ISLAMABAD: Starting out in the 70’s, Allah Ditta, also known as “Bengali Bhai”, lures customers from all over Islamabad with his scrumptious bite size samosas that many consider “unmatched”.
With a small shop in Melody Market and later shifting to Sector F-6, Allah Ditta started his business after moving to Pakistan from Bangladesh in 1971. Now with the help of his two nephews, he runs a popular samosa business in the heart of the capital.
His vegetable and minced meat samosas are the talk of the town and even have their own Facebook appreciation page. Allah Ditta claims it is his “special touch” that make his samosas so different from his competitors.
The customers lined up during their lunch break seemed to agree. Mazhar Bilal, who works in an office nearby, said that he has Allah Ditta’s minced meat samosas everyday.
Another customer, Adeel Raja, said, “I have been coming here for the past 20 years. No samosa can match the ones made here.”
Melody Burger Inn also claims to be the first shop to introduce bun kebab to the capital. “After I introduced the bun kebab during Ziaul Haq’s regime, they were being sold at every little shop,” Allah Ditta said.
Living in Islamabad for decades and serving its customers from 9am to 9pm everyday has developed a certain level of patriotism in him, causing him to add, “ I am a Pakistani and so are my children.”
Apart from samosas and bun kebabs, he also offers spring rolls, pakoray and kebabs, but admits that samosas are arguably his hottest selling items.
Allah Ditta, however, complains of the decrease in customers over the last few months due to inflation. “Minced meat costs Rs300 per kilo. I had no choice but to raise prices. I’m already just barely covering my costs,” he said.
Expansion of his shop was on the cards, but because of the hike in prices and unavailability of funds the idea was put on the backburner. “We did set up tables and chairs in front of the shop, but CDA removed them,” he said.
He acknowledged that business was better when they had seating arrangement outside, as families could come and enjoy themselves instead of having to stand and eat. Allah Ditta hopes that his eldest son will take over the family business and continue his legacy of serving delicious samosas to the capital.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2010.