Monday, March 7, 2011

Paraathewali Gali (Paraatha Lane)

Location: 2 minute walk from Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) Sis Ganj, Chandni Chowk (Ask the rickshaw walla or a shopkeeper for direction)
Metro Station: Chandni Chowk
Best time to Visit: Morning 8 to 10 am

When it comes to food, Delhi is a paradise, and no Delhiite is less than a God. Delhi food is highly influenced by Punjab, so an 8 inch ghee-dripping Paraatha is considered incomplete without a tablespoon full of melting butter on it. Damn the health tips you received on TV show, if you want to explore real food in Delhi.
We exit metro at Chandni Chowk and came to the main road nudging humans, cows and rickshaws through a 3 feet wide street good enough only for humans to pass. Just opposite was Paraathewali Gali without any signage with a snack shop in front. As soon as we entered the alley, we noticed open air cooking in progress while people were enjoying paraathas inside the shop. We deliberately ignored the invitation which we got from the shops, just to show that we knew where to go. The aroma of pickles and multiples curries in open containers was seducing our senses, so we decided to ask someone where to eat. The Paan-chewing security man at a clothing shop next to us was our target. Upon being asked which is the best place to eat, he said, “All are same, get into any of the shops.” Pandit Dixit Ji, owner of the next paratha shop overheard us and invited into his shop with a smile and we could not say ‘No’. The three of us secured the corner seat in the corner shop. As soon as we sat, a twelve year old guy brought plates with four compartment out of those three were already filled with Potato curry, Mixed curry and Chutney. We presumed the fourth one was for Paraathas, but when we saw him bringing the bowl of mixed pickle, it was clear that compartment was to be shared with and pickle too.
The menu on the wall was overwhelming with a clear note: ‘You must order minimum two paraathas.’ You imagine a vegetable being sold in Delhi and you have a Paratha named after it. Some interesting ones were: Mirchi (Chilly) Paratha, Paalak (Spinach) Paratha, Tamaatar (Tomato) Paraatha, and Mawa (A kind of sweet) Paraatha, Karela (Bitter gourd) Paratha etc.  and all of them were price between 30 and 45 rupees each. We were in no mood to experiment, so we stuck to traditional Aloo (Potato), Gobhi (Cauliflower), Daal (Lentils) and Mixed Paraathas. The diameter of each paratha was close to five inches. The stuffing was not evenly spread in some of them, so my wife took some time to reach the filling after giving a disgusted look at the waiter, who happily ignored her. Mind it! You don’t go to such places for service. Fortunately, I didn’t find a reason to complain.
 The parathaas here were fried and were not topped with butter, unlike other places. The curries tasted amazing and freshly prepared mixed pickle was mouthwatering. After tummy-worship with two paraathas and a big glass of Amritsari Lassi each, we were fully loaded for the hectic day ahead. For three of us the bill was Two Hundred and Eighty Five rupees.
If you are not used to of Delhi food, then try food at refined, more hygienic places before trying this out. Otherwise, you tummy may not be able to take such load. Moreover, a glass of Lassi is always welcome if you are not ready to take the risk.


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  2. I have gone many times in Paratha wali Gali. They make delicious Paratha but they charges too much.

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