Tammy Mutasa, Garland Reporter
Longtime Garland business owner Ben Rikhilal, also known as the Kurry King, died Monday night after a battle with diabetes and heart trouble.
Garland is remembering its "Kurry King."
Ben Rikhilal, a longtime business owner, died Monday night at the age of 76.
"He touched people. He touched you in your heart," said Nishan Douglas, Rikhilal's son-in-law. "And that's the thing all of us are going to miss."
Rikhilal and his family moved to Garland from South Africa 32 years ago. He brought and hand-mixed spices from all over the world.
He recently had a little restaurant and corner shop on Main Street in Downtown Garland.
"He brought a wonderful flavor and an exceptional aroma to Downtown Garland and has been our good Garland business owner for over 30 years," Councilwoman Laura Perkins-Cox said. " He will be very very missed in Garland, where he was loved by all."
Rikhilal was a fixture at the Dallas Farmer's Market for more than two decades and was featured in regional magazines.
"He knew what he put into it, he knew the outcome of his mixes before he even put them together and what they would taste like before he even cooked it, and that's what set him apart as a real curry king," Douglas said.
Nearby business owners also remember his kindness.
"That was best part of the whole evening -- to smell all the spices," said Gary Williams, of the Triple A Muffler and Brake Center across the street. "It really is a big loss for Downtown Garland."
His legacy of flavor will live on. Rikhilal's daughter, Jody, will keep the shop open.
"Even in death, that's dad. That's my dad," Douglas said.