In a nutshell:
Freshly made Finger licking good desi chicken (also called Gaonran / Gawran chicken in local parlance) & a unique overall experience.
Address & Contact Numbers:
Meal for 2: Rs. 400 onwards
Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
Short Description in case u r in a hurry:
On hearing that we are off to Aurangabad (base town for Shirdi, Ajanta, Ellora & Daulatabad) , my foodie friend Rakesh Kumar told us ‘As u drive on the Baijapur road Jalgaon road, u wud come across local dhabas on both side where u wud get gaonran chicken, freshly cut & made as per ur taste. Tell them – half dry & half curry’.
With this info in hand we set out to this place, to realize that the road is also referred to as Mitmita Nasik Road. We walked into Kalim’s Moonlight Dhaba. The Dhaba looked neat & clean from outside & it was actually very well maintained inside as well. Well done lawns, outdoor seating, covered seating, Toilet facilities, parking facilities etc.
They serve all kind of North Indian Dhaba food including vegetarian & also South Indian food.
The people at the Dhaba were also very nice.
The story that u shud not miss:
As we entered, we noticed many gaonran (desi) chicken playing around in the lawn. One of the hens had laid an egg & was hatching it in a corner.
When we said we came for Gaonran chicken, the first question that I was asked , stumped me. He said – ‘which one’. I said ‘What do u mean’. He said ‘ U choose from the ones that are roaming around. We will catch it & cook for u’. I was like ‘whhhaaat?’ in my mind. I realized quickly that this is what my friend had told but it did not seem so explicit then.
I said – ‘I have no idea. Pls choose one for me that is so good that we remember u for long’. The gentleman looked at me, frowned, thought for a while & consulted with one of his aides. Then they decided on a red colored chicken that was in one corvner of the lawn.
This is the best example of ‘Free range’ chicken that I have ever seen. For the uninitiated, free range means ‘Chicken that are not caged & kept in natural conditions. They are also kept on natural diet – not artificial medicines & hormones’.
What happened next was something I will never forget. A whistle by the gentleman led to all employees of the Dhaba descending on the lawn & then began the chase. The postures looked like fielders in cricket or like in a game of kabaddi. The men started approaching the hen slowly. For some time the hen did not quite understand what was happening. As soon as it understood , it fluttered & flew up to a tree. They shaked the tree, it flew down to a bush. They ran into the bush.The hen escaped from the other end of the bush. They surrounded the bush from all sides. The hen flew out last moment fluttering. This kind of activity continued for quite some time with eight men chasing one chicken. Then the men grouped together to strategize & applied some trick. Something did not work out well – so they had a little 30 seconds fight (subdued, in low voices) I cud see accusations flying here to there questioning each other’s mental prowess & hunting skills. …………… & at last after almost 10 minutes later, they succeded in catching the red chicken!!!!! This was the funniest commotion that I had come across outside a movie.
As suggested by my friend, we asked for half the chicken to be cooked ‘dry’ & the other half to be cooked as a curry’. The guy at the counter suggested that we go for a Thai preparation of the dry. I said ‘We can have Thai at every place in Delhi. We want to have the rustic local way of making Chicken at Aurangabad – the way u have it at home’.
What came post this was a delight for the tastebuds. Infact it was so good that till the end, the law of diminishing returns did not apply – We were not satiated & had the curry & the gravy till the last drop!!!!
Detailed Description – In case u have the time to enjoy reading:
In case u hv forgotten after certain time about the episode that u just have been thru, u will hear an occasional cock a doodle do (kukkar koo) from the remaining birds that will remind u of the live hunting that u have just witnessed.
They took flat 20 minutes to prepare the chicken. They told us that nothing in the restaurant is made & kept. Everything is freshly made on order. Obviously they used a pressure cooker to cook the meat fast but that did not hamper the taste at all.
The chicken was served with jawar ki roti. Unlike the rajasthan version of jawar ki roti that is a bit thick, the one at Kalim’s was thin almost like a roti but crisp. It was very different to taste from usual roti & that added to the experience.
We also went for a normal tandoori roti to check out the difference. The tandoori roti was good but the jawar ki roti was unusual & went well with the chicken.
The dry chicken was rustic, robust, spicy, slightly hot (u cud request any degree of chilli & they wud make accordingly) & it was not dry in the true sense. It was like a very thick gravy. Onions, Tomatoes & spices were used to make this preparation & it was garnished with coriander leaves. Wow. Outstanding taste, flavor & texture. Usually desi chicken tends to be stiffer than the poultry version but this one was just too good. We finished off the food from the plate to the last drop to the extent that one cud have mistaken the empty plate to be unused.
The chicken curry had quite an amount of gravy that was very different in taste from the chicken dry. This was again made with khara masala (whole spices), had a rustic & robust taste & flavor to it. Too good to be true once again – & this coming from someone who is not a big fan of chicken otherwise.
Overall – Will surely revisit this place on my next trip to Aurangabad. Highly recommended to meat lovers in general & chicken lovers in particular.Though I did not taste the veggie food here, I have a strong feeling that it will be good coz making good food requires a lot of passion & the guys here have lots of it.