Whenever we think of the name ‘Aalu da paratha’ or our mom serves us hot Parathas tossed in plenty ghee and stuffed with boiled and mashed potatoes mingling with spices, we always tend to have a preconception that it is a form of a typical Punjabi breakfast. But how did this famous paratha travel from Maharashtra to Punjab? Let’s take a look at the whole story!
In 1884, one of the first Maharashtrians to learn to read and write in English, Shripad Gorde of Konkan wrote a book with an Anglo-Indian Nigel Symmonds. The only copy of the book is preserved in the College Library of Oxford University. As mentioned in the book, the Konkan had always been innovative of the food. In 1786, when an English officer was served food, he was given a chapatti complemented by dry preparation of boiled potatoes (aalu ki sabzi); the headman told his wife to mix the flour with ‘Batatachi bhaji’ (dry preparation of boiled potatoes) and asked her to make a stuffed paratha with the same. So was created a special and cherished ‘Aalu ka paratha’ in Maharashtra.
As we all know, The Maratha dynasty was well spread in most parts of the nation. The Maratha soldiers took the ‘aalu ka paratha’ with them to the interiors of Atak, Quetta and Baluchistan (which included north India) and made it famous there under the name ‘Aalu da Paratha’. The original Aalu ka paratha wasn’t served with Curd.
The Punjabis added spices to the Paratha and tossed it with Ghee and butter to enrich its flavor and complimented it with curd. Curd being the most desirable portion of the Punjabi cuisine, it set a different standard of the Paratha. Now, it is the most cherished and beloved dish of the whole wide India.
One another proof that aalu da paratha originated in Maharashtra can be seen in the old Marathi texts written in Modi script. Old Marathi texts written between 1802-1808 emphasise that stuffed rotis of onion or potato were always a part of Maharashtra’s cuisine long before the Northern people rehashed it and made it their own.
There’s no doubt that the Punjabis made it more scrumptious by adding a Punjabi touch to it. But as we should never forget our own origins, we shouldn’t forget our treasured aalu ka paratha’s origin.
All hail Maharashtra and Maharashtrians!
Title image: foodlyrics