I’ve always had a love affair with Parathas. How can you resist them? Imagine naan bread but thinner, made instead with whole wheat flour, stuffed with potato, chillies and spices, then simmered and covered in butter. It’s heaven in the morning. The only thing better than an Aloo (potato) Paratha is an Amritsari Kulcha, but that’s another article altogether.
My paratha consumption had begun to fall drastically when I discovered the joys of Chole Bhature. I got addicted to Chole Bhature and for the last few months had been trying to make up for the last 32 years of my life having avoided chole (chickpeas). I was neglecting Parathas. It was time to fix this injustice.
The Biggest Paratha in the World
I’d known about “Hindustan ka subse bada paratha” (India’s largest paratha) for a while. The second I heard about its existence, I felt like destiny was calling me. Something was awoken with me. There was no escaping it. It was one of those things in life I knew I had to do. What better way to pay tribute to the place parathas have in my
heart stomach than getting on a 2016 KTM RC 390 and travelling on NH9 from Delhi to Rohtak, Haryana to eat the biggest paratha in the world?
Eating the world’s largest paratha isn’t something you attempt alone. Only 7 people have ever done it within 45 minutes and received the prize of 100,000 INR ($1550 USD) and free food for life. I wasn’t going to be number 8. Ideally, you need 4-5 people to finish it. It was just Prince, the brawny Jaat fitness model, and me today though.
We sped out of Delhi on the way to Bahadurgarh then Rohtak. Prince maxed out his trusty Yamaha R15 at 120 kph. There was no way I was going to max out the KTM RC 390 on these less than ideal roads. On a race track, it’ll top out at 167 kph, on the way I briefly hit 140 kph. Needless to say, the 64 km ride flew by and we arrived at Tapasya Paratha Junction within an hour.
“Haryanvis don’t break hearts, they break bones”
Haryana is a beautiful green state. Alongside representing agriculture, the green colour in the Indian flag represents the fertile green fields of Haryana. However, Haryana is a commonly overlooked state. People don’t stop here. They just pass through. Sure, it’s not as rich in tourist sights and activities as Rajasthan or Uttar Pradesh, but there are a few things great things to stop and enjoy in Haryana.
Haryanvis (the people of Haryana) get a bad wrap in India, they even consider themselves rude. The perception has something to do with their dialect of Hindi which other speakers find very informal and plain rude. Haryanvis are also known for their brawn and regressive mentality. I was hoping some of this would be true, but it seems like most stereotypes, there is some truth to it.
My first interaction with a Haryanvi after crossing the border that day was a man telling me to move away from his wife. Apparently, I was standing too close to her as I stood in an isle deciding what seat to take in the restaurant! I said to him “What happened?” in Hindi, but he wouldn’t explain and just told me to move away. I should have pushed him further to find out what his actual problem was because I was interested to know what he thought I’d done wrong. Prince confirmed I’d done nothing wrong and that the guy was just rude.
After that encounter, I, of course, met some nice Haryanvis. I also know many great Haryanvis in Delhi who are exactly the opposite of the stereotype.
While you are more likely to come across ruder people in Haryana, don’t let that put you off visiting as the good outweighs the bad.
Ok, back to the food!
It’s Big Alright!
340 INR ($5 USD), warnings from the waiter that it’s too big for 2 people, and a 15-minute wait later, the king of all parathas arrived! All 2+ KGs of it. I knew it would be big, but not that big. It’s mammoth. It’s roughly the size of a truck’s tyre. The waiter was right, we should have just ordered a medium, but where’s the fun in that? We were there for the monster!
Begin by grabbing a chunk of that pure white butter and massage it over the soft skin of the paratha. Skip the crusty outsides and dig a little further in where the spicy filling is. Feel that greasy warm bread between your fingers and scoop up some yoghurt. Now devour.
We only managed to polish off 20% of it. There’s enough for 5 big eaters. We were stuffed, and I had to have a tea to stop myself slipping into a food coma.
Now I’m trying to decide on my next adventure into Haryana, if you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments!