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Old 7th November 2011, 15:42   #1
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Default Karnal Desires! The Foodhunt on NH1

We have travelled down the NH1 innumerable times.

I do not remember a time when we had made any particular effort to explore the cuisine served up in the dhabas dotting this highway. More often than not, we had stopped for 15 minutes, downed a glass of tea, and moved on. The few occasions when we looked for food, it was invariably vegetarian - parathas, pakoras, that kind of thing. Good food, but nothing to really set them apart from dhaba food on other highways. The Havelis and McDonalds are places we never did like - Havelis have a mishmash of cuisines without the touch of freshness, McD's overpriced burgers are no match against their outlets inside the city (and anyway, who wants junk food on a roadtrip? )

We had also never unearthed non-vegetarian fare on this highway - which is another reason for our lack of interest in exploring the cuisine along this highway. We had heard of non-veg parathas being available someplace, but never discovered where.

So when a friend called us to join his family for a daytime trip along this highway with the sole agenda being EATING(!), how could we refuse! It was time to put to rest, once and for all, the myth or reality of those non-veg temptations!

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Foodies all!
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Old 7th November 2011, 15:49   #2
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Default Murthal

Our first stop, around noon, was at the Pahalwan Dhaba at Murthal. A proclaimed vegetarian place, and part of a series of dhabas lining both sides of the highway. All serve veg food, but we were hungry anyway after the drive! And this one was chosen because of the large number of cars parked outside, whereas the others were comparatively empty.

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GPS locates the place
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Old 7th November 2011, 16:55   #3
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Default Re: Karnal Desires! The Foodhunt on NH1

Pahalwan Dhaba was more of a refreshment stop than a full-fledged lunch stop. We were waiting for another family to join us, and they were travelling from another part of Delhi. In the meanwhile, apart from the customary chai, we ended up ordering a few paneer parathas & gobhi parathas. Also, a few very excellent jalebis.
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Oh, and I thoroughly enjoyed the variety of achaar (pickles) served gratis, while a couple of lassi's were ordered for the non-chai drinkers.
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The white butter served with the parathas looked so much like vanilla ice-cream that we were pulling each other's leg about having a helping! Along comes the sombre fellow who was serving our table, and says: "Nahi, makkhan hai, butter, butter..."
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Shopping

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The guavas were good too!

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Note: Pehalwan Dhaba has clean toilets with sensor-activated flush systems, and an air-conditioned family room as well for those burning summer afternoons.

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Old 7th November 2011, 17:21   #4
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Default Re: Karnal Desires! The Foodhunt on NH1

Alright, the other family had arrived! No, we weren't offering them any tea break at the Pahalwan Dhaba - we'd spent enough time here already! Any more and we'd end up having our full lunch here itself - and we were certainly looking forward to that elusive dhaba with chicken / mutton on its menu.

We piled into the Innova, all 9 of us, and headed off towards Karnal, in search of the dhaba. The chauffeur brought the other car (a City ZX) along behind us.
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The good times continued.

And there it was, the Mayur Dhaba, right next to a petrol pump, and about half a kilometre before the more famous Zhilmil Dhaba.

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GPS locates the place
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Old 7th November 2011, 18:45   #5
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Default Re: Karnal Desires! The Foodhunt on NH1

Yes, yes, yes - went all of us, once we heard that Mayur Dhaba serves chicken. But it's going to take some time to serve up. Fine with us.

A look around while we wait...

Interesting fare available here
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Landmark across the road...
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Parking in front of Mayur Dhaba...
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Settling down...
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Sour Punk to whet the appetite...
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A round of patti (chai) to wash down the anticipatory saliva!
Karnal Desires! The Foodhunt on NH1-karnal-44k200.jpg
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Old 7th November 2011, 19:05   #6
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Default Re: Karnal Desires! The Foodhunt on NH1

The food arrives. Stuffed chicken parathas served with white butter, and butter chicken.

