Heavenly food, heavenly skies: #28States28Plates Day 8 Blog
The start to our day at the Lemon Tree hotel in Aerocity was pretty relaxed. After a flag-off at 9am by Vikramjit Singh, President of Lemon Tree Hotels, we headed to Renault India's corporate office in Gurugram to meet Renault India’s Marketing Director — Sudhir Malhotra. And then we were on the road.
We had been tipped off to take the Western Peripheral Highway and avoid going through the heart of the capital city, after which we could join NH44 to Chandigarh. We left Delhi at approximately 1:30pm and thanks to some delicious ham and cheese sandwiches packed by our colleague's mother, we decided to head directly to Chandigarh. But with our stomachs getting more and more used to a constant intake of food, by 4pm all of us were hungry. So, we started searching for some good old dhabas. As ever, a lot of you helped us with your recommendations and the Zhilmil Dhaba stood out. It is situated just outside Karnal and we stopped for some of their famous paranthas and lassi.
After the quick snack in Haryana, we continued toward Chandigarh which was 110-odd kilometres away. Just as we crossed the Haryana border, the epic and beautiful views started. Huge farms on either side, fluffy clouds through which the sun rays peered through every now and then. This arguably was the most beautiful background we’ve seen on the drive yet. The drivers piloting our Kigers couldn't enjoy these views as much as the passengers did though. Why, you ask? Punjab’s rash drivers! It almost felt like we were part of a race that we hadn’t been told about. Thankfully, we made it to the Lemon Tree Chandigarh in one piece and freshened up for the dinner which waited for us at the famous Pal Dhaba located just 2kms away. But to our surprise, when we arrived, there were two Pal Dhabas there! It took us a good 30 minutes to figure out which was the real one after asking the locals around and colleagues with roots here. We went to what the majority said was the real one (though we’re still not sure) and ordered some of their famous mutton curry and butter rotis. Everyone was already full from the late lunch, but this meal was not one to miss. After sampling just a few bites, we ordered another portion of the mutton and with it a glass of Patiala lassi. Speaking of which, to say that the lassi was good is an understatement. Creamy and thick with a dollop of malai. Punjab, thank you for treating our stomachs to some lovely food and our eyes to some lovely skies. We head on to Jammu tomorrow!