With this post, I begin a 7 day Food Journey in iScribble. For the next 7 days, watch out this space for some exciting recipes, restaurant reviews , rather anything or everything to do with FOOD..
Parathe Wali Gali or “the lane of Parathas” is nothing less than a paradise for food lovers in Delhi..You’ve got to experience the taste of Ghee Fried Parathas to agree with me!!
Parathe Wali Gali is one of the many lanes in the crowded Chandni Chowk area of Old Dilli and is hidden amidst hordes of Sari shops. The place is always bustling with rickshaws and cycles and there is always a huge crowd of ladies shopping for wedding Lehengas and Saris. Explore a little deeper and you can find yourself in a small lane with nice aroma filling your nostrils. With less than 3 shops left this place once used to have more than 20 shops. So much so, that, the lane was christened as Parathe Wali Gali from Dariba Kalan. Dariba Kalan was famous for silverwares until Parantha shops moved in here, first in the 1870.
When I googled more about Paratha shops here’s what I got –
In the year 1872 – Pt. Gaya Prasad, a yong man in early twenties, left his home in Tehsil Bah in Agra and came to Delhi in search of greener pastures. He put up a shop in a lane entering the Kinari Bazaar in Chandni Chowk and started making hot and sizzling paranthas. Soon the popularity of his paranthas grew so much that he had to call his brothers and cousins to help him in the business. Gradually, there came up almost a score shops – all belonging to the extended families of Gaya Prasad. Little they would have imagined that the lane itself would become popular after their paranthas! Of the 20 parantha shops in the late 1960s, three from the original family have survived: Pt Kanhaiyalal Durgaprasad Dixit(estd 1875), Pt Dayanand Shivcharan (estd 1882). Pt Baburam Devidayal Paranthewale (estd 1886).”
Coming to my Paratha haul –
On a dull weekend after experiencing the first showers of the year in Delhi all I craved for was Parathas. And Chandni Chowk was the first name that came to our mind. Without wasting too much time on planning we headed towards Old Delhi. When our auto made its way between hundreds of Rickshaws and hordes of people the excitement and hunger started building up.. We settled in the first of the 3 shops that exists now. With the size of the shop less than that of our bedroom all I could think of was to find out ways to get a seat for the 3 of us in the cramped benches. Although the place and seats are a little too small for Well-built people to squeeze in, the whole experience of eating this Ghee-laden Parathas is one of its kind.
We decided to go for one each from the usual and unusual category. I ordered a tried and tested Mix Paratha and a Rabdi Paratha..Both tasted absolutely delicious and were tatstefully served with Pumpkin Sabji, Aloo Sabzi, Banana Saunth Chutney and Mint Chutney.
Although Parathas are a common food item in every north-Indian household, the ones that these shops sell has its own unique style.. The array of fillings they stuff inside these parathas are very tasty and unique.
I tasted almost 6 different varieties of parathas and decided to stop when the thought of my weighing scale flashed in my mind. I could see the amount of food I had gorged and its calorific value. :).. But how could I miss drinking a glass of refreshing lassi? Although the traditional Kulhads have now been replaced with disposable glasses, the taste of thick lassi right after a stomachful of parathas is bliss. The bloating, belching and what follows later is a different story altogether 😉
At the first glance this place might look shabby and unhygenic but for me its definitely a try-atleast-once-in-a-lifetime experience.
To reach Parathewali gali one can take the yellow line metro that runs between HUDA City Centre to Jahangirpuri and get down at the Chandni chowk Metro Station. On the road that starts from Sheeshganj Gurudwara, walk towards Khari baoli and ask anyone for Parathe Wali Gali. A ride from East Delhi to Chandni Chowk typically clocks less than a hundred bucks in a metered auto. Finding a parking here can be a huge menace, so try to stick to Autos or the Delhi Metro instead of driving your own vehicle.