The pictures tell the story... Drooool...
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Post-lunch hajmi / churan
Karnal Desires! The Foodhunt on NH1-karnal-46k200.jpg

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Old 7th November 2011, 19:52   #7
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Default Re: Karnal Desires! The Foodhunt on NH1

Lunch over at 4pm, there's still a couple of hours of daylight left, and no urgency to return home. The Karna Lake is nearby, and we decided to head out there to see what else we could do!
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They want us to go to Kurukshetra...
Karnal Desires! The Foodhunt on NH1-lake-0k200.jpg

...but we much preferred to enjoy the sunset right here!
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A round of boating for the sake of the younger members...
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Higher charges on the weekends - would it have weakend someone's desire to go boating?
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Who needs a camera? The new statement to make is by shooting pics and videos on this!
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Settled in at the Whispering Teal Restaurant for some coffee and snacks
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View through the window...
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View through the Mountain Dew...
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Puppies at play outside. The kids want to take them home...
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Old 7th November 2011, 20:18   #8
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Default Re: Karnal Desires! The Foodhunt on NH1

Thus ended the day, and we headed homewards (without the puppies of course!).

But not before another quick stop at this nondescript Rana Vaishno Dhaba, near Samalkha, for one more round of tea, accompanied by freshly fried assorted vegetable pakoras!

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Home at 10:30 pm, and all of us skipped dinner!

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Old 8th November 2011, 05:01   #9
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Default Re: Karnal Desires! The Foodhunt on NH1

Excellent coverage for all the foodies, and occasional foodies like me. Thank you.

Next time we are in Delhi with few days to kill and a car would be awesome to experience some of these Dhaba joints (Which are a rarity here in down south). Having cleano-maniacs in family make it difficult to try some of these un-explored eating joints. How was the cleanliness of the place in general and specifically the utensils (ones used for eating and serving)?

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Old 8th November 2011, 06:56   #10
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Default

Doc,
Nice report for a day out. We used to do this once or twice a month of late are not getting time due to kids studies.

Our range used to be till Karan lake or till Haveli another 2 kms further on NH1, Till Neemrana on NH8.

Couple of times Cheetal Grand on Haridwar route and Gajraula on Moradabad route.

Used to start early 5.30-6 so teaming up rarely happens.

Definitely i am missing the drive and ofcourse the food too.
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Old 8th November 2011, 09:16   #11
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Default Re: Karnal Desires! The Foodhunt on NH1

Quite a drive! Maybe this is the thread to talk about more Mayurs and Pahalwans on this popular route out of Delhi.

This veg thing can be quite annoying - I remember promising my friends butter chicken on a drive between Chandigarh & DElhi and we could not find a single one that night!!
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Old 8th November 2011, 09:22   #12
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Default Re: Karnal Desires! The Foodhunt on NH1

HVK ,

I think Savoy Greens and Puran's do serve non-veg till late night.
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Old 8th November 2011, 09:28   #13
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Default Re: Karnal Desires! The Foodhunt on NH1

If you venture a bit further up to Ambala there is the famous Puran Singh's Dhaba which has some good dhaba mutton offerings.
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Old 8th November 2011, 09:49   #14
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Default Re: Karnal Desires! The Foodhunt on NH1

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
Having cleano-maniacs in family make it difficult to try some of these un-explored eating joints. How was the cleanliness of the place in general and specifically the utensils (ones used for eating and serving)?
At either place the utensils were fairly clean, but having your food next to a national highway means there is a certain amount of dust. It doesn't bother me much, but the ladies made sure the plates were wiped clean again with tissue and water as required.
Quote:
Originally Posted by v&v View Post
Used to start early 5.30-6 so teaming up rarely happens.
I know - when else would you take your vRS out for its weekly lung-opener?
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Old 8th November 2011, 09:53   #15
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Default Re: Karnal Desires! The Foodhunt on NH1

Sukhdev Dhaba in Murthal (further down from Pahalwan) and Zilmil Dhaba in Karnal (next to Mayur, opposite Savoy Greens) are the ones to try.
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