Paranthe Wali Gali - What Not to Miss While Heading Out for the Heavenly Sunday Brunch!

The overwhelmingly bustling Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi is every traveller's delight. Paranthe Wali Gali is one of the most famous streets of Chandni Chowk running parallel to Dariba Kalan - the bazaar famous for its silverware. This street or Gali is a foodie's paradise, and as the name suggests, it means 'The Parantha Street' where one can be assured of the best variety of paranthas or the Indian flatbread. However, paranthas are not the only food items that make Paranthe Wali Gali so popular. Read on to know what not to miss on your next trip to this place while craving for some sumptuous Sunday brunch:

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History of Paranthe Wali Gali

Hardly a surprise, paranthas are the most attractive of the various food options that one gets to try in Paranthe Wali Gali. It is believed that Pandit Gaya Prasad Paranthewala was the first one to sell paranthas here (dating back to 1870s), the legacy of which is now being carried on by three shops: Pt. Kanhaiyalal Durgaprasad Dixit, Pt. Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan Paranthewala and Pt. Baburam Devidayal Paranthewala.

What Makes These Paranthas Unique?

The paranthas sold at these shops are unique and very different from the traditional Punjabi paranthas that are usually stuffed and then roasted on the flat 'Tawa' (flat dripping pan) partially cooking them with oil and finishing off the crisp parantha by smearing it with the desi ghee. However, the paranthas at Gali Paranthe Wali are a mix of the traditional Punjabi parantha and the Bedmi poori (deep-fried stuffed Indian bread), which is cooked not on the Tawa but deep-fried in a 'kadhai' (wok-like pot). It is served with spicy potato sabzi or curry and tamarind-banana chutney.

1. Pt. Kanhaiyalal Durgaprasad Dixit

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This legendary outlet serves paranthas that are truly innovative. Foodies swear by its bhindi (lady's finger), Kela (banana), Mirchi (chilli) and Rabri paranthas.
Must try Parantha:
If you must pick one, go for the killer Rabri parantha whose sheer yumminess is sure to make you forget about your calorie-count! You will be left wanting for more.

2. Babu Ram Parantha

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Serving paranthas with an aloo-matar (potato-peas) sabzi and Pethe (pumpkin) ki sabzi, Baburam Paranthewala at Paranthe Wali Gali is known for its robust flavours and wholesomeness.
Must try Paranthas:
Papad parantha, Meva parantha, Karela parantha, Dal Aloo parantha and Lemon parantha.

3. Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan Paranthewala

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Another legendary parantha place, this shop serves paranthas not only with the traditional sabzi but also raita. Be prepared for long waiting hours and cramped up space, all for the goodness of heavenly paranthas. The shop boasts of having catered the likes of Indira Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and even Amitabh Bachchan.
Must try Paranthas: Traditional paranthas like Paneer, Aloo-Pyaz, Gobi and Pudina paranthas are especially good. People also swear by its Khurchan parantha, Khoya Parantha and Cashew/Kaju Parantha - all of which can be eaten as a dessert.
All food preparation in these shops is done without onion and garlic. The paranthas boast of unusual flavours, and the sweet ones are a big crowd-puller. Of course, one cannot expect a great ambience in these shops as they are pretty old and also seem to be suffering from restrictions of space and competition from newer concepts.
Average Cost for two people: INR 150-200.
Opening Hours: 9:00 AM -11:00 PM
Nearest Metro Station: Chandni Chowk on Yellow Line
Address: Gali Paranthe Wali, Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi.

