves a small menu featuring dishes from many regions of India. Lisa and Abhijeet use their menu to educate Arkansans unfamiliar with Indian food.

Date of interview:
2019-03-13

Interviewer:
Annemarie Anderson

Photographer:
Brian Chilson

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