Photo Credit: Facebook/AshokandAshokMeatDhaba
Walking through the lanes of Sadar Bazar in the scorching heat, I was quite determined to find the extremely famous “Ashok and Ashok Meat Dhaba”. Once I did, it was nothing like I imagined it to be. Since it was extremely famous and had the word ‘Dhaba’ attached at the end, I thought of it to be a fairly medium-sized joint but it turned out to be just a very tiny hole-in-the-wall. But don’t get me wrong, I never judge a book by its cover and I’m glad I did not deviate from my policy this time as well.
The food here makes up for the size of this shop and the story behind it makes it larger than life. This little shop was started way back in 1984 by two friends namely; Ashok and Ashok, well no surprises there! These two friends were titled as the “Macho gangsters” of this area. Alongside their rowdy business, they also loved to make and serve meat curry to the localities. What followed is history. They turned their passion of cooking into their profession and became proud owners of the Ashok and Ashok Dhaba.
Ashok and Ashok are no more with us but their legacy continues. The shop is run by the younger generation. A medium sized dusty frame holds the picture of Ashok and Ashok smiling ear to ear, looking upon the shop still running successfully.
The shop opens at 1 P.M and you’ll always find a crowd hovering for their meat delights. The Mutton Korma is made only on Wednesday and Saturday, and it finishes off in a matter of half an hour while the Chicken Korma and Biryani are prepared every day.
The korma prepared here would definitely pass off with an A grade in a royal kitchen. Why I am saying this is because 30 different kinds of spices are added to the gravy and the entire thing is prepared with loads of desi ghee. The meat is tender and falls off the bones perfectly and the glistening golden gravy is full of aroma. It is so fragrant that your hands and tummy are provoked to eat it right away. The gravy is served with rotis (chapatti) interwoven with coriander leaves.
This gravy is not your ordinary gravy. It is cooked with minced meat. The process is rather elaborate. A large tin of ghee is melted in a huge pan and then ginger, garlic and onions are added and stirred until golden brown. Next, the 30 secret spices are added to the mix and are left to ooze out their flavour and aroma. Mutton pieces and minced meat are finally added to this enticing mix and left to cook for 20-30 minutes. Later, the perfect amount of water is added and some chopped tomatoes are thrown in and it is further cooked for an hour and a half depending or till the gravy attains a smooth texture. The same procedure is followed to prepare the chicken curry. The biryani served here is very rich as well and is equally delicious. It was a matter of time when the clock struck 2:30 P.M. while we were still devouring the delights and the Ashok and Ashok Meat Dhaba was already out of their famous delicacies.
Price: Rs. 300 for 2
Timings: 1 P.M. – 3 P.M.
Location: 5820/42, Subhash Chowk, Sadar Thana Road, Near Sadar Bazaar, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi.
About the Author:
Delhi Food Walks provides a platform for food enthusiasts to share their culinary journey while keeping the rich and diverse culture of Delhi alive through specially curated food trails and food festivals. This year, Delhi Food Walks is organizing the first-ever Street Food Awards which aims to recognize various street food vendors present in the narrow alleys of Delhi and honour them for the delightful services. The winner will be decided from a pool of nominations across 20 categories and a few special mentions by our esteemed jury of food connoisseurs like Marryam H Reshii, Sourish Bhattarcharya and Rahul Verma. If you want your favourite street food outlets to win, do not forget to vote for them!