Anybody with a fixed monthly income is familiar with the quest for economically priced, substantial, delicious meals towards the end of the month. On days like these, when the wallet has gotten fairly lighter but the tummy is still hungry for something yummy, the good old paratha, stuffed with lip-smacking fillings and accompanied by a bowl of soft curd and some sweet pickle, is quite the godsend.
Mashed, spiced potato (aloo), leafy vegetables such as fenugreek (methi) or spinach (palak), radish (mooli), cabbage (gobi), onion, peas, and, of course, paneer and cheese are the classics, but a number of places in the city also offer a wide variety of innovative paratha stuffings that bring a whole new world of flavour to this scrumptious flatbread.
Take, for instance, the no-frills establishment Chaitanya Parathas on FC Road, where fillings range from mushroom, capsicum and corn to an Italian paratha with special herbs and an aloo bhujia one stuffed with crunchy sev! Nandu’s Paratha on Dhole Patil Road does all kinds of stuffings, right from rajma, fiery bhavnagri chillies, soybean to even one loaded with pizza toppings. They also rustle up a sweet paratha packed with melted chocolate, converting this popular desi snack into a sinful dessert. Another such rendition is the one at Yogi Tree with nuts, sultana grapes, fruits and cream – unusually gorgeous! The health food-focused restaurant also prepares a nutritious tofu-stuffed paratha that is wholesome as well as tasty.
The papad paratha at Shahji’s Paratha House on Apte Road is another definitive discovery – think crispy, savoury bits of crushed papad melting in your mouth as you bite into a paratha. And with two other varieties stuffed with creamy pasta and vegetarian biryani (!) respectively, this place basically demonstrates the sheer malleability of the paratha.
Viman Nagar’s Paratha Place dishes out an achari paratha stuffed with pickle, and another flaming one packed with a mix of Kolhapuri thhecha, schezwan, chilli flakes, jalapeños, and some potato and cheese to cut the overall spiciness. A brisk walk away, at Paratha King, you get these mini pocket parathas, which are basically triangular-folded versions with stuffings such as veg manchurian and hara bhara kabab.
And if you are in the mood for some meaty parathas, Jashn in Salunkhe Vihar does a beautiful kheema baida paratha stuffed with minced buffalo meat. Or then dig into the egg or chicken parathas at Chhaya Paratha in Pimpri – greasy, flaky and absolutely decadent.