Paranthe Wali Gali , also called Gali Paranthe Wali, means “the lane of paratha makers” or the “bylane of flatbread”. Perked your tastebuds yet? Paranthe Wali Gali is situated in Chandni Chowk (Moonlight Square) in Old Delhi, India, and has functioned for over a century. Once known to be the grandest market selling silverware and other items, it is now famed for its parathas or deep-fried breads.
About Paranthe Wali Gali and the Origins of its Parathas
Before we delve into this delicacy, let’s have a taste of its history. Since its inception, Paranthe Wali Gali has grown from carrying a handful of paratha shops to a multitude of joints that sell a variety of parathas. This paratha culture dates way back to the reign of the Mughal emperor. Sometime in the 1870s, the first paratha shops moved in.
Parathas are an extremely popular, whole-wheat flatbread that still resonates as a traditional favourite among Delhiites. It is either made plain or packed with a stuffing. As they were originally owned by Brahmins, who are strict vegetarians, paratha cuisines have mostly adopted a strict leaning to vegetarianism. Mainly with a Jain clientele, the use of onions and garlic were also strictly omitted in the original parathas back in the day.
Here at Paranthe Wali Gali, parathas are churned out with optimal efficiency to meet interminable numbers who visit the region to quell their taste buds. It’s almost like a systematic production line here where one person rolls the dough, then packs it with a filling while another oversees frying them in iron tawas (or hot plates) filled with desi ghee. Perhaps not an ideal choice for the health-conscious. Despite this, the area still remains a popular destination among Delhiites to Indians all across India, to the curious traveller looking to dip his fingers into some street food. Celebrities aren’t spared either! From Amitabh Bachan to Ranbir Kapoor to politicians such as Jawarharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, food here continues to draw its foodies in hordes.
Types of Parathas
The variations of parathas at your avail here are numerous. They range from your basic, unstuffed paratha to the common aloo paratha, which is stuffed with potatoes. Other stuffings include aloo dahl, mixed vegetables, paneer(or Indian cottage cheese), mattar(or peas), mushrooms, smashed pappadums and sultanas.
For more exotically-stuffed parathas, there are an array of savoury ones that are filled with nimbu-pudina(which is lime and mint flavoured), mirchi, almonds and fillings like rabri and mava. Rabri parathas are raved about. Mashed with almonds and pistachios, they aren’t your usual parathas and would easily satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth.
The parathas are usually served with a variety of chutneys and curries or even an accompaniment as simple as curd and pickle. Complemented with a piping cup of hot chai, these meals are ideal for your cold, wintry day. If you enjoy your street foods, this is the place to begin, end your day or break it midway with this sumptuous feast!