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Little Kabab Owner Expands with Little Spice Bazaar

New store to offer more than 200 varieties of fresh spices, several varieties of lassi drink.

If you enjoy eating at , you're in for a treat. Owner Bonnie Saran is expanding with a new store called Little Spice Bazaar, which will have a soft opening on Jan. 20.

Located just two doors down (27 E. Main St., Mount Kisco) the new store will offer an experience like an Indian shopping bazaar, according to Saran. It will occupy 800 square feet, in the store formerly occupied by a 1-hour photo shop.

There will be more than 200 varieties of spices, with imports coming in as far as India, Jamaica and Africa, Saran said. They will be made fresh on site and range from powdered to ground.

People can buy in both large and small quantities, as the spices will be on display in several containers.

“So people can basically come in, and they don’t necessarily have to buy the big bags," Saran said.

Saran made her decision to expand when customers at Little Kebab asked her where they could purchase the ingredients that the eatery uses.

Another big draw will be a lassi and juice bar. Lassi, a drink made from yogurt, is an Indian staple.

“Lassi is a very popular drink in India," Saran said.

Being light-hearted about its native popularity, Saran and her partner, Karan Gera, have dubbed their drink concept "Monsieur Singh," with the tag line "ENDORSED DAILY BY A BILLION INDIANS." Saran and Gera originally met each other in India while going to graduate school.

The idea for the name represents a cultural mix. Recently, Gera took a trip to Kapurthala, a city located in India's Punjab region, to research authentic lassi from the area. It is known, according to Gera and Saran, as the Paris of Punjab, hence the use of Monsieur. The Singh portion comes from the fact that it's a common Punjabi surname.

The lassis that Gera and Saran are interested in are based on ayureda, which is an Indian medicinal system (click here to read more about it). There will be about 8-10 different varities, including Mango, Chai and salted, Saran said.

When asked what will make the lassis stand out, Gera said that they will be authentic and described how the machine they will be using churns lassis at a better speed than a blender. The large list of spices also means that people can make custom orders for what to put into their lassis, Saran explained.

The spice bazaar will have an interesting juxtaposition of furnishings, as they will be both global and local. While the lassi machine for Monsieur Singh will be from India, most of the furniture was purchased from when the bookstore as it closed this past fall. This ranges from book shelves to the lassi bar counter, which Saran got from Borders' former downstairs cafe.

“I would say 90 percent of the stuff is from Borders," Saran said.

As for Little Kabab? Since opening in February 2011, Saran reports that business has been going well. While the restaurant has low margins, it makes up for it with volume, she said. They get a number of repeat customers, including Bill Clinton (Saran said he's stopped in about four times) and Martha Stewart (she said about 8-9 times).

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