LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- In this week's "Eat It Up," Amanda Jaeger and Rob Evans checked out an Indian food staple in Little Rock, Star of India. It's located 301 N. Shackleford Rd.

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Here are five things the two learned:

  1. Star of India is known for their lunch buffet! It’s full of authentic Indian food and the varieties of options change daily. Notably, on Wednesday they serve fried mahi mahi on the buffet which is one of their most popular dishes.

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  • Two of Star of India’s additional most popular dishes are the Chicken Tikka Masala and Saag Paneer. The Chicken Tikka is boneless white meat chicken cooked with tomatoes and herb sauce. The paneer has chunks of homemade cheese with homemade creamed spinach that cooks for 10 hours! The owner and chef, Sami Lal, said that long cook time makes the dish even more authentically Indian and delicious. Both are buffet staples.

  • Star of India has a lot of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options. Lal said that he frequently talks with customers about their dietary needs and can always find or make a dish that will work for them.

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  • Speaking of the owner, Sami Lal has been the chef and owner of Star of India in Little Rock since 1993! You’ll regularly find him out talking with customers in the dining room. He considers everyone who eats there his family. He is notorious for striking up conversations and developing lifelong friendships with his customers (family). If you’re a regular, he’ll usually greet you by saying “welcome home!”

  • Almost all décor in Star of India is all authentically Indian. Coming from India himself, Lal wanted to bring real Indian art to the restaurant to immerse Arkansans in his traditional culture.
  • Rob and Amanda’s pro-tips:

    Amanda: Eat all the Naan you can. Dip it in everything. Naan is life. It’s made fresh every day and tastes incredible! Naan is leavened white bread baked in the tandoor (a clay oven of a type used originally in northern India and Pakistan).

    Rob: Try as many dishes as you can without any preconceived notions about Indian food. Try things you may not normally try on the buffet. I was surprised by how many of the dishes I loved that I wouldn’t have tried normally.