Aug 08, 2018
My love for the good old cliché is no secret. Girls nights in and Sex and the City reruns; breakups and booze; chai and pakoras; Bombay and bhel. The list of go to clichés is endless, and to make the most of Delhi’s current spell of rain, I turn to yet another cliche – baarish aur jalebi.
There are over 400 food stalls in Old Delhi. And if I were of the kind to use words like “best” and “capital” I may be tempted to crown Old Delhi the street food capital of India. Instead, I’ll settle for “favourite” and this week I am crushing on the juicy jalebis at Old Famous Jalebi Wala.
I don’t know too many places in India where I can still eat at a street stall that existed before independent India did. Four generations of halwais have been squeezing jalebis into desi ghee and then dunking them in a saccharine syrup at Old Famous Jalebi Wala, since 1884. The stories you hear while you wait in line for your plate of piping hot and fat jalebis (served with our without rabri) is that not much has changed in 134 years. The original sweet maker Lala Nem Chand Jain travelled to Delhi from Agra with only two rupees in his pocket. The money was his dowry and he used it to open a sweet shop. Several experiments later he settled on a recipe that is still used today. If you haven’t already, add this jalebiwala to your bucket list of foods, even your dentist will forgive you.
Old Famous Jalebi Wala is at Shop No. 1795, Dariba Kalan Road, Opposite Central Baptist Church, Chandni Chowk, Delhi 6. Ph: 011 2325 6973