THAT potato paratha then, being freshly made as I stand by idly at the counter, spring rain pouring from those raised shutters above and streaming onto open decking right behind. It would be miserable waiting for it out here were it not for the following.

Firstly: the heat from the grill is lightly toasting my face while lightly toasting my heart is the sight of freshly made dough being stuffed with spiced mashed potato, flattened to a fine pancake’s thickness then tossed on the heat to bubble and blacken and slightly puff as ghee is drizzled upon it.

Secondly: due to what can only be described as a comedy gold scheduling moment on my part The Herald’s photographer is here at exactly the same time as moi. Ah, this is not supposed to happen.

I should have been and gone like a swift and secret squirrel before anyone even knows a picture is to be taken. But hey ho, these are unusual times.

And so for once I get to watch the teasing and tweaking, posing and preening that’s involved in all of this (food) artistry in light and shade. Marvellous.

Even more entertaining? When it’s finished I also get to see a big bag of still hot goodies being pressed into the aw-gee-thanks snapper’s hands as he heads off into the sunset tossing nothing but a cheeky monkey wink my way. Lol.

And so far nobody has paid even the slightest bit of attention to me, save for briskly taking my order. And so I stand and wait. In the open. And the rain.

While behind the counter a man with a very big chef toque and a very impressive cheffy rig-out, and another man with a Paratha Box skip hat and T-shirt talk amongst themselves about all the just-finished newspaper excitement.

I can’t help noticing that neither of them takes the slightest thing to do with the preparing of a single morsel of my food. Indeed, that’s being done by the lady who had been quietly making the potato paratha and has now moved to the back of the kitchen where she is now equally quietly making (from scratch) the omelette that will go in the omelette paratha.

While simultaneously grilling the kebab that will go in the, yes, you’ve got it, kebab paratha. Frankly, I’m assuming they’re all thinking I’m a car salesman from one of the local garages round here or maybe even a chubby detective from Aikenhead Road cop chop which is just up the road.

Whatever, I’ve certainly not been fingered as yet as a fat food critic.

A steady stream of school kids drifts in for chips and cheese even though, and I can’t help noticing this, it’s actually surely school-time; a couple of white van men flash out of their Transit to pick up an order, and then scoot back in it to eat.

I’m putting their fleetness down to the rain rather than the virus but either way Winston Boris would be pleased.

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Meanwhile, a private hire driver chows his way dreamily through a mid-afternoon aloo paratha – his car squeezed into a bay only few feet from this cleverly converted shipping container.

And still I wait. Then mine is ready. Filled, folded, rolled in stylish wax-proof, slipped into branded cardboard tubes, and brown-paper bagged.

And I’ve got this to report: That potato paratha, so freshly made, an almost doughy melting, a super-spicy bang from just a sliver of creamy mash in the middle, a semi-crunch crispness to the outside?

As I drive I’m tearing off hot, soft, smudgy, delicious pieces.

As I arrive? It’s all eaten. Oops.

I do save that rolled omelette paratha to share, a smear of spiced mayo somewhere in its rich and savoury folds, and the thick, smoky kebab one too, a spiced burger really, with tangtastic onion chunks. Both cut with scissors. And eaten in the seclusion of the office.

As our modern times dictate.

It’s all about the paratha, freshly made, rolled as you wait, browned and bubbled on the grill and filled. Proper. 4/5

Looks like a converted shipping container, styled in wood, with acres of decking, slap bang between garages, and cop shops. 3/5

They were somewhat distracted when I was there, but I’ve been before and though its a short wait for a fresh meal, pleasantly so. 4/5

Cheaper than chips. Aloo paratha £4, most others less than a fiver. Can’t be faulted.


Hard to beat a just-made paratha and the best by far for me was the simple potato paratha. Excellent. 8/10


Paratha Box

491 Aikenhead Road