We’ve finally found in Bahrain what we’d been missing for so many years – a Punjabi Dhaba – or a traditional roadside eating place – so popular all over India, particularly in Punjab and along the highways.
Food at these rather rustic places is the basic – just a couple of vegetables, may a meat dish, lentils, some sweet, one or two kinds of Indian bread and yogurt!
In Bahrain, for so many years, i’ve never come across such a joint and wondered why someone had not thought about it!
The other day, thanks to a Punjabi gentleman who had come to fix an air conditioner, we discovered this.
Tucked away in one of the lanes of the Salmabad district, this dhaba is part of a large automobile and electrical workshop owned by a Sikh gentleman and caters primarily to thousands of workers who stay and work in the area, known for its garages, workshops and ancillary units.
It gives the feel of a traditional place the moment you enter – with rows of vessels with cooked food lined on the shelves and chefs preparing typical North Indian and Punjabi delicacies. When I visited this morning, I saw the luscious ‘jalebi’ and the ‘bhatoora’ being prepared – mouth watering to say the least!
However, I ordered parathas – two each stuffed with cauliflower, paneer and potato – accompanied by a generous dollop of pickle containing traditional and rather bitter mustard oil, as well as the very popular breakfast of cholley-bhatoorey!
The best part is the price – around $5 for the entire lot I ordered this morning. And it’s neat and clean and very inviting! I am told a full vegetarian meal for one person – a thali – is sold for a little more than a dollar!
While I would not come here often – and certainly not on a weekday, I would sometimes stop by and carry home a ‘parcel’ of lunch, not to mention the mouthwatering ‘jalebi’ or ‘samosas.’
This, certainly, is the closest thing I’ve seen here that reminds me of home – as far as eating out is concerned!