Explore Paranthe Wali Gali Beyond Paranthas

4. Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala

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Another hot favourite in Paranthe Wali Gali is the Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala. Packed with the flavour of spicy filling of potatoes, urad dal and onions, these crispy fried golden kachoris (round patties) are topped with aloo-kachalu gravy and sour tamarind chutney and garnished with some chopped green chillies, coriander and ginger juliennes. The speciality of these kachoris is that despite being deep-fried, one does not see any excess oil and they come squeaky dry. Incredibly crisp and flaky on the outside and soft at the core with the filling of just the right amount, these kachoris are thus the ideal 'khasta' snack to go with a hot cup of tea when one is looking for eating something 'chatpata' and 'karara'. The kachoris at Jung Bahadur are simply not for the faint-hearted as they are slightly high on spice levels but carry a bagful of flavours. Go easy on the sour chutney and chillies and enjoy your plate of kachori!
Price for two: INR 50
Must try: Kachori Subzi, Khasta Kachori, Dal Kachori
Opening Hours: 10:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Address: 1104, Jogiwari, Gali Paranthe Wali, Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi.

5. Kedarnath Premchand Halwai

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This shop is bang opposite to Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala and serves up some seriously delicious food. To start with, one cannot miss the 'matar samosas' (peas-stuffed samosas) here, which are spicy and crispy served with sweet and sour chutney. Kedarnath Halwai is also famous for its 'Nagodi' in winters, which is a small-sized crisp 'poori', served with aloo-sabzi and halwa (semolina dessert). The nagodi is smashed from the centre, and one needs to pour the sabzi inside and eat the combination along with the sweet and rich halwa. Nagodi is one of the most popular breakfasts in winter, and Kedarnath Halwai is the place to head for the same. Equally delectable are its Gajar Halwa, Gulab Jamun and Kulhad Lassi. One must try out the frothy, sweet lassi here which is not too thick and helps to wash down all the fried treats of the Paranthe Wali Gali.
Price for two: INR 100
Must Try: Nagodi, Matar Samosa, Gajar Halwa, Gulab Jamun and Lassi.
Opening Hours: 6:00 AM - 9:00 PMA
ddress:
Shop Number 4, Tiraha Kinari Bazar, Paranthe Wali Gali, Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi.

6. Kanwarji's

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This sweet shop is located right at the starting of Gali Paranthe Wali on the main road. Kanwarji's is popular for the usual street food like poori aloo, bhatura chana and gulab jamuns. It is a good idea to get some dry snacks packed from here which come in compact, clean and sealed packaging. They have a good variety of matthris and namkeens, of which their dal-biji is legendary. You could also try out Karachi halwa, paneer jalebis and Mathura pedas.
Cost for two: INR 200
Must try: Bikaneri Mixture, Dal Biji, Kashmiri Mixture, Matthris, Anarkali and Shahi Toast.
Opening Hours: 9:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Address: Corner Gali Paranthe Wali, Opposite Central Bank, Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi.

7. Old Famous Jalebi Wala

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Founded in 1884, Old and Famous Jalebi Wala is located on the main road of Chandni Chowk and is unmissable when one exits from the Paranthe Wali Gali. A perfect place to finish off the heat from the paranthas and the samosas, this place dishes out thick and golden jalebis with sweet syrupy goodness oozing out of them in every bite topped with thick, creamy rabri. Selling at the rate of INR 500 for a kilo, this shop, aptly named, is a hot favourite amongst the tourists, locals and the NRIs whose trip to Chandni Chowk is incomplete without gorging on some heavenly goodness of the golden-fried jalebis. You could also try out their sweet lassi, which is very refreshing especially during the summer months.
Cost for two: INR140 for Jalebi with Rabri.
Must try: Jalebi with Rabri, Lassi.
Opening Hours: 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Address: Main Road, Dariba Kalan, Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi.
It is not without anything that Chandni Chowk is considered to be a foodie's paradise. Its eateries are legendary because they follow age-old recipes and stick to the tradition that leads to taste and flavours that are unmatchable. A trip to Paranthe Wali Gali is an experience in itself, multi-sensory and fascinating. Jostling through the rush and managing to pass through the crowded streets, awaiting your turn to get a plate of yumminess and finding a place to sit all make up for the hectic but truly enjoyable experience of food travel to Chandni Chowk. So what are you waiting for? Spare a Sunday to head to the Paranthewali Gali to enjoy food, history and hospitality in a single, pocket-friendly adventure!

This post was published by Girija Suri

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