Beyond Murthal – For Paranthas and more

Parantha-with-Butter
Murthal has been on food scene of Delhi/NCR for quite some time. The Tandoori paranthe served in the area being part of legends and folklore now. For those unaware, its a place near Sonepat, around 40-60 km drive North of Delhi on NH1. The variation in distance depend on where you actually start from in Delhi/NCR. 

Parantha with homemade white from Sukhdev

And going against the popular choice and trend, I have never been a fan of any of the Dhabas famous in the area. I always found the paranthas to be overrated and feel that much better tandoori paranthas can be had at any random highway dhaba in Punjab or any-other highway dhaba in North India for that matter.

 

Paranthas at Gulshan

For me, it was always a place for people who have not had the ‘real’ stuff, and that stand still holds true after numerous visits to those Dhabas for various reasons. In past few months have tried Ahuja No.1, Sukhdev as well as Gulshan.

 

 

Out of the thee only Ahuja No. 1 managed to get any points from me and that too only in Aloo-pyaz paranthas, rest of the fancier sounding paranthas are best avoided. Sukhdev’s Puri-subzi in breakfast was quite nice, also loved their Halwa and Jalebi. Gulshan did not give me any reason to come back to them. 

Halwa at Sukhdev
Jalebi at Sukhdev
Jalebi at Sukhdev
Kheer at Sukhdev
Puri at Sukhdev
Puri with Chhole at Sukhdev

Murthal being home to some religious site, all Dhabas that operate there are pure vegetarian. You can always see almost a million vehicles parked there. Their USP being stuffed Tandoori paranthas which they serve with generous and sometimes copious (I don’t mind either :P) amount of white butter. Also the dal they serve is not like your usual kali urad ki dal, but is a mix of different dals and comes out greenish in color. I also like the dahi that they serve there, which is thick and tasty.

 

Rajma at Gulshan
White butter and Dahi at Gulshan
Jalebi at Gulshan

But then this post was about going beyond Murthal and trying to discover something other than the mundane (yes! Murthal is mundane for me now). And please do not suggest Haveli.

Taking the first step on this trip to Amritsar, we decided to find a Dhaba where actually trucks were parked rather than all the tourist cars and taxis. And we did stop at a no-name Dhaba few kilometers before Sonepat. At first glance it did not seem much, however the sight of several gruff looking truckers eating there gave me some hope.
On being asked what everyone eats, the waiter suggested dal, which we gladly ordered and was an obvious choice. Besides that we ordered Aloo Pyaz ke paranthe and Sev ki doodh waali subzi. Here I must tell you that I have had that subzi somewhere in Madhya Pradesh, however never in Delhi or surrounding areas. The food was decent enough with parantha costing Rs.30 per piece which seemed expensive for a moment. But then thinking about it, dhabas at Murthal which is not too far from there, charge Rs.30-40 for a single parantha too. 

Dal at the Random Dhaba
Sev ki Doodh waali Subzi

 

Paranthe at the Random Dhaba

 

Salad

 

Ready to Eat

However the real surprise came when we decided to stop at Gulshan Dhaba in Murthal to have another parantha each, as we thought they would be better than this random Dhaba. But to our surprise and disappointment, Dal and Paranthas at Gulshan refused to go down our throats as every morsel was reminding us of the previous Dhaba we ate at, reminding me of my reasons for not liking Murthal and why I always avoided that place in past as well.

Murthal offers a lot for a a family, a decent drive from Delhi, plenty of parking, plenty of options, basically an ideal place for a family long drive. Everything said and done, the food.. well.. its strictly average, and somethings lower than average as well. So whenever someone talks passionately about Paranthas at Murthal, I cannot help but think – Dude! you need to travel and explore more. Go Beyond Murthal.PS : Pictures have been clicked on multiple visits, at multiple outlets and under varied lighting conditions. Do not confuse the quality of picture with quality of food.

Author: Shashank

CFE – Cheap Food Enthusiast Entrepreneur by birth, hippie by heart he is here just because he loves to eat. This adventurous biker is constantly looking for new avenues to satisfy his insatiable hunger for food & life. Though he loves sugar dense food, there is nothing sugar coated about him- brutally honest with his words, he often ruffles feathers with his stark naked opinions about food, fancy restaurants & orthodox ideas.

8 thoughts on “Beyond Murthal – For Paranthas and more”

  1. This random dhaba food looks good. Thank god I haven't taken the trouble to drive all the way to murthal especially for the average paranthas. Have you ever eaten the kali mirch ke paranthe at murthal? I have heard great things about it. I will try and find it, if I do end up heading that way in March.

  2. Murthal has always been one of those highway places to rest and refill.

    Though I won't fully agree with you when you say below average. I would say YOU ARE JUST A LITTLE LATE. I have been frequenting the place for past 15-20 years its just past its prime. I still remember before these expressways came up Gulshan and Ahuja were the only ones serving in that area. And quality they had then is nothing compared to now. But I still think the food you enjoy here sitting outside on those wooden benches with sunmica is nothing compared to many of those very commercial places we frequent in Delhi. Also the butter and Lassi you get there is still very pure due to proximity of the location (near to Sonepat, where half of doodhiyas in Delhi come from).

    One more thing I would want to address here is due to commercialization everywhere and new chains cropping up on Highways ( McDonalds, Haveli's etc.) they are forced to convert their huge dhabas to those sparkling restaurants which gets maximum attention of those NRI families coming from Punjab to Delhi for picking their relatives up from Airports. So we can't always complain when we know where the change is coming from.

  3. The food at murthal is very very average. I have had the chance to hve it 5-6 times, and not on one occasion it felt worth the penny.

  4. I really love this place specially the Sukhdev and The Havelli (not a dhaba) but these two place rock for me!
    Im a very big foodie and on an average i make a trip to them about 4 times a month. Its so irresistible.
    True said, these paranthas are no match to the ones in Delhi.

    Im happy someone posted such a beautiful article on the city of Murthal as the main hobby of people there is to make delicious food.

  5. Mujhe lagta tha being a regular visitor to dese dhabas during colg days is d Rsn behind not liking d food… Pheew! Thank god dere r more Ppl Wid similar thoughts…
    Excellent pics waise shashank bhai 🙂

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