Mar 29, 2012

For the Love of Paranthas



(image courtesy :google)

I am a Punjabi and like every self respecting Punjabi I love my paranthas like I love no other item of food. Take the bread away from a Punjabi; take away the fancy Thai and Chinese food, but take away his paranthas and you will have him floundering like a fish out of water.

And mind you, we Punjabis take our Paranthas very seriously. For us, cooking Paranthas is an art, never to be taken lightly. The dough has to be kneaded to the right consistency, spices and stuffing mixed with care to get that perfect flavor, the tawa heated to the right temperature and the paranthas to be flipped over at just the right time while cooking. And if making paranthas is an art, eating them is the task of a connoisseur. In my humble opinion, paranthas should never ever be eaten by that breed of people who eat food simply for the sake of eating. Each morsel must be chewed slowly and reverently. You must feel the crispy layers melt in your mouth, taste the stuffing inside - spicy, tangy,a million tantalizing flavours exploding in your mouth... 

That brings us to the stuffing ….. ohh the stuffing …. grated cauliflower or radish with ginger and fresh green chilies, potatoes, onion, methi, paneer, boiled peas, even left over dal; all this and more is put into paranthas and the end result is absolutely scrumptious! The type of Paranthas one can eat is mind boggling. Stuffed paranthas, soft and fluffy, served piping hot with dollops of homemade butter melting on them like white rivulets, layered paranthas with sprinklings of mint or ajwain, crisp and crunchy as autumn leaves, to be eaten with homemade tomato chutney or curd; or just plain paranthas fried in ghee till crisp, to be dipped in honey …. Ah Bliss!

Most of us living outside Punjab have moved on to other forms of breakfast like cereal, bread or even idlis or poha, but in Punjab, Breakfast equals paranthas and if you try telling people otherwise they will look at you sympathetically and proclaim you quite mad. My aunt, a rotund lady who firmly believes in the goodness of Paranthas was advised by her doctor to give them up if she wanted to lose weight. Needless to say she was shocked as if the doctor had sounded her death knell. She gave the poor man a dressing down he will never forget and marched out.


Paranthas have always been blamed as being high in calories and I suppose they are – if they are fried in Ghee or are eaten dripping Butter. But that is when they taste the best and what to do, we Punjabis love our Butter! Nowadays, we usually have the fat free version - paranthas stuffed with vegetables but not fried, they make a healthy wholesome meal. Homemade paranthas are the best, followed by the paranthas that one gets at the numerous Dhabas that line the Delhi – Chandigarh highway. Fancy shops in cities are really not able to capture the taste as well as these small dhabas. Paranthe waali gali in Chandani Chowk is much touted as serving the best paranthas but frankly I have come back disappointed from there!


I hate cooking as a rule but paranthas is the only food item I can cook and I dare say, cook with some panache.


I can do without a lot of things in my life but I don’t think I can ever do without paranthas. Paranthas are my comfort food, my brunch on lazy fog filled winter mornings, my wrap and carry with you travel food. If you want to please me, feed me paranthas and I will be yours for life!


Now since this post has me drooling all over the keyboard, please excuse me while I go make myself some paranthas.

Want Some ? :)



28 comments:

  1. Personally, I like my Paranthas with fresh cream.
    And yeah, the Paranthe Wali Galli is a big farce. I mean, those are not even Paranthas. More like puris served with pumpkin.

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  2. Ruch, you will hear a knock on ur door soon! Keep them ready. Absolutely mouthwatering :)

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  3. @Arti - Yes, paranthas are aren't they !

    @snowleopard - LOL on Puri served with pumpkin !You are right actually. I prefer mine with curd or honey.

    @Swaram - Any time, Any Time !

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  4. OH YES WE DO...

    dollop of Ghee or Butter

    and and a bit of mint chutnee or just plain youghart ..

    or or the famous red chilly and onion chutney , with butter mixed ..

    BLISSSSSSSSSSsssssssssssssssssssss

    the only problem i have now is where do i get it here.. your fault NOW courier me someeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    Bikram's

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  5. @Bikram - go to Southall :):)

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  6. There were these great dhabhas in Murthal enroute to Chandigarh. But they can't be found there anymore. The L&M and i used to drive all the way there to eat those delectable circles. I love them with some vegetable achar and dahi. Mmmmm...so when can I come home? :)

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  7. Loved the Ballad of the Paratha, only it was in prose.

    When I was a child, parantha's symbolized happiness for the family. Otherwise, we were just served chapatis.

