Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi is all about the narrow bylanes steeped in history, quaint old shops, and of course, the Paranthe Wali Gali. Anybody looking for the typical Delhi culinary experience is directed to this place, and not without good reason.
The first shops in the area were established by Brahmin families from Madhya Pradesh over 150 years ago. The proprietors tweaked the traditionally shallow fried Punjabi flatbreads, by deep frying the stuffed dough in hot ghee, after the fashion of puris, favoured in their state of origin.
These were served with a pumpkin curry and a banana-ginger chutney- a practice that continues to this date.
Earlier in the day, the Paranthe Wali Gali had for its clientele- as well as cooks- predominantly upper caste Hindus with a strict diet code. To this day, the paranthas and their accompaniments are made without incorporating onion and garlic, ingredients impermissible by these communities.
The first offerings were simple- paranthas stuffed with potato, cauliflower, cottage cheese, or radish. The menu has since expanded to include more diverse tastes, and a foodie who finds himself in present-day Chandni Chowk can sample paranthas with nimbu-pudina (lemon-mint), ghiya (bottle gourd), papad (lentil crisps), even karela (bitter gourd).
Papad Parantha. maayeka
Those with a sweet tooth need not go farther. The diverse range of paranthas also includes rabdi parantha (condensed milk), khurchan parantha (evaporated cream) and banana parantha.
Rabdi Parantha. twitter
The piping hot, flavoursome paranthas, accompanied with the unique curries and chutneys can be washed down with a glass of lassi, finishing off the perfect meal.
Craving these paranthas already? Enjoy these delicious flatbreads from the heart of Delhi at the Reacho Food Festival.
Title image: whatshot