More than a meal

The aloo paratha is not just food - it’s an emotion. Photo: S.R.Raghunathan  

Le Punjabi Paratha

This is the closest you can get to old Delhi’s Paranthe Wali Gali. Started by Bharti Arora, who moved as a bride from Delhi to Chennai in the late 80s, this kitchen opens at 5 a.m. so that they can deliver around 500 parathas a day. “It began with my neighbours, who wanted to sample Punjabi cooking. They especially enjoyed the parathas. So when we started Le Punjabi Parathas five years ago we knew there was a good market,” says Arora. Foil wrapped and packed in a vivid green box the aloo parathas are deliciously soft and tangy with a hint of fenugreek. Take a bite, and you can almost feel like you are running through the mustard fields of Punjab.

Apart from catering to institutions and companies, Arora also packs for people travelling abroad. “Once a client of mine took 60 parathas for her son in the U.S,” she smiles. Only hitch: your order has to be for a minimum billing of Rs. 500.

Rs. 70 for a box of two parathas. Prior ordering is recommended. Tel: 98400 60200


Kolkata Mithai

Jostling through a narrow crowded street in Choolaimedu, past crammed cars, bikes and autos we get to Kolkata Mithai. Known for its Bengali sweets, this place also takes pride in its aloo parathas. “It’s done in Bangali style. We don’t put butter. People are health conscious. They will stop eating if it’s greasy,” smiles the man at the counter. Their fluffy parathas are served with sweetened curd and a tasty mango. Given the outlet’s proximity to educational institutions and hostels, it is popular with a lot of students. “Some of them come with their own block of table butter,” laugh the staff.

Rs. 40 for a plate of two (Located at 9 A-Chitra Shopping Inn, Choolaimedu High Road. Tel: 9940337272)



The word pind means village in Punjabi and this restaurant has got a dhaba-like feel to it. Started by Divya and Dev Parwani, Pind follows authentic Punjabi recipes that have been passed down generations. You can smell the butter even before the gleaming paratha comes to the table. It’s accompanied with pickle, mint chutney, onion and curd. Full of flavour, there is the distinct taste of mashed potatoes, green chillies and coriander leaves. Divya explains that there are two kinds of parathas — tandoori and tawa. Tawa aloo parathas are made with a lot of ghee and butter while tandoori aloo parathas go easy on those ingredients but are spicier.

Rs. 60 for a plate of paratha (Located at 2, Sarathy Nagar, First Main Road, Velachery. Tel: 3085 3631)


Divine by Shree Mithai

Crisp on the outside, radiant with butter and stuffed with the perfect quantity of mashed potatoes, aloo paratha at Shree Mithai tastes best when clubbed with mango pickle and raita. There are quite a few raitas on offer — onion, potato, tomato, masala… but at a price. A plate consists of one paratha, neatly sliced into triangles.

Price: Rs. 75 for a plate. Parathas are available post-7 p.m. (Located at New No.189, AI Block, IV Avenue, Shanthi Colony, Anna Nagar. Tel: 4353 9999)


Cream Centre

It’s fiery. It’s hot. The paratha at Cream Centre faces stiff competition from the other favourites on the menu like the cheesy nachos and chaat. The restaurant seems to be perpetually packed with people, so orders take a while to arrive. Their eight-inch paratha has a generous filling of potato coupled with a liberal dusting of red chilli powder which stains the stuffing a beautiful crimson. It comes with a small bowl of black dal which helps balance the overpowering piquancy.

Rs. 257 for a paratha; (Located at 45, College Road, Nungambakkam. Tel: 4356 1777)


Shirdi Quick Bites

It’s almost mission impossible to find a parking space here. A scratch on the car and twenty minutes later we finally manage to squeeze the car into a space and run up to Shirdi for a quick bite. It’s like sitting in a furnace, and all the heat and smoke from the paratha station where a sweaty man diligently flips parathas, doesn’t make it any better. Perhaps sitting outside on those chairs perched by the edge of the ledge is a better idea. Shirdi, which dates back to almost 20 years, follows a token system — once your order is ready you are handed a steel plate and given the choice of either channa or curd to go with massive paratha. If only they wouldn’t skimp on the filling. The good news: there hardly is any trace of butter and it might be a practical option for those who lunch here daily.

Rs. 50 for one; (Located at 7,8, Prince Arcade, Cathedral Road. Tel: 28112566)


Kailash Parbat

Although there is a vast difference in the taste of the parathas here, it still makes it to our list. They serve one paratha per plate but it’s so thick that it’s as good as two. The edges are doughy and the filling is all bundled up towards the centre. It comes with a thinly sliced mango pickle which is perhaps tastier than the parathaFor the health conscious lot, they offer to make it with olive oil.

Rs. 142 for one. Parathas are available post-7 p.m. (Located at 9, Harrington Road, Chetpet)

(With inputs from Sai Eswari Sivaram and Mitali Jain)


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Printable version | May 15, 2021 10:13:03 AM |

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