Gurugramwale: The desi pleasures of an authentic Vaishno dhaba
A longtime vegetarian eatery that evokes the flavours of simple home cooking.gurgaon Updated: Feb 14, 2019 15:21 IST
The air is heavy with the overpowering scent of desi ghee. There’s also a distinct scent of steaming hot dal, or rather of ghee in the dal.
And the kitchen is all misty with the fumes of the burning wood.
This might be the most atmospheric vegetarian eatery in the Millennium City. Tucked in a corner of Gurugram’s Sadar Bazaar, the unpretentious Pandit Vaishno Dhaba daily serves a simple meal of dal, subzi, salad and roti arranged in a beautiful thali -- not the fanciful thalis encountered in expensive specialty restaurants but the sturdy kinds one actually uses at home.
The place is decidedly semi-rustic and the food is cooked on the wood-fired stove, which explains the kitchen’s sooty windows.
The dhaba’s nucleus is its small dining room. It is full of mood. The walls are decked with framed images of gods and goddesses along with a black-and-white portrait of late Pandit Ram Chander Sharma, the gentleman who founded the eatery in 1951.
This afternoon the dhaba is in the middle of a busy lunch hour. Customers are dispersed across the tables. Some are in groups of two or three, others are by themselves. The server is handing each of them puffy phulkas generously smeared with desi ghee.
After Ram Chander’s death in 1992, the eatery passed on to his sons Roshanlal and Sanjay. These days the latter’s young son, Himanshu, too has started to linger around. He is an ambitious boy. In his early 20s, the young Mr Sharma is aware of the “legacy and the goodwill enjoyed by our family eatery and my generation shall like to turn it into a chain.”
Changes are inevitable but the lad assures that there shall be no doing away with the wood-fired chulha.
The eatery opens daily, except for the month’s last Sunday, from 11 am to 4 pm for lunch, and 7 pm to 10.30 pm for dinner.
First Published: Feb 14, 2019 15:21 IST