Dhaba’s – roadside food stalls – can be found along highways throughout India, welcoming hungry travellers and truck drivers with inexpensive food and a place to stretch their legs. Over time, many of these dhaba’s became famous for their regional specialities. Their affordable, authentic menus became popular as a Sunday brunch destination for foodie families, and for youngsters on the hunt for cheap, post-party snacks late at night. This led the evolution of modern dhabas, with improved seating, lighting and kitchens, as new ones opened and old ones revamped. The term Dhaba became a shorthand for this category of rural comfort food, and has begun to make inroads into many city restaurants. This menu takes you on a journey through some of the comfort foods from the four corners of India, showcasing seasonal dishes and rural specialties.
SOUP — Darjeeling Thukpa
This winter soup of North East India, a region full of culinary treasures that is yet to be discovered here in Toronto. This is the food of Lepchas, Bhutias, Gorkhas, Sherpas who reside in the beautiful landscape of Darjeeling and Sikkim. Thukpa is a clean, warming soup of spinach and radish with vitalizing ingredients like fresh ginger, garlic chives and cilantro. While often traditionally made with yak meat (!), this will be a vegan version.
ENTRÉE — Laal Maas Chicken served with Tawa Rice
Abeda’s recipe that combines the best of Rajasthan and Punjab. Chicken is wok-fried in ghee with mild Kashmiri chili to create a rich, delicious flavour and beautiful red colour, but without much heat. Served with slightly sweet caramelized onion infused basmati rice.
#Vegan / #Vegetarian options available
DESSERT — Fried Plantain with Coconut Cream
Many versions can be found along the coast of Western and Southern India — this recipe comes from the streets of Kerala. Plantains – a more nutritious cousin of bananas – are served warm, sweetened with jaggery (raw sugar) and coconut cream.
PRIX FIXE MENU
Soup + Entrée + Dessert
February BONUS – Delicious, hot Chai Latte to warm you up!
Abeda Oturkar is a veteran food entrepreneur who is equally passionate about preparing delectable recipes and providing foods that improve well-being. Over more than 11 years her Dubai-based food business, Spice & Aroma Alimentary Food, grew to encompass a successful restaurant, catering business, cooking classes, consulting and culinary tours. All of Abeda’s endeavours are informed by a lifelong study of food, culinary history, spices and nutrition. She’s now looking to bring this culinary adventure to Ontario.
Every Friday The Depanneur is an ‘open mic’ night for culinary talent in TO, where we invite guest cooks, amateur or professional, to come and make their favourite dishes.