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Dhaba

Dhaba

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In India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 highways are dotted with local restaurants popularly known as dhabas (singular: dhaba;

In India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 highways are dotted with local restaurants popularly known as dhabas (singular: dhaba;

In India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 highways are dotted with local restaurants popularly known as dhabas (singular: dhaba; ). They generally serve local cuisine, and also serve as truck stops.

In India they are most commonly found next to petrol stations
Filling station
A filling station, also known as a fueling station, garage, gasbar , gas station , petrol bunk , petrol pump , petrol garage, petrol kiosk , petrol station "'servo"' in Australia or service station, is a facility which sells fuel and lubricants...

, and most are open 24 hours a day. Since most Indian truck drivers are of Punjabi descent
Punjabi people
The Punjabi people , ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ), also Panjabi people, are an Indo-Aryan group from South Asia. They are the second largest of the many ethnic groups in South Asia. They originate in the Punjab region, which has been been the location of some of the oldest civilizations in the world including, the...

, and Punjabi food
Punjabi cuisine
Punjabi cuisine is food from the Punjab region of northwestern India and eastern Pakistan. It can be non-vegetarian or completely vegetarian. One of the main features of Punjabi cuisine is its diverse range of dishes...

 and music is quite popular throughout India, the word dhaba has come to represent any restaurant that serves Punjabi food, especially the heavily spiced and fried Punjabi fare preferred by many truck drivers.

The word has come to represent sub-continental cuisine so much that many Indian restaurants in Europe and America have adopted it as a part of the name.

Dhabas were characterized by mud structures and cots to sit upon (called 'chaarpai' in Hindi) while eating. A wooden plank would be placed across the width of the cot on which to place the dishes. With time, the cots were replaced by tables. The food is typically inexpensive and has a 'homemade' feel to it.

Etymology


The word has been alleged in folk etymology to stem from Punjabi
Punjabi people
The Punjabi people , ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ), also Panjabi people, are an Indo-Aryan group from South Asia. They are the second largest of the many ethnic groups in South Asia. They originate in the Punjab region, which has been been the location of some of the oldest civilizations in the world including, the...

 dabba, m., box, lunch box, tiffin
Tiffin
Tiffin is lunch, or any light meal. It originated in British India, and is today found primarily in Indian English. The word originated when Indian custom superseded the British practice of an afternoon tea, leading to a new word for the afternoon meal. It is derived from the obsolete English slang...

. However with all such etymologies there is no basis in reality. Initial consonant
Consonant
In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of the tongue; , pronounced with the back of the tongue; , pronounced in the throat; and ,...

al dh- does neither give rise to nor develops from consonantal d-.

See also

  • Indian cuisine
    Indian cuisine
    Indian cuisine consists of thousands of regional cuisines which date back thousands of years. The dishes of India are characterised by the extensive use of various Indian spices, herbs, vegetables and fruit. Indian cuisine is also known for the widespread practice of vegetarianism in Indian society...

  • Irani café
    Irani café
    Irani cafes or Iranian cafes are Iranian or Persian style cafes in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. They were originally opened by Persian immigrants to India in the 19th century...

  • Tea stall
  • Truck stop
    Truck stop
    A truck stop is a commercial facility predicated on providing fuel, parking, and often food and other services to motorists and truck drivers...

  • Greasy spoon
    Greasy spoon
    Greasy spoon is a colloquial or slang term originating in the United States to mean a small, especially cheap, archetypal working class restaurant or diner. The term is now used in many English speaking countries to mean the same thing...

  • Cha chaan teng
    Cha chaan teng
    A cha chaan teng means tea diner, also called Chinese diner, is commonly found in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan, known for its Chinese food, eclectic and affordable menus, which include many dishes from Hong Kong cuisine and Hong Kong-style Western cuisine. Cha chaan tengs are also popular in Macau...

    Hong Kong Diner

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