MB Recommends: Lassi Te Parrontthe
My fondest paratha memories feature lassi-guzzling truck drivers with enormous appetites on dusty highways en route to Chandigarh and Shimla, and gregarious cooks who talked me into believing that the generous dollops of butter and ghee were essential for my well-being. The closest I’ve come to reliving these dhaba experiences in Mumbai, is at five month-old Bandra joint Lassi Te Parrontthe manned by paratha cook, owner and stock trader Nikhil Thakur. In a short while Thakur’s sociable persona and ample enthusiasm for serving buttery parathas have endeared him to the suburb’s residents including actress Poorna Jagannathan, who recommended his paratha stall in this video.
Lassi Te Parrontthe is located in front of tattoo parlour Tattoo Star, in the strip of restaurants and shops off Carter Road. The stall is made up of a flat stove with three electric hot plates, a wooden bench large enough for two people, and a mini fridge stocked with jugs of jaggery-sweetened lassi and thick masala chaas. If you approach the shop from the Café Coffee Day on Carter Road, you can’t miss Lassi Te Parrontthe’s red, blue and white signboard, which resembles those seen in train stations. Even Thakur is discernible from a distance, usually sporting a loosely tied turban, a shaggy beard, and a black conductor bag, which serves as his cash box. He prances about the tiny space, chatting up customers and flipping parathas with flair. Thakur became a paratha chef out of necessity. The stock market was in a state of decline and he needed an alternative means to keep busy and make money. He picked up his paratha making chops from a friend’s “pro-paratha making mum” and kept the pricing moderate (Rs55 to Rs85) to make the experience of dining at his stall similar to that of eating at a dhaba in Delhi. “In the north, parathas are sold for as little as Rs15, but that’s not a sustainable model in Mumbai,” said Thakur.
Not surprisingly, out of the eight parathas on his menu, the aloo (Rs65) is the most popular offering. The simple mashed potato paratha, its stuffing seasoned only with rock salt and a pinch of red chilli powder, is pure comfort food. The methi paratha and dalchini-spiked spinach and cheese paratha are also worthy of repeat orders. Thakur stuffs, rolls, and partially cooks the parathas at home, sometimes with the help of his mum. He has a dhaba cook’s proclivity for ghee and butter, which he says help him achieve a desirable crispness and char. The parathas, which also come stuffed with ghobi; paneer; mooli; and corn, cheese and capsicum; have the perfect balance of dough and filling. Thakur serves the parathas in eco-friendly leaf plates, the lassi and chaas in kulhads (earthen pots), and take-away orders in pizza boxes and recycled paper bags. It’s a gesture that adds to Lassi Te Parrontthe’s homegrown appeal.Tags: Lassi Te Parrontthe, MB Recommends, Nikhil Thakur, parathas
Lassi Te Parrontthe
Next to Subway
Off Carter Road
HoursWednesday to Monday, from 8am to 11pm. Tuesday closed.