As the culmination of three decades of culinary perfection comes to a close, Dhaba – The Claridges, has since long established itself as an institution for North Indian highway dining. This journey through the Grand Trunk Road explores India’s heritage and brings with it, a glimpse of the next three decades of Dhaba at The Claridges. The celebrated restaurant is bringing in 30 years with the Grand Trunk Road Festival beginning on 22nd July 2016.
Spanning from Chittagong in Bangladesh to Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, the Grand Trunk road is not only Asia’s most extensive road but also one with the strongest ties to India’s past. Built by the Mauryan Empire, it survived and flourished through the rise and fall of empires, and like any city or region, with it, it developed its own culture.
Along the massive length of GT road, the iconic roadside eateries have served weary traders, colonial officers, freedom fighters and now, still standing, they provide the same food to present day travelers. These dhabas are a reflection of the province they are situated in, providing glimpses into the nuances of the cuisine of the area. To celebrate three decades of Dhaba at the Claridges, the chefs will take you through this culinary journey in the coming two months. Divided into three phases, Dhaba’s chefs aim to cover every major stop the Grand Trunk Road has within India.
The first phase from 22nd July to 31st July takes one to the very beginning of GT road, to Kolkata, where culture and creative energy is ingrained in the city’s very spirit. This inventive spirit is seen in the dhabas of GT road, where traditional Paturi Machh and Litti Chokha are staples, but also other seafood dishes and sweet desserts are experimented with and reimagined. The railway colonies of Mughal Sarai follow this stop, amidst the chaos typical of Benaras, the mouthwatering chaats, tikkis and other varieties of fried food offer a façade of calm. Perhaps what gives Benarasi food its unique flavours and tastes is that it does not only represent the area, but also it offers a mélange of the city, our spiritual past and the influences of many a foreign traveler. Allahabad, the next stop on this journey, is decidedly more Mughlai in its flavours. Savour the AllahbadiTehri incorporated by the chefs of Dhaba into this menu.