Paranthas are not just staple food for the Punjabis, even people of the state of U.P. are quite fond of it. While paronthe (as called in a Punjabi family) are stuffed with all seasonal vegetables, in U.P. they prefer to eat aloo ki sabzi with paranthas. Why they, rather I should be saying ‘me’. Having tasted the culinary styles of both the states very closely, I can clearly differentiate the preparation style too. In my husband’s family we love them solid, huge, prepared on tandoor, stuffed and served with dollops of white butter while my people back home in Lucknow prefer them soft, thin and fried on tawa.
All said and done around the difference in making style, when it comes to eating, there is no fixed rule to pounce on the paranthas and the best part is one doesn’t has to worry about the table manners too. You may belong to any part of the world, but a parantha can only be enjoyed when you tear a mouthful bite with your hand and chew it sumptuously.
But if you ask a Punjabi, they will have only one thing to add— ‘Parantha is meant to be eaten with dollops of white butter else its not a parantha’.
I have been living in Delhi for more than fifteen years now, yet this was my first visit to the Murthal dhabbas. I guess it was meant to happen from Faridabad, in the company of three awesome people and with a broken ankle. Yes, I am still ailing with restricted movements and the urge to head out of the house is on its peak. Thanks to hubby’s friends, Asha and Arpan who planned a short Sunday road trip for me. Of all options, Murthal was a wise decision because I was yet to get the taste of the famous Sukhdev paranthas and the trip wasn’t exerting for my swollen foot as well.
Close to Sonepat, Murthal is a big village on the way to Panipat and the drive is a smooth ride. My first time on NH1 was absolutely fun. Asha was driving perfectly well. While we girls had decided to keep to the front, the guys looked nice stuffed on the seats behind. When we were half way through, the boys had already decided their order menu. Aloo Parantha, then pyaaz, then paneer and mix, jalebi, cold coffee, Chaach, everything had been discussed under the sun. My stomach was growling with hunger already. No less, I was also keen on buttermilk too.
Hubby had lot of nostalgic stories to share because during his engineering days, he had frequently travelled on this road. According to his last memories (more than a decade ago), these dhaabas had manjis (charpoys) but he did not know that he was in for a great surprise. To shift our focus from food, we played around music but if you talk of entertainment, we had the funniest channel with us and that’s our friend- Arpan (a consultant whom I often suggest to take up stand up comedy as an alternate profession).
On the left, there are six petrol pumps in succession and you know the dhaabas are close, very close. And one is spoiled for choices because there is not one but many dhabas which have special paranthas to their fame. However, we were sure of our choice.
We had started from Faridabad at around 1:15 in the afternoon, pooled in one car at G.K. to reach one and only Amreek Sukhdev and we were already there by 3:30 p.m. To my surprise, the huge facade stood there which could be called everything but a dhaaba. I had a vague idea of a Dhaaba and this one was nothing close to it. As we walked inside, the crowd spoke of its magnanimity. The place was buzzing with lots and lots of people. Neat tables, paper napkins, clean wash-room, an ac section were some of the things which impressed me in the very first few minutes.
When you are here, you have to learn to deal with patience. One has to be quick to eye the vacant chairs and take the table. In fifteen minutes, we had a table to ourselves and food was the next thing on our mind. The menu gave some gyaan on tandoor style of cooking and I was quick to click it. By this time, my gang had already ordered for two plates of golgappas. Soon as it arrived, the sooner it had vanished in the air. We ate it all and ordered two more plates. The paranthas were yet to be ordered.
Next, we couldn’t wait for the paranthas. To start with, we ordered 2 pyaaz and 2 paneer paranthas to go with Daal and white butter and Dahi.
Dollops of Butter to make for the taste. Tandoor paranthas have a unique flavor of their own. Every bite was worth it. I bet the pictures speak for themselves.
And this is how you make a full thali. With no butter, Asha’s plate looked amazing too. She had arranged the bowls of curd and daal aptly to go with the paranthas. Onion and chilli add interesting colors to the whole palette.
Buttermilk is my favorite and we ordered a pitcher. Cheers to the Chaach party!!!
Here is some information on the Sukhdev Dhaaba. History has found its way on the menu card. 1956, that’s the year when it all started.
Well, we did not want to give up but after 9 paranthas shared between four of us, we called it a truce with the abdomen.
We did not buzz from the dhaaba till we strolled around, had some tea, khulfi and coffee. It was fun to watch people come and go continuously. We had eaten so much and yet we wanted to eat more.
And we got some paranthas packed for family. White butter came in plenty!!!
On the road I did not miss clicking the famous Haryana Roadways bus.
Sunday was great fun!!! Where are we heading this Sunday guys?