May 4th, 2017, 05:36 PM

A Little Guide Through Little India

By Savannah Hunter
Image Credit: Savannah Hunter
Look no further if you're searching for a taste of home in Paris

As an American coming to Paris, it has allowed me to explore the parts of my identity outside of my nationality. The American University of Paris is crawling with students from all over the place with backgrounds that touch nearly every continent. Within the city itself, it caters to little versions of home and allows everyone to find their niche. As someone searching for a taste of my Indian heritage in my new home, I was happy to discover that Paris is home to its very own Little India.

Image Credit: Savannah Hunter

Cuisines

India is the third largest Asian country by land area and the second largest in population. It is situated with Pakistan to the west and Nepal and Bangladesh to the east. Even within the country, there is a wide variety of regional and traditional dishes. India is known for their diverse array of spices. Even regionally they differ wildly, leaving cultural stamps wherever they go. As one walks through Passage Brady in the 2nd arrondissement, the strong smell of the spices and colorful menus carry you from restaurant to restaurant wanting to try a little bit more and more of India.

Northern Indian/Pakistani

Northern India's dishes are heavily influenced by the Middle East and Central Asia due to close proximity. This is why a lot of restaurants will be labeled as both Indian and Pakistani. La Reine du Kashmir (80 Passage Brady) and Palais des Rajpouts (64 Passage Brady) both specialize in Tandoori, an array of typically clay ovens used for cooking and baking in parts of Northern India.

Indian

Not all restaurants specialize in Northern, Southern, Western, or Eastern Indian food. Sometimes, they'll take a mixture of the common foods and some of the specialties of a region and offer. Restaurant Yasmin, Pooja Namo, and Le Jardin d'Inde are general Indian restaurants. Although Le Jardin d'Inde specifically says Mumbai on it, Mumbai has a culture of its own that distinguishes itself from being singularly northern, southern, western, or eastern.

Grocery

Velan was the first grocery store I looked at when I was preparing a West Indian meal for Thanksgiving 2016. They carry an array of teas, rice, Indian flatbreads, drinks and fresh produce outside. It can help an Indian expat, or anyone of Indian descent, feel right at home. 


Image Credit: Savannah Hunter


Velan. Image Credit: Savannah Hunter

Velan. Image Credit: Savannah Hunter

Beauty

Angel Beauty Indian (77 Passage Brady) deals with everything from hair removal ("épilation au fil") and waxing ("épilation cire chaude traditionnelle") to mehendi ("dessin au henné") and makeup ("maquillage") to manicures ("beauté des mains") and fake nails ("extensions ongles"). They share the passageway with New Coiffure (65 Passage Brady), another hairdresser operated by Indians.  Besides the hairdressers,  the boutiques also contain beauty products. Le Monde de Delias sells shampoos, soaps, coconut butter, and more. Velan, a boutique and grocery store, sells a variety of argan oil, nut powder for hair, henné, and more.


Le Monde de Delias. Image Credit: Savannah Hunter


Le Monde de Delias. Image Credit: Savannah Hunter