Also from the tandoor, I sampled the nawabi murg tikke, a platter of yogurt-marinated boneless chicken that was succulent and mildly spicy. Paired with a heap of sabji biryani — a fragrant vegetable rice dish studded with raisins — it was enough to feed two people. The biryani also went well with other dishes, as a means of slurping up rich sauces.

Numberdar saag was as good for its spicy spinach paste as for the moist chunks of chicken in it. Dhaba machi tari consisted of a lip-smacking, deep golden curry filled with silky pieces of fresh sole. And gosht rogan josh, a Kashmiri specialty, featured tender pieces of boneless lamb. Long after I'd plucked the meat out of it, I couldn't stop myself from scooping up more of the decadent, buttery sauce with pieces of bread. Made with dried red chiles and yogurt, it was a deep, ruddy brown, with a flavor just as intense.

Once the naan and biryani had seemingly expanded in my stomach, I still needed a taste of something cooling and sweet. Punjabi ice cream wasn't available, unfortunately, so I went with badami sevian kheer instead. This was a much lighter version of rice pudding than I've had in a while, with sliced almonds, cardamom, and squiggles of Indian vermicelli in a sweet, milky soup.

Currying favor: Executive chef Talwinder Dhaliwal (right) and chef Keshav Kandel show off some of the The Dhaba's Punjabi specialties.
Jackie Mercandetti
Currying favor: Executive chef Talwinder Dhaliwal (right) and chef Keshav Kandel show off some of the The Dhaba's Punjabi specialties.

Location Info

Map

The Dhaba

1872 E. Apache Blvd.
Tempe, AZ 85281

Category: Restaurant > Indian

Region: Tempe

Details

Mango lassi: $3
Chili naan: $3
Hariyali paneer tikka: $8
Gosht rogan josh: $10
480-446-2824, »web link
Hours: Daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Dhaba, 1872 East Apache Boulevard, Tempe

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Rasmalai, a Punjabi dessert made with milk and wheat flour, was like chunky, slightly sweet ricotta, with a faint pistachio perfume. Meanwhile, gajrela, described as carrot fudge on the menu, wasn't as smooth as real fudge, but it was still just as sweet, a dense confection made with milk and puréed carrots, raisins, and cashews.

Though the desserts were a bit of an acquired taste, I still enjoyed them, especially since my taste buds needed a break from the curry.

Not to mention, I was getting in touch with my inner Punjabi truck driver.

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1 comments
parul
parul

The Dhaba has a warn relaxing feeling, the food is great!n so the prices .......:)

 
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