Started in a tent in Amritsar, how Bharawan Da Dhaba survived the Indo-Pakistan wars and became a must-visit eatery
Just a 10-minute walk from the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Bharawan Da Dhaba's traditional Punjabi food is a favourite among locals and tourists alike. Here's how it built its 106-year legacy.
Sunday June 23, 2019,
3 min Read
In 1912, long before India's Independence and the Partition, a small tent in Amritsar, Punjab, started selling Punjabi food to the locals. Started by a man from Sialkot, Pakistan, the Punjabi food tent became popular over time and withstood the economic churn caused by the Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1965 and 1971, and another conflict in 1984.
Today, it stands strong as full-fledged restaurant loved by locals: Bharawan Da Dhaba.
The current owner, Subhash Vij (63), says, "My grandfather started the dhaba in a tent when he came to settle in the border town of Amritsar. I joined by father in running the business in 1975 after completing my graduation, and have not looked back since."
Just a 10-minute walk from the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the pure vegetarian dhaba is a favourite of locals and tourists alike. They can be seen flocking to the dhaba to savour its famous traditional Punjabi cuisine, such as chole kulche, baigan ka bharta, paneer subzi, and more.
Punjabi food is quite popular across India, and other countries too. It is famous for its rich and buttery flavours, which many cooks try to replicate. So what makes Bharawan Da Dhaba's traditional Punjabi food special and why does it stand out?
Read on to find out.
Subash says the secret lies in the way they cook the food. "When we cook, we keep the spices mild so the food doesn't become too spicy. We also ensure that we cook it hygienically," he says.
The next secret is cooking on a slow flame. Bharawan Da Dhaba prepares all its food items by slow cooking them -a process Subhash says takes more time, but preserves the nutritional value of the food. "Slow cooking also ensures the colours of the food, especially the vegetables, don't get spoiled," he says.
Further, all the food is cooked in desi ghee to give it a pure flavour, Subhash adds.
He also stresses on the ethics of hardwork and honesty. Mixed with the secrets of cooking the food, Bharawan Da Dhaba has seemingly found the recipe for success, demonstrated by how it has stood the test of time.
"The dhaba went through many upheavals due to wars with Pakistan and militancy, but we kept our focus on championing taste and service. Today, we are clocking a turnover of over Rs 4 crore," Subhash says.
Bharawan Da Dhaba's unique Punjabi food and strong credibility has placed it on the itinerary of every tourist who comes to Amritsar.
And the restaurant's 106-year legacy won't go away any time soon -Subhash’s son has joined him in the business, and together, they are running three branches in the city. With the mantle passing down through generations, Bharawan Da Dhaba is set to retain its must-visit status for the foreseeable future.