The definitive guide to South Asian lingo

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Noun. April 17, 2012, Word of the Day


A highway restaurant... with feeling.

A mom-and-pop motel after your own heart.

Typically run by family concerns, dhabas look like makeshift affairs from a distance. But they double up as rest areas for long-distance drivers, with cots, bedding and other overnight supplies offered to you in the finest tradition of South Asian hospitality.

You may spend a lazy afternoon on their sturdy, comfortable cots, or even stay overnight at a nominal price. Dhabas offer great food (sometimes oily) and form a huge part of the romantic appeal of traveling on South Asian roads. The food can be particularly spicy, and a piping hot dal tadka, sabzi, roti, rice and butter chicken at a quaint dhaba on a sweltering, dusty North Indian highway has its own vicarious charm.


"I'm going to try Butter Chicken at every dhaba on the Ajmer-Dilli stretch!"

"The only reason I'm tolerating your nonsense is for the bloody dhaba food!"

Added 2011-11-09 by GoodCumbany




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