Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Best green sweets: Jalebi Wala, Chandni Chowk

I love Jalebis. They may not be high on the health food list, but who can resist a hot fresh jalebi? Not me, especially on a cold January evening. But I'll confess this to you: I love jalebi so much, I'll eat them in May. Just last night, I had a few while standing outside Evergreen Sweets in Green Park Market. Some evenings in Shahpur Jat you can get decent jalebis at Jagdamba Bhog. On Thursday evening, after listening to qawwalis  at Nizamuddin Dargah, nothing tastes better than jalebis. Or wander down the main road in Chirag Dilli, just off the BRT. Those jalebis are tasty, even if the oil they're fried in has been recycled a few too many times. One key variable, of course, is freshness. Jalebis taste best fresh; otherwise, they can acquire an aftertaste, which makes them less than perfect. 

However, all things being equal, the best Jalebis  in Delhi may well be at Jalebi Wala in Chandni Chowk. 

Jalebi Wala has had a facelift in the last couple of years--new sign, etc. I liked it better before. But it's still well worth checking out, because the jalebis there are outstanding.  Old Delhi jalebis are different in subtle ways from what you find in South Delhi. I'm not going into that here; go see for yourself. You can find Jalebi Wala on Chandni Chowk, between the Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib and Red Fort. (It's on the right if you are walking toward Red Fort.) Or look here. (After eating your jalebis, walk back past the Gurdwara to the light where you need to turn to find the metro. On that very corner, cross the street and you'll find a very nice cup of tea. )

Why are Jalebis green? First, they are made with local ingredients and most jalebi walas--even a well-established place like Jalebi Wala--are fairly simple places. No AC; no need for plastic forks or spoons--fingers are sufficient. And if you look at it, Old Delhi is a pretty green place. High population density in cities means more room in the countryside for farms and forests. Also, Old Delhi is full of non-motorized transportation. 

But there's a larger point I want to make. Sure, jalebis are unnecessary. They are a luxury. But a little luxury is good for us. It's the five star hotels and airlines that will ruin the world in the long run. Jalebis? We can live with them! 


  1. I personally endorse the Chandini Chowk Jalebiwala! Its the best Jalebi I've had...and I'm a Jalebi connoisseur!!

  2. Nice piece. I know that Chandni Chowk place. Best jalebis I've ever had were at the Taran Taaran Market, near Amritsar!


  3. Why does there always have to be a "best" place? I enjoy jilebis everywhere!


  4. @deponti--You are right actually...I think the 'best' think is probably some kind of internalised marketing mindset.

  5. can any1 tel me the exact adres of JALEBI WALA...

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