I am eternally fascinated by the art of making sweets, probably because I am so inept in that field, and the art of making jalebi has always been a fascinating one. And, one of my favourite places to be is the Old Famous Jalebi Wala at Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi, which is a great place to start off or end your Chandni Chowk walk.
There are three men sitting inside the place, one of them making the dessert, while the others manning the store and talking to the customers. Two huge hot flat bottomed kadhais are at a side, one filled with hot ghee to cook the jalebis. As I watch, one man order 3 kilos of the sweet, and the man decides to make a fresh batch for him. Here are some photos of the process.
Once the jalebis are piped, the man doesn’t stop – he creates more for later, and soon, customers jostle for a taste, fascinated by the process.
Once these are halfway done, then they are flipped, and the opposite side is allowed to cook. The man uses a single, thin skewer to expertly flip, and then fish them out with the aid of a round, perforated spatula of sorts.
Once fried, he dunks them in the silky saffron-flavoured kadhai of sugar syrup, and allow them to soak up a good bit of it.
And then, they are done. I bought 100 gms. this time, and had to share. Next time, I shall buy more, and no, I won’t share. That’s because, the sticky, chewy pieces of confection, oozing hot syrup, which has the tendency of running down the sides of your mouth as you bite into one is both addictive and decadent, and you need to promise yourself brisk walks and a few laps in the pool afterwards, all the time holding back a wicked, wicked grin, because its all yours. Some people like adding rabdi, but not me. I am really not into dunking my jalebi into anything.
The jalebis are priced at Rupees 500/- a kilo at present (they have doubled their prices since 2010) and you can also avail a few savoury dishes here. However, if you are like me, stick to the jalebis.