Journo Calls Parathe Wali Gali Overrated; Internet Weighs In

X and Reddit have emerged as platforms where foodies can share hot takes and unpopular opinions about desi food, which has also helped bust some myths about food spots which have enjoyed a ‘cult’ status without bringing much to the table. 

Recently, journalist Shiv Aroor replied to a post about Delhi food which found quite a bit of traction. “One of India’s biggest scams has been the narrative that Delhi food is good,” Aroor comments in a post on March 9. While some people agreed with this and cited the lack of quality and poor hygiene as possible reasons for this, others disagreed.

“You need to roam around in Delhi with a delhite for Delhi food. I have travelled around all cities in India & #Delhi will be 2nd after #kolkata in terms of food,”  a foodie commented. Aroor also responded to another comment about Delhi’s famous ‘Parathe Wali Gali,’ and said, “That’s actually the most overrated place in all of Delhi. You get better parathas virtually everywhere else in Delhi itself.”

For some time now, the famous Delhi neighbourhood near Chandni Chowk has received some flak for its declining quality; locals and tourists have often gone online and shared their disappointment with the lack of cleanliness and overall quality of food. Aroor’s post about the famous lane dedicated to parathas also received myriad responses. 

“Agreed. The parathas were too thick, soaked in “ghee” supposedly, and unappetising overall,” commented an X user. Another user chimed in with, “they sale poori not paratha. my friend from chandani chowk made sure that I never visit that place. we get better parathas in dhabas of Chandni chowk.”

Several foodies pointed out that they can score better parathas virtually anywhere else in Delhi outside of Parathe Wali Gali, especially in Old Delhi. “I am from Chandni Chowk and I agree to that but Old Delhi has some amazing food joints in every nook and corner. There are several serving dishes with Aloo ki Sabji but each has a unique style and taste. And both Veg and Non Veg,” wrote another foodie. 

According to history, Pandit Gaya Prasad Paranthe Wale was the first to sell parathas in this area in Chandni Chowk around 1872 (back then the lane was full of silver shops). By the year 1960, around 20 paratha shops had opened up in the area and it’s believed that Gaya Prasad’s legacy is being carried on by three shops in the Parathe Wali Galli, namely Pt. Kanhaiyalal Durgaprasad Dixit, Pt. Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan Paranthewala and Pt. Baburam Devidayal Paranthewala.

The parathas sold at Parathe Wali Gali and specifically these three shops are different from traditional Punjabi paranthas which are typically roasted on a flat tawa. The paranthas at Paranthe Wali Gali are a combination of the traditional Punjabi parantha and the famous Bedmi poori, which is why their parathas are deep-fried in a kadhai and resemble the make of a poori.