From Sarah, With Love- First Pakistani Food Business Opens in Syracuse
Sarah Robin is excited to announce that Punjabi Girl Catering, Syracuse's first Pakistani restaurant, will be opening soon! We interviewed her to find out where she draws her influences, how she got her start, and why she believes in Syracuse!
Sample her delicious food at the Greater Syracuse Arts and Cultural Fest on August 18th or order today!
First and Last Name:
Name of your business:
What culture(s) inspire your food?
Pakistani authentic food, street food style
Did other cultures inspire your food as well?
Americans, Indians, Middle Eastern, African, Nepali
What are some examples of food items on your menu that you typically offer?
Seasonal Vegetables fried in chick pea flour
Potato, chick pea, yogurt with mint and cilantro chutney, home made crackers, pomegranate
LAHORI CHICKEN TIKKA -
PESHAWARI CHAPAL KABAB -
(WHEAT, BARLEY, LENTIL TRIOS,CHICKEN)
CHICKEN CURRY WITH AROMATIC SPICES, BASMATI RICE WITH SAFFRON
CHANA DAL WITH FRIED EGG
(YELLOW LENTIL WITH PICKLING SPICES)
Wheat vermicelli, milk, saffron, green cardamom, almonds, pistachios rose water, basil seeds
What was your experience with food in the country where you are from? Did you cook? How did you learn to cook?
My mother is always my inspiration and I’ve always loved to cook. As I started growing up, I started creating my own recipes because I wanted to do something different and the best, so no matter who ever eats my food it will make them say this is the best food of their lives. This is what satisfies me and makes me proud.
How did you initially get interested in starting a business here? What steps have you had to take to start your business?
I came to the United States in 2012 as a refugee with my American dream- that I have to improve myself and adopt American culture. When I came to Syracuse, I started searching for good Pakistani Food but unfortunately I couldn't find any good food except chocolate cakes and ice cream, so I started cooking by myself at home while researching new spices. I did many experiments and most of the time I was successful.
One day I found Adam Suddman's information through Catholic Charities and that was the time when real adventures started in my life. I started cooking for My Lucky Tummy pop up events which gave my food huge exposure to the Syracuse community. I was shocked, I never expected that the community would love my food that much and encourage me to open up my restaurant. During that time Onondaga Community College was looking for their first entrepreneur in residence for their “With Love Restaurant." It was perfect timing for me to introduce my cuisine more frequently with the community who has been always supportive of me. I am so thankful to Onondaga Community College because they helped me gain a lot of support. I learned B.O.H and F.O.H experience, chef skills, chopping skills, and of course, business skills, and now I am very excited to announce that I am ready to open my restaurant and the name of the restaurant will be Punjabi Girl.
Studies have shown that immigrants in America are significantly more likely to start a business than people who are from here originally. Why do you think that is?
For me starting the business is not for money, it's all about living my life like real Americans, being independent, and working really hard day and night. This country has given me so much more than my own country and it is time for my contribution. America is a land of opportunity and I feel so blessed to be a part of this country. God Bless America more and more always and every day, I pray!
Why do you believe in Syracuse? What do you love about Syracuse?
I believe in Syracuse because they are the one who believed in me first. Syracuse gave, me support, encouragement, and of course lots of love. I believe "Punjabi Girl" restaurant will be a huge welcoming to Syracuse and the Punjabi vibe will definitely bring new life.
What do you hope for the future of Syracuse?
My hope is to see Syracuse become one of the most successful cities in the United States. If we all contribute together with honest hearts, we can do this, we can bring any change with love and believing in our selves. We just need to believe and then we all can do it.
How does someone get this food?
Contact Sarah to order today:
PUNJABI GIRL CATERING
OR attend the Greater Syracuse Arts & Culture Festival on August 18th!