DELHI KI DIBBI – It’s all about paranthas!
Dhabas are a place where one eats with the aam janta, in humble settings of charpoys and a few tables and chairs. At Laxman Fast Food(LFF), in Qutub Institutional Area, it’s mostly the younger janta. Students studying in institutions such as IIFT, JNU, IIMC, IIT, make a beeline to grab a chair and chit-chat with friends. There’s a reason. Laxman Fast food serves the best paranthas that taste just as good or even better than the ones made back home and macaroni and Maggi for the study in-betweens,
Strategically placed to get its younger crowd from all directions, the owner, Laxman started the dhaba 24 years ago serving only Maggi, Bread and Omellette. With time, he introduced paranthas with different fillings of aloo, gobhi, dhaniya, dal, egg, chicken, and keema. This had crowds thronging at his dhaba. Today, he attracts customers from everywhere, even from Bollywood. A poster of Ranbir Kapoor hangs in the dhaba. He had stopped by, while on a promotional tour of “Rockstar” when he and his crew had gorged on a pile of keema and egg paranthas.
As I walk towards the joint I cross cars with couples sitting and enjoying their meal. The rays of the sun are streaming through the trees and spreading their warmth. A large group of students sits on one side enjoying their food. Thankfully, I get a table as soon as I step in. There’s usually a waiting I’m told and that’s why they serve in the cars as well. Super famished, I order a Paneer and Keema Parantha. The kitchen behind bustles with activity and different kinds of paranthas are being cooked at the same time on a humongous tawa. it’s well worth the wait. Piping hot paranthas with a salty, yellow cube of butter melting on top, is placed in front of me. Condiments are served too. The coriander chutney, the spicy red chilly chutney and a jar of tangy mixed vegetable pickle pair well with every dish served. Memories of food are created as one takes the first bite on an empty stomach. Decadent fillings, rolled out to the right thickness, perfectly cooked, correct seasoning – Each bite is divine. The saltiness of the butter and the spicy condiments add in the balance of flavors. As I glance around, besides paranthas, there are orders of Maggi noodles, macaroni, and Chilli potato. A perfect cup of kadak chai ends my meal. With a bill of less than Rs150, it is so economical.
Satiated, I stroll out of the place to head back. Right next to Laxman fast food is another dhaba that serves the same menu. However, it only has a few customers; the ones who sit there mistaking it to be a part of LFF. Such a contrast! What makes one restaurant better than the other? Laxman has the answer. It’s the personal touch, years of understanding the palate of its customers, the deep involvement, the nostalgia and memories of food of their homes and excellent service.