No, it’s not a typo. This macho sounding mithai is – exactly what it sounds like – a buffed up, larger version of a jalebi. Where we’re used to judging a jalebi by its thinness and crispiness, the parametres change slightly for the jaleba.
My first meeting with the jaleba couldn’t have been in better circumstances; a chilly evening after a long tiring day of shopping and avoiding being hit by rickshaws calls for some good ol’ fatty food. The 111-year-old Panna Lal & Sons stood out like a beacon of light. Once you’ve shown interest, the uncle who runs the stall is pretty much going to take over. Whether you like it or not (you will), you’re going to be handed a plate of one fat piece of jaleba with an equal amount (in grams) of rabri on top.
The jaleba itself is moist, juicy (all hail, desi ghee) and dripping with sweetness. The rabri in contrast isn’t as sweet and only helps bring out the flavour more. The creator insists that eating these is a great cure for coughs, colds and headaches. The massive surface area plays a key role in absorbing all the goodness of the ghee and the chashni.
It’s definitely heavy but I don’t personally think you need to be especially hungry to be wolfing down at least half a plate but you can always take it home – they have a weeks’ shelf life. Treat yo friends. Make everyone fat and happy!
They sell (like hot cakes) for Rs 500 a kg. You can find them at Fawara Chowk, next to Bhagirath Palace in Old Delhi.
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