But the hauntingly wonderful aromas that waft from the kitchen of this dhaba make you want to go there again, despite the attack by the army of mosquitoes. There is not much to see, except an old shack of a dhaba, sweaty men working away in their kitchen, and a big open area in front (probably illegal) where they put up their plastic tables and chairs. Yet, I would advise you to go there and eat at least once. It will open you up to new vistas as to how good can vegetarian food taste.
It is very easy on the pocket too. A hearty meal for two, including five bhakris (fat rotis made out of corn, jowar or bajra) soaked in ghee, tadka daal, one vegetable, two bowls of fresh butter (makkhan) with sugar, and one whole one liter bottle of buttermilk costs you about 200 rupees only. It is a hearty meal mind you, and despite its looks and shortcomings, you will always find an array of expensive cars parked right outside this dhaba.
I first had this shaaq at this particular dhaba. Inspite of me (biased as I was to eating in roadside eateries as compared to expensive hotels), I found myself thoroughly relishing every bite. The bhakri was so soft, I had never eaten a bajre ki bhakri which is so soft! The daal tadka is to die for! And the makkhan! The butter is so fresh (they said they have a cattle shed just behind their dhaba and they extract fresh butter everyday!) The taste of the food… Oh! I have made this dish before but no matter how many times I make it, I can never replicate the taste of that sev kanda tameta nu shaaq.
Still, I have come very close to that authentic taste. Maybe the next time I will request them to allow me in the kitchen so I can see for myself how they make it.
- 5 spring onions finely chopped
- 3 medium tomatoes finely chopped
- 150 g sev of your choice (I prefer the Ratlam sev)
- 7 to 8 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 6 to 7 curry leaves
- a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 3/4th tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp red chilli powder (or more if u like it hot. If your sev is spicy, put less chilli powder)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp amchur (dry mango) powder
- 1 small piece of jaggery
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 cups water
Heat the oil in a wok and when it is sufficiently hot, add the mustard seeds. Wait for the mustard to crackle and then add the cumin seeds. As the cumin seeds are changing color, add a pinch of asafoetida and then the garlic. Allow the garlic to fry a bit till it is nice and golden brown in color. It gives off a distinct aroma when it is fried well.
Now add the onions and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Once the onions have gone soft, add the tomatoes and the dry spices and salt. Saute for 2 minutes over high heat. Now cover the pan and reduce the flame to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 more minutes.
After five minutes, open the cover and add water to the gravy. Taste it and adjust the salt. Add the jaggery and bring the gravy to a boil.
Do not add the sev at this point. Add the sev just before serving or they get all soggy. Unless you are using the Gujarati red sev. You may have to soak them a while before you serve as they are very crispy to begin with.
Best served hot with chapatis or bajre ki roti!