Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Nawabi Guest

Northern India is a delight and pain in Arse simultaneously. We got off at Nukhlow(yes no more shitty "Lukhnow") railway station, which was a small clean and generally pleasant station. Sapota was surprised as to why is this station so small, which later turned out to be smaller part of humongous railway station. We were to head somewhere more deeper in Uttar pradesh, but we thought of taking a break and looking at the beautiful city, so we went on. We entered this market, which look more like a familiar road side market of any Indian City. So as were marching inside, some waiter asked us in elegant politeness. It was quite enchanting, but sapota must confess, we were starving, so the effect was double.
This hotel or dhaba was in this market called as "char bagh". The waiters was all around us, treating us with high regards as if we were here on food inspection. As we sat down they turned on the desert cooler, Wow, that felt like a king. And then one of them sat around us explaining things. So this hotel was owned by some highly religious Vashya(the merchant community in hindus) and to our little dismay, they don't use onions and garlics here, but the boy explained us that food is tasty even without these essentials.
So what to order? We ordered Parwal(a member of cucurbitacea family, sapota is not sure what is it called in English) and dal makhani and phulkas(steamed-on-flame breads!). Gosh! They were mindblowingly delicious. They served pickles, salad and butter along, and the great hospitality was making this experience more memorable. They told lassi is great at this place, So we thought why not order one? Trust me or not, it was a remarkable lassi, the best I ever had. The shiv kailash lassi of pune is nothing more than sweet curd in front of this one, this was an authentic lassi, with a layer of dry fruits and a "rabdi" on the top and it was served in kullads(the earthern pots).
Man, man, this was real good treat, with no gimmicks around. And when the bill arrived, it was merely 130 bucks for all this? We were overwhelmed when one of the waiter helped us in getting an auto-rickshaw. That was a real royal treatment.
It was raining cat and dogs in Nucklow, typical north indian rain, which is quite contrasting to drizzling of Pune. We were looking around the majestic city, which was as beautiful as a clear night of summer, wide roads, elegant landmarks, serene Gomti flowing in background, it all looked like a painting. Roads were blocked with water, we were stuffed till the brim, but it was a real blast being treated like Nawab.