Rolling out perfect Parathas

Ambika Shaligram
Thursday, 12 October 2017

“As a family, we keep experimenting in the kitchen. And, the preparations that we like are perfected and then served at our outlets,” explains Trilok Thadani, son of Nandkumar Thadani, owner of Nandu’s Paratha

At home, he experimented with mataki (lentils), chawal, thecha and voila! The Maharashtrian Mataki Khichadi with a twist got a place on the menu card of Nandu’s Paratha. That’s how Bhelpuri and Pizza Paratha too found their way on the menu.

“As a family, we keep experimenting in the kitchen. And, the preparations that we like are perfected and then served at our outlets,” explains Trilok Thadani, son of Nandkumar Thadani, owner of Nandu’s Paratha. 

We meet him at the new Baner outlet, along with his folks, and the trio share their roles in the family’s culinary journey. 

“Mummy ji (referring to mother-in-law) was the first one in the family to get involved in kitchen. After moving to India after Partition, she took charge of St Mira’s canteen and ran it for several years. She stopped working only after we started and were able to sustain our first outlet at Dhole-Patil Road. It’s her recipes that we are still using,” explains Deepa.

And, so it is now, even after several years that Nandu’s Paratha is associated with its DP Road outlet. Some of the adjectives used to describe it are ‘homely, delicious food sold at pocket-friendly prices.’ These adjectives apply to the Baner outlet as well.

A no-frills place, with both inside and outside seating, the menu is similar to that of DP Road and Marketyard outlets. 

“I still make the masalas for all the parathas served at all the three outlets. Plus, we also have an extensive menu including chaat, Punjabi fare, combo meals, etc. This generation is always on the move, so combo meals with paratha and subzi work well,” says Nandkumar. 

We didn’t go for their combo meals and instead ordered Pizza Paratha and Chatpata Paratha. Accompanied by four katoris containing onion-cabbage pickle, dahi, tamarind and green chutneys, one paratha (cut into four portions) can be quite filling for one person. 

Served hot, the moist parathas stuffed with a variety of veggies lived up to their chatpata taste. And, the Pizza Paratha was cheesy — melted in the mouth, one morsel at a time. 

The Baner outlet is mostly thronged by families more than the bachelor crowd. As we soaked up the surroundings, Nandkumar ordered a Bhelpuri Paratha for us. Despite being full, we were happy to make  space for the Bhelpuri variety. The combination of chutney made of finely chopped mango, tamarind water with the hot paratha was simply wow. We would definitely recommend this when you visit any of the outlets. 

The bite-sized munchies, on the side, made of bitter gourd (karela) and mushrooms too can be savoured on a rainy night or when winter sets in.

We topped off with the aforementioned Mataki Khichadi and the zhatka (potent) of the thecha (coarsely ground chillies) burnt our tongue. Gulping it down with a glass of Chaas or Lassi or eating it with a bit of the Bhelpuri chutney is a better idea. There’s lots in the meetha section too. We picked Moong Dal Ka Halwa — rich, greasy, garnished with slivers of almonds and cashews and not too sugary sweet —  to soothe our palate, after the fiery encounter with the Khichadi. 

While the owners extend every bit of courtesy and offer us an expansive spread, they prefer to eat something simple. “Aloo Paratha and Chaat,” are Deepa’s favourites.  

The septuagenarians believe in cooking and serving food with lots of love. 

“What will we do sitting at home?” they exclaim. And, so they regularly visit their DP Road outlet. The Baner Road outlet is managed by Trilok, who is a CA. “My parents have toiled and done all the hard work. I just need to expand the business, and put proper systems in place,” he explains, adding that they might soon have an outlet in Mumbai too. 

“We did have an outlet in Mumbai, run jointly with our patron. Somehow the economics didn’t quite work out, so we shut it down. We hope to branch out again in Mumbai,” he adds.
 
DIWALI TREAT
Flavors at Seasons — An Apartment Hotel, Sanewadi, Aundh, October 16-22, 12.30-3 pm and 7-11pm 

Flavors, the all-day dining place at Seasons — An Apartment Hotel in Aundh, has come up with a special menu for Diwali which includes special dishes that are popular across India during the festive season. The Diwali feast is sure to leave you mesmerised with a new menu each day from October 16-22. The restaurant is offering a special Diwali Faral treat to all guests visiting the outlet during the festival. Diwali sweet treats like the traditional Maharashtrian Puran Poli, Sweet Gujiyas, Coconut Barfi, Shrikhand and more will also be on offer. To enhance the overall experience, there will be live music on Saturday and Sunday.

ST READER SERVICE
The Baner outlet of Nandu’s Paratha is located at 131/1/B, Shop 1 & 2, Sai Heritage, Ram Indu Park, Baner Mahalunge Road, opposite The Orchid School, and is open from 11 am-11 pm

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