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Nelson’s Little India

When people outside India talk about Indian food, they usually mean North Indian, and specifically Punjabi, the most popular Indian cuisine both in and out of India, so if you are after authentic Indian food made by love, affection and attention, one need look no further than Little India on Hardy Street. This restaurant has a broad and colourful menu full to the brim with Indian flavours. The Little India group of restaurants is owned and operated by members of the same family with roots in Northern India. Founded by Sukhi Gill in Dunedin in 1991, the family restaurant has grown from humble beginnings to a nationwide business, with 18 restaurants in New Zealand. Little India have been serving Nelson since 2004 and the restaurant offers both outdoor and indoor seating. The room is friendly and welcoming and the space is comfortable and creates an easy atmosphere. The walls are tastefully decorated with great black-and-white photos of family members and famous places in India. There is a full bar providing a variety of drink options depending on the mood.

From the first moment you arrive in this restaurant Sonia and Mani give you a pleasant feeling. Mani Rai is the owner operator of Little India in Nelson and he runs the restaurant together with his wife Sonia who takes an active role behind the scenes. Both were born in Amritsar, in Northern India, and is where they met. Mani Rai and his Sonia are are dedicated to sharing their traditional punjabi food with locals. The best Indian food always carries with it a long history of family traditions and heritage, with recipes usually passed down from one generation to the next. All recipes at Little India comes from the family’s grandmother Premjit Kaur and the chefs are all trained by Premjit in India.

“People often think Indian food is hot and of course some of it is, but Northern Indian food has a focus on layers of flavour with some searingly hot on the Kiwi palate. The majority, however, are just richly flavoured with a gentle heat”, says Mani.
Little India serve dishes like Tandoori Chicken, Vegetable samosa, Rogan Josh, Butter Chicken and Tikka Masala and much more, all famous Punjabi dishes that rule over the hearts of all Indian food lovers. Using a traditional charcoal clay oven, something that is not so common adds so much amazing flavor to the food.

“We have chosen to present some of the more characteristic dishes from North India, especially the Punjab. Our food is complimented with Naan breads and Basmati rice. Basmati rice is the king of all rice grown only in the Punjab”.


Mani adds that they recently are offering a cauliflower rice as a low-carb alternative to rice.
Punjabi Cuisine is one of the most distinct and popular Indian cuisines and comes from the region of Punjab situated partially in India and Pakistan. It offers a vast variety of delectable and exotic vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes that are prepared with varied traditional culinary styles, particularly the tandoori style. Little India is a true home cooking experience and here you can enjoy delicious food with your friends and rejuvenate your taste buds. Download Little India’s smart app, browse the menus, order takeaway or book a table online.
The restaurant also has a loyalty program that reward existing customer for their visits.

Enjoyable meals, competitive cost and excellent service. Mani and Sonia always greet you with a warm smile. Little India is open seven days per week for lunch and dinner and takeaway. Whether you choose to dine in or takeaway, expect to be served quality and authentic northern indian dishes from Little India.




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