We taste test Pt. Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan at Parathewali Gali

Parathewali Gali is the most famous of old Delhi’s gems. Widely popular, this narrow lane that was once home to almost 20 shops now only has 4 shops serving parathas. We decided to visit Pandit Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan – the shop that started it all. They claim to have served Indira Gandhi, JL Nehru and Akshay Kumar among many others.

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We ordered a mix of paranthas- sweet and savoury. Paneer (cheese) and matar (peas) parathas were low on filling, something that you don’t expect for parathas that cost Rs 50 on an average. Gobhi (cauliflower) and Dal (lentils) parathas were rather average. Our favourites were nimbu (lemon) and khurchan. Nimbu paratha had an exciting tangy filling and was good enough to be had by itself. The khurchan paratha had cashews and raisins stuffed with khurchan. We would have liked it to be a tad bit sweeter but that’s just us having major sweet teeth.

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The accompaniments were delicious. You get kadoo (pumpkin) ki subzi, 2 types of aloo (potato) subzis, carrot pickle, mint and tamarind chutneys. They flavours range from sweetish to tangy to spicy- something for everyone. You can ask for helpings but the minimum parathas to be ordered are 2. A tiny dairy shop opposite serves lassis that are very average. We would give them a miss next time.

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The owner told us that this was the first shop here that started the trend. Even though all the shops are run by the same family, the quality will differ hugely. All parathas are deep fried in desi ghee making for a rich and filling meal. Lunches are usually very packed and you might have to wait to get a seat. Don’t expect an exclusive table because you’ll be disappointed. Sharing tables is a norm here.

Parathewali gali has its hits and misses. Don’t go there looking something out of this world because you’ll be disappointed. The trick is to be open to new types of parathas till you find something you can stick by. We have found ours. Any guesses?

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Must haves: Nimbu paratha, Khurchan paratha, Mirchi paratha

Meal for two: INR 250-300

Nearest metro station: Chandni Chowk

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