'Pehalwan da Hotel" - translated literally, means 'Wrestler's Hotel' ! Another one of the innumerable success stories of the die-hard survivors of the partition (of India in 1947). The story of Lala Hansraj Tandon, who had to abandon his belongings in Pakkhoki, Sialkot (now in Pakistan). He started selling goat's trotters also called 'paaya', in Paharganj in front of New Delhi Railway Station. Initially, he used to sell them on a cart for four annas a piece. A year later in 1948 he started a proper dhaba, when the refugees were allotted shops in front of the New Delhi Railway Station. One of the sons, Keemti Lal who now runs the family business in partnership with his brother recollects that The New Delhi Railway Station during those days used to be just a two track station under the supervision of Punjab Police.
Goat's trotters or paaya is an unconventional part of the mutton. So it took some time for the local population to get used to the taste. But those who got fancy for the taste kept coming again and again. It is the consistency of the quality and taste that the business for Tandons has flourished with time and still after sixty years they are going strong. Third generation of the family has now entered the family business. And the owners, very proudly mention that there is a third generation of customers too that still come to eat there, once in a while !
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