City Food – Jalebi, Old & Famous Jalebi Wala
Delhi’s best jalebi.
[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Thick and juicy, it is food porn at its best. Jalebis, the golden-coloured rings of deep-fried maida batter, soaked in sugar syrup, fill the mouth with a warm liquid of such excessive sweetness that modesty blushes in shame. The diabetic may find joy in just looking at its preparation.
What Humayun’s Tomb is to Mughal architecture, Old and Famous Jalebi Wala in Chandni Chowk is to jalebis (Rs 250/kg). The legendary establishment (circa 1884; founder: Nemchand Jain) stands at the turning to Dariba Kalan. The big-bellied cook performs live in front of customers. Like a magician, he squeezes out the batter from the hole of a muslin cloth-bag; his hands moving in circles all across the wok-like karahi.
The white concentric circles of jalebi, swelled by the bubbling oil, gradually change their complexion to pale yellow, then to a golden brown shade. The cook is not done yet. Smoothly he turns the sticks so that both sides catch the heat equally. A little more sizzling before he draws out the jalebis from his giant ladle, and transfers them into an adjacent container filled with sugar syrup. The jalebis initially struggle to stay afloat but finally sink like a sea-wrecked boat as they are pressed in by more jalebis from above.
A minute later, the cook starts to take them out one by one, delicately tilting the ladle so that the extra syrup drips down.
As you sink your teeth into the piping hot jalebi, its crisp surface breaks open to release gooey sweetness. There is so much juice inside that if not careful, it starts dripping from your lips. Your fingers get sticky. Some people try tempering jalebi’s extravagance by having it with milk or yoghurt. That is as impossible as taming a shrew.
Where Dariba Kalan Rd, Chandni Chowk Time 8.30 am to 10 pm Nearest Metro Station Chandni Chowk
Step-by-step account of jalebi preparation at the Old and Famous Jalebi Wala
I think this old famous jalebi wala is overhyped by media. Actually over thick soft jalebis are not considered the best. Even in Chandni Chowk there are better jalebis available, for example at Shiv Mishthaan Bhandar near fatehpuri chowk. Moreover, it is overpriced dont you think so. An item made of maida, sugar and only very little desi ghee @ 250/- ? I personally like thin and crispy jalebis.
I agree 100% with the above comment!
Even the paranthe wali gali is hyped up actually. My relatives just visited the place recently. “Tasteless paranthas full of butter” was their review.
Lots of shops near Fatehpuri chowk offer much better jalebis for sure. At this price you can buy almost 20% more freshly made kesar jalebis.
I am sure you guys have also heard of ‘Jaleba’ – the really huge Jalebi. Mayank may be you could track it down. BTW various icecreams and rabri also go well with this sinfully sweet dessert/starter.
I agree with VK, but my Delhi knowledge is too out of date to offer alternatives. Reading this in the UK, I suddenly crave jalebi and tea…. Although DelhiGoon’s suggestion might be a touch too far.
Nonetheless, Mayank, it seems a touch unfair that your GoogleAds have served up an advertisement for Immodium. Perhaps this is the wicked bias of the UK’s google servers, but an ad for a proprietary brand of diarrhea medicine seems a bit unkind!
I concur with VK, Bander and CR…………… thin and crispy hot Jalebi with hot malai wala desi dudh from Haryana (not the white colored water of Delhi) on a cold winter morning …. sinful but yummy ……..
For Jaleba or Jaleb you have to visit the Gohana town in Haryana. Its located on the road from Rohtak to Panipat.
There are only 2 shops there and not hard to find. They make these 250 gm jalebs with desi ghee only. These are one of the best desserts in my view.
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