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Indian Street Food At Its Best - Stuffed Paranthas at Parantha Wali Gali Delhi
What's All The Buzz About?
Ever since I saw the TV coverage of the Parantha wali Gali at Delhi expert dishing out tasty and unique stuffed paranthas like laccha parantha, papar parantha et all, my foodie inners had been itching to go there and check it out. When I finally got the chance to live out my ancient ambition, Parantha wali Gali Delhi definitely did not disappoint!
For the un-initiated, let me first explain what a ‘Stuffed Parantha’ is.
If you’ve ever seen or heard of Indian bread, the Stuffed Parantha belongs to the same family, only superior in quality and taste. Made in almost the same way as the basic Indian ‘Roti’, the Stuffed Parantha differs in that it is generally stuffed with some grated vegetable or other filling to give it a special taste. Then again, the stuffed Parantha is always smeared with some clarified butter (Ghee) both on the inside and outside to enhance its taste.
No wonder it is a must have at most North Indian breakfast tables and is a favorite with kids. Elders, unfortunately, have become fairly health conscious but most (like me) still can’t resist the streaming aroma of freshly cooking ‘Stuffed Paranthas’.
Getting To The Prantha Wali Gali Delhi
If you are visiting the famous Red Fort when visiting Delhi, you cannot miss a walk down Chandni Chowk, the centuries old melting pot of cultures and traditional business hub. Just for the record, a small shop of a few square feet in this area does business worth millions every year. It is also the place where some famous business chains have originated, such as Chabra555 in the women’s clothing space. Chandani Chowk is also home to the world famous Indian Tandoori Chicken, which is famed to have originated at Kareem’s right here.
A short walk down the road will take you across the historic Sees Ganj Gurudwara, the shrine dedicated to the ninth Sikh Guru Sri Guru Teg Bahadur ji. Just about a hundred meters ahead is the star of the evening – the Parantha wali Gali.
Don’t look for any markings or things or you are bound to be disappointed. Just ask and you will be happily guided to an unobtrusive looking four feet broad street that looks quite like any other in the area. Enter and you will be greeted by the aroma of delicious frying stuffed paranthas of the Parantha wali Gali Delhi.
Watch my Video - Making of a Stuffed Parantha
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The Actual Experience
At first glance, the parantha gali was a bit of a disappointment when I and my friend didn’t find rows and rows of shops making paranthas of all kinds. But as we started eating, it turned out the three shops that do the job pack an adequate punch in themselves.
Lets get to the point – the actual eating part.
Taking in the mouthwatering menu(see picture on the right), we decided to go for the option I had first seen on a TV program on Parantha wali Gali Delhi– the ‘Papad Parantha’ and the ‘Parat Parantha’. The former has a stuffing of crisp ‘Papad’, the crunchy taste of which was quite enchanting. The ‘parat parantha’ gets its name from the multiple layers or ‘parats’ it is made of. Needless to say, one can literally peel off the layers one by one! The parat parantha is actually the same as the famous laccha parantha so popular all over in famous Indian food chains.
The plate full of accessories that come complimentary with the stuffed parantha definitely add to its flavor. The standard stuff served is three kinds of vegetables, fairly spicy at that, two kinds of chutney, and a smart mix of a spicy salad that could even pass off as a raw form of pickle. Whatever the combination, it definitely made for a good blend.
Neembu Parantha, or lime parantha, was next on our wishlist, and it sure did not disappoint. The subtle flavor of lemon rind mixed with the sublime taste of the stuffed parantha itself was sheer delight for the tongue.
Next we decided to try the more exotic stuff, the ‘khoya’ parantha. Move over crusty pizzas and the like, this is the authentic thing! Parantha outer stuffed with sweet khoya, a condensed milk sweet dish. The picture on the right shows what the rich creamy stuff looks like, and it sure was great for my sweet tooth!
Now I was beginning to enjoy the experimentation, and decided to go the whole hog with a ‘Mirchi Parantha’. Yes Sir, green chillies stuffed into the parantha – the real thing (see picture). One look and we started sweating in anticipation, but the whole experience was too tempting to resist.
Between ‘Oohs’ and ‘Aahs’, we somehow managed to polish off this as well. One thing has to be said about chillies, that while they keep burning up your tongue and you may smoke through your ears, the tangy taste of a dish heavily spiced with chillies is too tempting to resist, or even stop eating once you get started. And I can say that with some authority, mind you, having had a fair variety of extremely spicy stuff across the length and breadth of India!
The next parantha came with tomato filling, but we had already the scaled the peak of taste so we finally decided to call it a day.
All our adventure cost the two of us was Rs 250/-, or about US$6.5. Not bad going for an evening of taste to remember!
As a parting shot, we succumbed to the heavy aroma of sweet carrot halwa, ‘Gajrela’ that we crossed on our way out. Deftly decorated with the choicest of dry fruits, the steaming hot, sweet Gajrela was a befitting finale to an evening well spent in the adventure of the ‘Parantha wali Gali’ of Delhi!
Do not miss the Parantha Gali Delhi the next time you go visiting the capital of India. Highly recommended for the Indian street food loving foodies of this world!
If you are in love with Indian food, do check out the list of the top Indian food chains that are a must visit for food lovers.