    I say there is a grand conspiracy in works out there. How come the burgers, sandwitches and the chowmein are less deadly than poor paranthas? Why can't we have parantha-curd for the soul?

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  8. I have been to southhall toooo ..

    and MURTHAL oh MY GOD Zephyr you reminded me of that yummmyyyyyyyyyyyy

    we specially went to the dhabas to eat paranthas in middle of night

    Bikram's

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  9. @zephyr - you are welcome anytime ! Besides Murthal there are a lot of other dhabas on the highway that serve these delectable circles !

    @Umashankar - Parahathas for the soul - lovely idea!

    @Bikram - Murthal was always mindblowing ! I am sure you get good paranthas when you go to your village also !

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  10. @zephyr - you are welcome anytime ! Besides Murthal there are a lot of other dhabas on the highway that serve these delectable circles !

    @Umashankar - Parahathas for the soul - lovely idea!

    @Bikram - Murthal was always mindblowing ! I am sure you get good paranthas when you go to your village also !

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  11. @zephyr - you are welcome anytime ! Besides Murthal there are a lot of other dhabas on the highway that serve these delectable circles !

    @Umashankar - Parahathas for the soul - lovely idea!

    @Bikram - Murthal was always mindblowing ! I am sure you get good paranthas when you go to your village also !

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  12. Paranthas are the only real treat and nothing to beat them as a holiday breakfast!

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  13. I will have a gobhi parantha with carrot pickle please.

    :) Loved the post. I also prefer home-made and dhaaba wala paranthas to parathe wali gali paranthas.

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  14. What an inspired post. You waxed lyrical on paranthas. You know something, I am so fond of Punjabi food that I feel I should have been born somewhere in Punjab :(
    I lovvvvve paranthas. In fact it is my fav food as mentioned here: http://shailsnest.com/2009/02/21/saying-it-with-pictures/
    Pssst! When are you making me my fav food with panache :D (That was me inviting myself over shamelessly, for the love of paranthas) :))

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  15. BTW you are right about the parantha galiwale paranthas. Nothing to write home about.

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  16. Oh my God.. that was such a mouth watering write up. You took me to heaven and I was dreaming of those yummy paranthas. I absolutely love them and gorge on them whenever possible. Beautifully written. Now I have to eat parnthas very soon. :)

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  17. I skipped breakfast today to reach work on time, and now, the Punjabi in me is all hungry for paranthas :(

    A mouth watering post! I have to have pasanthas for lunch now!

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  18. What a yummy post! You know everyone loves parathas. My mom always make gobhi, mooli, methi, aloo, chana dal, meetha and so many versions of paratha. I love them too. My favorite is gobhi :). There is something very comforting about parathas. I even like to do them in mustard oil. Gives a twist to taste. Of course have switched to the healthier versions but love it still a lot.

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  19. We actually drive all the way to Rohtak in winters, just to sample the food on the road. Ruchira, wanna join me on this foodie drive this winter? We can hire a cab and start before breakfast and eat our way back by dinner ...

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  20. Oh! Paranthas!! Our day does not start without a parantha! It is the only satisfying and the one that gives a filling feeling... poha/upma etc... are ok once in a while but they are more like a snack. Breakfast is synonymous with Paranthas. I love methi with mashed aloo the best. Dal paranthas are my fav too. Agree, no one can match the taste of a home-made paranthas.

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  21. Delhisheeyus!
    Home-made Parathas are the best. I don't get the fuss over Parathewali Gali either.

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  22. I need to come to your place now.

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  23. Sadly despite being a Delhite, I have yet to perfect the art of making paranthas. Blame my ghee phobia. And my favourite is gobhi parantha!

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  24. U may kill me for this but I dont fancy paranthas . May be due to a horribel experience I had in lucknow where I got food poisoning after havng paranthas for 3 consecutive days. May be it was made with horrible oil . Not sure !
    but some times I have them if it is made with a similar panache like urs

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  25. I am too finicky about food but the one non-South Indian dish I truly enjoy are paranthas. Ruchira, you did not know what you let yourself in for :) Did you forget that I do come to Delhi regularly and I stay pretty close to where you live while I am there? Want some, indeed! That shall be put to the test the coming May/June :)

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  26. You should have added a warning at the beginning of the post.."not to be read while empty stomach or you might suffer from drool syndrome" -_-
    P.s. your cover pic is too good.im guessing its a memory from a journey.

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