GULLU MEATWALAI never got to thank Gulshan, but it was because of him that I got married. More than two decades ago, I used to woo my would-be wife with Gulshan’s meat curry. His was the most famous meat stall in town those days. Everybody swore by Gullu’s meat, which came in a delicious gravy of thick keema. He used to sit outside the State Transport Authority office on Rajpura Road, and was thus known as Authority meatwallah, or simply Gullu.
I used to buy a full plate of his famous meat – and he used to pack it for me in an empty milk powder tin. If I remember correctly, it cost about Rs 20 or Rs 22. He would give me several rotis with this, and there was enough to feed three or four people.
I later heard that Gullu had a heart attack and closed shop. That was bad news, because he had fed a generation of hungry souls. But after all these years, I suddenly started hearing his name again. A good friend who lives in Mall Road kept urging me to try out someone called Gullu at Malka Ganj. There could be many Gullus, I said to myself – and didn’t show much interest. But then last week, I went to visit my friend, and thought I would look up the Gullu he was raving about.
And what a surprise – this place is run by the old Gullu’s son, Sulabh Arora. It’s called Gullu’s, and the address is shop no. 2, Main Road, Malka Ganj (Phone, only for enquiries: 9871363435). The shop has been there for more than 10 years.
To reach Gullu’s, take the road that goes to the old Sabzi Mandi from Hansraj College. You’ll find the shop on your left. I used to go to the old Gullu’s when it was just a roadside eatery. Now it’s a big takeaway, though quite a few people take the food and eat it in their cars, or by balancing the plates on their car bonnets.
The food is still good, but I am afraid not as good as the father’s. The meat keema comes in four portions – small, medium, full and large -- and costs between Rs 100 and Rs 385. Meat chawal is for Rs 90 a plate. I had the meat keema and enjoyed the barra (Rs 150). The dry chicken (Rs 135) was a little undercooked. The mutton had been cooked in its thick gravy of minced meat with tomatoes and black pepper, a dish that was the senior Gullu’s speciality. Junior’s was not bad at all, but I think he needs to enhance the spices a bit.
The place is open for both lunch and dinner. He even sells a vegetarian thali (Rs 110) and a non-veg thali (Rs 125). The latter consists of meat keema, keema kaleji, snacks, pulao and roti. Sabzi chawal is for Rs 80.
Well, I am happy to know that the father’s legacy is being carried out ably by his son. Someone, somewhere, I hope, is buying his keema meat – and successfully wooing a girl.