Last Sunday, I with my partner of 32 years were out on an evening drive. We did some shopping and were discussing a lot about family affairs.
While remembering our road trips with children, suddenly we remember about a small dhaba on the way to Beas. It was in early 90s, when highways were not so well developed and the only eateries available in Punjab were the roadside dhabas.
Dhaba is the name given to roadside restaurants, mostly situated on highways , near petrol pumps and serve local cuisine. They are mostly found in Punjab and serve rustic punjabi food with punjabi folk music. Punjabi food, especially the heavily spiced and fried local vegetables and dal makhani served with tandoori roti , naan or lacha paranthas with onion and green chillies salad cooked on chulahas has that smoky flavour, which I always loved.
In those days, there were no AC dhabas. Things were simple then and food was pure and unaffected by the fusion. Dhabas were characterized by mud structures and cots to sit while eating. A wooden plank would be placed across the width of charpoy, which became table to put dishes. With time, cots were replaced by table chairs. The food was inexpensive and had that home made feel.
Now, with watering mouth , began the search for that typical panjabi food in Ahmedabad. Google baba guided us to Mahrishi Dhaba, on S.G highway. It's a small eatery on the sidelane, parallel to S.G highway. It was run by a sikh father-son duo and the moment, I saw them, I knew that it's going to be good. A small joint with some sitting in AC room and some tables in the open corridor in front of shop. Whole place was full of divine smell of Punjabi food. Though, its no match to the simple rustic food, we had during those long drives, it was the best panjabi food, we had in Ahmedabad.
But my quest for a better Panjabi authentic food has not stopped yet. I am still looking for better and authentic taste.