Chili parotta, (or mirch ka parotha as it is known in Pakistan) is a favorite at many restaurants across South India. It is essentially a plain paratha shredded into small, bite-sized pieces mixed with sauteed onions, tomatoes, and chili powder. It is usually garnished with coriander leaves or green onions. Often, this dish is served at restaurants with a side of raitha, or a mix of salty yogurt and cold vegetables. Due to its unique taste, the paratha has become very popular in Pakistan as well, and is often served as a breakfast meal along with other types of parathas.
Although the origin of the chili parotha is the stuff of legends and has long been debated among food critics, many agree that its roots are in Madurai, a city 180 miles south of Chennai. The Arya Bhavan in Madurai is arguably the first known restaurant to have served this dish. The story goes that one of the chefs in the restaurant accidentally overestimated and made too much parotha. In a quandary as to what to do with the extra food, he had a brainwave and made this recipe.