Chandni Chowk Food Walk 1 – Part 1

(Written about two months ago)

The biggest delight for me of living in Delhi is the Food. No matter what part you are in, this city can never fail to surprise you. One of such iconic foodie’s paradises famous all over the world is Chandni Chowk. It falls under the old part of the city and no matter where you look; you will find something that you would promise yourself to try out next time, being already full from eating around. I have been to Parathe Wali Gali (PWG) before but decided to explore the place officially once more when a friend showed interest in going there. As you step out of the metro station, a never ending swarm of crowd approaches you as you try to make your way to your destination. After finally locating the street in the still bearable heat of the city and giggling about the overexcited shopkeepers asking us to buy their wedding ensembles, we entered The Gali. With not much experience of the place, we decided to give the first renowned Paratha shop a try , with a signboard stating whoever would prove the ghee is not authentic would get ten thousand rupees as a reward. After waiting around for a table, we quickly hogged one as soon as it got vacant. When asked for a menu, the waiter hurriedly pointed to the life-sized one taped to the wall which had almost anything imaginable that one can stuff a paratha with.

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We finally decided on ordering the lemon paratha and pea paratha and moments after that the waiter placed two plates on our table with aloo (potato) sabzi, petha (pumpkin) subzi, dry aloo sabzi and sweet chutney. As we waited for our parathas to appear before us, our eyes hungrily started stalking the parathas they were bringing for others around us. And finally they appeared!Now when we say parathas, one fails to imagine such a paratha which is fried in ghee rather than the one cooked on the tawa. Still ignoring the amount of ghee that we were about to consume I decided to relish the sight of these crispy and steaming parathas on my plate.

The pea paratha was not much of a surprise.

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The lemon paratha is something to look forward to in such a shop as I started to savor and enjoy the life out of every bite of it. It was juicy, tangy and absolutely delicious.

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By the time we were finished with both these parathas, we had already begun to stare vulgarly at the menu again in search of our next target. The next one was Mirchi paratha.

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Now when I imagined it, I thought it’s going to be full of dried red chili stuffed into it, but it was made with freshly chopped green chilies instead. I could only enjoy two bites of this one which was rather out of temptation than hunger. It was spicy as expected but what blew my mind in just two bites was the juicy flavor of the green chilies and the fact that it was all piping hot. Even though we were stuffed, I had my eye on the Khurchan one since the time a friend mentioned it some time back and ended up ordering it.

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Now this is a sweet paratha, a treat in itself. They served it and I greedily proceeded to cut this piping hot bread in half. What oozed out was beyond my imagination. It was khoya (a type of milk reduction used in Indian sweets) and sugar granuels. We savored this crispy, hot and sweet bread in no time in an attempt to dilute the spicy flavor of the paratha before it. We made our peace with this assortment of parathas for now, promising ourselves to visit again and trying others as well.

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