Paranthey Wali Gali Chandni Chowk measures just 3 meters in width but can accommodate more than 500 people on a busy day!
Dare to enter it?
We are sure you will rise to this challenge. This Gali is a favorite haunt of foodies, curious travelers, and explorers of Delhi.
Paranthe means Indian flatbread made of flour and gently fried over a hot plate. The cooking medium is ghee (a by-product of milk).
Let me admit that I am not a foodie but over the years I had heard so much about this small corner of Delhi that I could no longer avoid visiting it.
So finally, yesterday, when I was done with my overseas guests, I made my way to the Paranthe Wali Gali Chandni Chowk.
After making a few inquiries, I found this paradise of all the Delhi foodies. And you bet, I wasn’t at all surprised to note its size.
Like the cave of Ali Baba Chalis Chor
In the famous Hindi movie Ali Baba and Chalis Chor, the hideout of the thieves was a very small cave on a mountain.
Same way here! The mouth of the Gali (Lane ) is no more than 3 meters but once you enter this paradise of sorts, you will be amazed at the number of people it can hold.
I was a bit disappointed to find that there are just 4 shops that sell the paranthas; I had imagined that there would be more than 20 of them here. Later, I learned that many shop-owners had downed their shutters for good in order to find better markets. Sad, to say the least!
It seems that making and selling paranthas was a loss-making business for many of the shopkeepers here and that is why they left this market for good.
History of Paranthey Wali Gali Chandni Chowk
All the shops here are owned by Brahmins from the Bhind-Morena area of Madhya Pradesh.
Mukesh, the nephew of one of the shopkeepers here, told me that all the parantha makers here belong to the same family. Over a period, one family, which had settled here in the nineteenth century, called its other relatives from Madhya Pradesh and that is how this community grew here. I wanted to ask more questions from him but could not, he had so much work to do that Sunday afternoon.
This is Mukesh. He helps his Uncle in managing the shop ( in the background, wearing a cap)
If you notice, all the shops mention late 19th century as the period of their origin. Pretty recent, you’d wonder, no!
Nobody knows for sure why these souls landed up in Delhi all the way from Madhya Pradesh. I think someone should research this aspect of Delhi’s history.
I read in a blog that the first shop was set up in 1872 by a person from the Bah Tehsil in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. It is possible that this gentleman had guessed that Delhi would soon become a power center under the British rule some day. How accurate he was!
As per another version, this Gali came into being after the cooks of the Maratha armies settled in Delhi after the Third Battle of Panipat. But, there is no data to support this theory.
But why should we waste our time to decode the history of Paranthey Wali Gali Chandni Chowk?
A tasty spread
For foodies, this place is a paradise. The 4 shops of this narrow lane dish out 36 different types of paranthas. Our moms can just make one type of parantha, hehe.
Wash down this tasty food with a thick lassi and you will forget all the hard work done by you to get into this cramped space.
A note for the parantha lovers- try to come early on weekends, because all the seats in the restaurants become occupied. You don’t want to relish these delights while standing, no?
For vegetarians, here is a piece of good news- all the paranthas made here don’t contain lehsun and pyaz. The food here is absolutely satwik. Remember, when the first cooks came and settled here, there were Jains around, and the cooks themselves are Brahmins.
You may like to read the history of Paranthas here.
How to reach Paranthey Wali Gali Chandni Chowk?
This Gali is right opposite the Central Bank of India branch. You can take a rickshaw to this place from the Chandni Chowk or Red Fort Metro Station.
Would you like to explore Chandni Chowk with me? Please call me at 91-9810840763 and we can plan a trip.)))