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Archive for Foodventure / Culinary Journey

Recommended Foodventure: The Dhaba, near Convergys BPO, National Highway 8, Gurgaon, INDIA

There is this Dhaba (An eating house, set up on a modest budget serving value meals to travelers on the Great Indian Highways), just off the NH8, adjacent to the Convergys BPO in Gurgaon. It is situated on a piece of prime land which the owner refused to sell to India’s largest real estate co. around 3 decades back and rightfully so, as it is worth anywhere between 25-50 million american dollars now.

The Dhaba operates throught the day and night and serves breakfast (Pronounced:Brake-Fusht),lunch, dinner and fresh deep fried snacks, to feed the employees working in the nearby offices, some of which are BPO facilities and operate 3 shifts, 8 hours each (Read: 24×7). The Dhaba has been open for the past 9 years and offers a good alternative to the standard eateries in Gurgaon (who otherwise shamelessly scoop out frozen food from deep freezers, microwave it, garnish it and serve to undiscerning guests)

At the Dhaba, a minimum waiting time of 45 minutes gets you a ‘yet to be cleaned table’ which I imagine resembles a freshly dug graveyard with chicken/lamb bones strewn all over. The Chotu (waiter) quickly wipes off the bones and thrusts down glasses of water, which one should safely avoid and must insist of a bottle of packaged water.

One can order any of the 60 dishes (including 10 variants each of the Parantha and Maggi Instant Noodles) on the menu. I would recommended you order the signature parantha’s (thick organic whole-wheat pancakes with vegetable/meat stuffing, shallow fried in butter). The Parantha is large, the size of a medium Domino’s pizza and makes a complete meal. You have a choice of fillings – vegetables, shredded chicken or minced mutton. Each of these filings are mixed with secret Indian herbs and spices prior to getting thrusted into the dough before getting flattened and tossed onto the tawa (a big pan made of iron) full of heated butter. Each parantha is accompanied by a scoopful of freshly pickled assorted vegetables and a dollop of melting butter.

(Stuffed Parantha’s)

One can also order a “kaali Dal” (Organic Black Lentils, Ginger, Garlic, Chilies, Loads of secret indian organic spices and loads of Butter, boiled in a sealed earthen pot for a minimum of 24 hours) served with Tandoori Roti (flattened organic whole-wheat pancakes roasted in an earthen clay oven).)

I would suggest one orders a Pepsi cola to water down these various artery choking and cholesterol loaded gastronomical delights !

While eating, suggest you keep all your five senses fixated on the food as the place is not really very hygienic.

Post the meal, I recommend drinking a cup of coffee from the Caravan, (A rusting White Suzuki van with punctured tyres and a leaking roof, stationed near the dhaba, for over 5 years).


Recommended Eating: Kake Da Hotel (Delhi’s Best NWFP Cusine)

Recommended Eating: Kake Da Hotel (Delhi’s Best NWFP Cusine)

If you are ever driving in Connaught place – outer circle, once you zip past the Rohit Bal designed-one of Delhi’s unquestionably most serene restaurants i.e. Veda, switch off the air conditioning (if your car has one !), roll down the screens and press the car to the left until the wafting smell of kebabs, biryani’s and secret Indian curries from the 65 year old Delhi’s legendary gastronomical landmark i.e Kake Da Hotel, enters your car….

The owners of this eatery fled Multan of undivided India some 65 years back (now in Pakistan) and started this 30 cover eatery in New Delhi. There are only about 20 odd very carefully selected dishes on the menu, which haven’t changed since India won Independence and neither have any of the recipes. I think the secret to Kake’s success lies in a.> the use of Indian Masalas (Spices). Each of which is freshly ground with a pestle and mortar and not bought off the shelf from some supermarket b.> Use of Pure Desi Ghee ( Clarified Butter made from cow milk) only, this is a rarety these days as usually restaurants end up using some industrial sludge (read: vegetable oil).

A minimum waiting period of 20 minutes gets you a table. I think what is really brilliant is the Sag-Paneer ( Indian Cottage Cheese in a spinach curry), Egg Curry (Boiled Eggs in a tangy tomato-garlic-onion-ginger-secret Indian herbs curry), Sag-Meat (Mutton in a spinach curry), Murg Makhani or Butter Chicken ( Roasted Chicken in a tomato-butter-fresh cream-onion curry ) and the Meat Pulao (Basmati Rice cooked with Mutton).

Each dish is accompanied by a plate of freshly sliced onion rings with lemon juice and rock salt sprinkled on top. Along with the dishes one can order Indian breads- the Naan, Roti or a Tandoori Lachha Parantha . There are no desserts on the menu.

Must Eat, Whenever you are next in Delhi.

Address: 74, Municipal Market, Connaught Circus, New Delhi