Break-fast @ Parantha Wali Galli (the lane of Paranthas), Delhi

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Khurchan Paratha (Photo by Rajat Kanti Sur)

The lane of Paranthas tucked away at walking distance from the Chandni Chowk metro station has always fascinated me ever since I stepped my feet in Delhi some ten years back. As a student of North Campus, Delhi University the food ritual trips to Old Delhi was not uncommon. My tryst with Parantha Wali Galli began in one such food trips when my roommate had to shop some chiffon sareers from by-lanes in Chandni Chowk. Considering she was a Jalebi lover I bribed her with a plateful of jalebi from Jaleba and made her promise to accompany me to Paratha Wali Gali. It was late in the evening and the lane is dotted with the aroma of Ghee and various Paratha flavours coming out of the three shops of the twenty shops that existed at one point. I remember trying out the Papad ka Paratha and falling in love with the vegetable curry prepared of humble pumpkins in Pandit Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan Shop which was established way back in 1872.

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I have visited this shop since 2000 and as of 2012 you can find almost 25 kinds of Paranthas in this shop. My last trip was with a group of friends from Kolkata who braved Holi to take a tour of the Parantha Wali Galli. As soon as I entered the lane, the man who served me three years back from Pandit Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan’s shop walked up to me and greeted me with a smile. He asked, “Papad ka paratha mein time lage ga” ( It will take some time to prepare Papad ka Paratha). My friends and I were left speechless. They asked me if I came here frequently. I was touched that the cook remembered me even after three full years.

My friends went crazy and started ordering Papad Parantha, Nimbu Parantha (Parantha with Lemon zest), Gazaar ka Parantha and the icing on the cake as always was Khurchan Parantha. Well, it’s a must try for people with sweet tooth. It’s a Parantha stuffed with Malai and dozens of dryfruits. Calorie Watchers should refrain from trying this. As soon as my friend dived into his plateful of  Khurchan Parantha the Malai came oozing out. My best picks from the Paranthas on offer are:-

1)      Papad Parantha (Parantha stuffed with Fried Papad)

2)      Nimbu Parantha (Parantha stuffed with Lemon Zest and it tastes wonderfully tangy and spicy)

3)      Khurchan Parantha (Stuffed with Malai)

If you want to savour a parantha breakfast in Delhi step out to this thriving Parantha Lane of Chandni Chowk and try it out. I have posted some links from fellow bloggers who have visited this lane and you can pick up your favourite pick.

Other blog posts on the lane of Parathas (Parathe-wali-gali)

http://bhardwajme.blogspot.in/2012/03/delhi-food-yearning-parathe-wali-gali.html

http://ashokism.blogspot.in/2012/05/paranthe-wali-gali.html

http://8ate.blogspot.in/2009/01/chandni-chowks-paranthewali-gali.html

http://www.smilingmysticcloud.com/2012/05/in-bylanes-of-chatori-galiparanthe-wali.html

Newspaper articles

K.R.N. Swamy. “Frozen paranthas posing a challenge to Paranthewali Gali fare”, 10 November 2002, The Tribunehttp://www.tribuneindia.com/2002/20021110/spectrum/eat.htm; Accessed on 28 August 2012.

Garima Sharma, “Bollywood’s favourite Paranthe Wali Galli”, 11 December 2010. The Times of India.http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-12-11/news-interviews/28228752_1_akshay-kumar-jama-masjid-red-fort

 

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7 responses

  1. Argh. I also remember the stink that accompanied the paranthas…The drain running right next to the Gaya Prasad shop…this may be dirt fantasy but surely, romanticizing or a”touristy-selling” of parantha culture may be equally problematic? Am I being harsh? Sorry. My trips to paranthe wale galli always left me shuddering. Street food is all very good but the absolute lack of local or administrative responsibility towards basic cleanliness even as it is touted as the touchstone of Dilli meri jaan or of the “culture” of the city of cities is simply not acceptable. Surely Chandni Chowk deserves better?

    • Hello, thanks for your comment. Fortunately the stink is gone.As far as drain running next to shops is concerned you also need to look at it from a different perspective. Coming from a city where we struggled with drainage system for a long time now this is a problem with most of the old cities and Chandni Chowk is no exception. They have at least managed to tackle the drainage problem in the Pre-Commonwealth efforts but these problems are going to stay and we have to negotiate with them.

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