This seasonal menu at Dhaba Estd 1986 promises the familiar flavours from highway eateries between Delhi and Amritsar

While Dhaba Estd 1986, offers a wide variety of North Indian cuisine, the winter menu was an array of delicious appetisers, from mains to desserts
In frame: Vermicelli Jhinga
In frame: Vermicelli Jhinga

On a cold winter evening when you drive down highways, past hills, the chilly air surrounding you, all you would wish for is a humble dhaba by the road, serving hot sarson ka saag and makke di roti. Inspired by the highway dhabas from New Delhi to Amritsar — Dhaba Estd 1986, Indiranagar brought us a realistic experience of stopping by one, on a wintry after noon. The rustic, no-frill setting, dim-lit corners, ’70s Bollywood music playing in the background and massive posters on the wall transported us to an idea of the North we’re all too familiar with thanks to Hindi cinema.

In frame: Vermicelli Jhinga
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Sarson Ka Saag
Sarson Ka Saag

While Dhaba Estd 1986, offers a wide variety of North Indian cuisine, the winter menu was an array of delicious appetisers, from mains to desserts. A good long while later, we indulged ourselves in the warm ambience and were very much fascinated by the steel plates and tumblers that were brought to us as we delved into the starters: Navrattan Kebabs and Vermicelli Jhinga. The former was shallow fried vegetable kebabs with nuts, served with aam papad chutney and the latter, their signature dish, was crispy fried, vermicelli wrapped prawns. Mild in flavour, they did the magic of getting us ready for the main course. Though not part of the winter menu, we were served Rangeela, a refreshing mocktail with kaffir lime and passion fruit; and Aam Litchi Panna, a classic dhaba-style refreshing raw mango and litchi drink. As we prepped for our main course, we sat sipping on the drinks, enjoying the music playing in the backdrop.

Paan Malai Roll
Paan Malai Roll

For our main course, we were served Makki Ki Roti, a traditional roti made from maize flour and Sarson Ka Saag, an all-time winter favourite that is made of fresh mustard leaves and served with jaggery and white butter. The roti coupled with saag was a perfect blend of flavour, with occasional bites on the jaggery and butter. We were also served fresh, warm Garlic Naans with Methi Mattar Malia, a creamy cashew gravy made from fresh fenugreek leaves and green peas. The slightly bitter methi, paired perfectly with the sweetness of the green peas.

In frame: Vermicelli Jhinga
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Gajar Ka Halwa
Gajar Ka Halwa

We wrapped up our lunch with Gajar Ka Halwa and Paan Malai Roll. While the halwa was warm and had the perfect balance of sweetness, the latter was a khasta pastry roll filled with paan and gulkhand whipped cream, which left us craving second servings.

Price for two: INR 2,500 onwards. At Indiranagar.

Email: sonia.s@newindianexpress.com

X: @soniasali98

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