As legend (or at least the song) would have it, it’s always cool at the carwash, and nothing’s cooler than a kulfi or salty lassi round the back of Levy-Longsight valet gaff Waterworx – while the parathas of the name are worth the drive, attracting folk from as far afield as Birmingham.
The hut, meanwhile, is a no-frills UPVc shed affair with clattery chairs and easy-wipe tables. Remember when mobiles were temporary buildings next to schools not devices for TikTokking? Anyway, you’re not here for the environs, and it helps keep the prices down: most of the dishes on the Sharpie-updated menu cost less than a fiver. Facebook tells us someone is “not sure I’ve had a better stuffed paratha” and there’s plenty of choice, from plain to the spiced crispy egg anda paratha, and from potato aloo to minced lamb keema. There’s even a chocolate paratha.
So, we hear you cry, what actually is a paratha? Well, it’s a flaky, buttery layered flatbread made from atta wholewheat flour, rolled out and cooked on a hot griddle, then flipped so it’s golden brown on both sides. It’s a staple in many homes of the Indian subcontinent, made daily and served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Plain parathas make a great accompaniment dunked into curries and for scooping up daals; stuffed parathas are ample as a meal in themselves, at Paratha Hut served with a cooling mint raita. Here they’re dished up all day, every day, made from scratch and using dough that’s freshly mixed each morning. There are also chapatti, samosas, chicken or lamb biriyani, and (shhh) burgers, while the board encourages you to “just ask” what the daily fresh desi handi is – maybe bone-in spicy chicken and cauliflower, perhaps rich lamb and spinach, possibly hot masala fish tawa fry.
Paratha Hut isn’t licensed – of course not, it’s at a carwash, silly – but there are cans and coffees as well as chai-style milky Kashmiri tea and sweetened black desi tea options. Oh, and you can order takeaway if you really don’t fancy the authentic street food shack experience.
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