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Oral Histories

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Lisa and Abhijeet Purakayastha

Khana Indian Grill

Lisa Purakayastha, 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, and the pair 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 open an Indian restaurant. In 2015, they introduced Khana Indian Grill, which 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:

Annemarie Anderson

Brian Chilson

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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