We have the Mall Mile in Gurgaon, an upmarket jargon given to a cluster of half empty malls which line up along the MG Road for a stretch of around, as the name suggests, a mile. These malls were one of the first claims to fame of the so called Millennium City, a perfect foil for the outsourcing hub with ever increasing disposable incomes, and some years on now you can only wonder how they have changed the way Indians spend their recreational time. Anyways a little away from this urban symbol, a drive of almost an hour and a half (strictly in non- peak morning hours only) takes you to another stretch of a mile which is more rooted in our tradition, a good old desi meal at a Dhaba. Welcome to Murthal which should be nothing less than a legend as far as eating by the highway is concerned. I had heard quite a lot about the place and its Parathas, their taste, their richness and the fresh white butter which is just so rare in our homes now. While on my trip to Naldehra(On the Road to Naldehra) I had the first experience of this legendary mile full of Dhabas on either side. We had stopped at the Amrik Sukhdev Dhaba, supposedly the most famous of the lot. The sun had barely risen, the day had just begun but the place was full. Of course there were travelers but there were quite a few who were out there only for the food, for whom the late night vigil had culminated into a wonderful morning breakfast. Amrik Sukhdev over the years has expanded and now looks like a full-fledged hotel, packing in much more people than you would expect at a normal Dhaba. Our order came, white butter melting over the hot paratha was enough to get our appetite going. Although there are options but the quintessential “Aloo Ke Parathe” are unbeatable. They make you forget the mental calorie counter for a while and you succumb to the delightful taste. On our way back from Naldehra we had stopped again at another smaller Dhaba, the taste remained the same.
So if you are around Delhi do get up early in the morning and drive to Murthal, the legendary destination of Dhabas and treat yourself with a hot paratha and a scoop of white butter on it !