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Our jalebi

makes it in

world's top 10

most fattening

food LIST

(by Sonal Kulshrestha)

Our Jalebi has made it in the world's top 10 most fattening food list according to Smarter Travel. Now, not that it is matter of pride, but we do love our jalebis and news item like this certainly does give our yummylicious, intriguing, the rich marigold colored dessert cum breakfast some world wide watch. Did I say breakfast, you say? Yes, breakfast I say. When we live outside of India every childhood memories are itched in our minds with a nostalgia evoking glaze. There's something about those memories. We all remember our numerous visits to the 'halwai's' (sweet maker) shop at the 'gali nukud' (street corner) and watching him make jalebi. We, of course, preferred eating the jalebi straight out of the 'kadai' (frying pan). That's the only way of eating jalebis- hot out of the kadai, we swear. Actually straight out of the syrup dipping bowl.

My jalebi memories involve my nana's (paternal grandfather) in Banaras and baba's in Allahabad. Every summer break we visited our grandparents in Allahabad and Banaras in the Uttar Pradesh state of India. It was a given and we loved our yearly visits. We would go for early morning walks with our nana during Banaras visits and evening walks with our baba during our Allahabad visits. My most special memories, apart from long conversations with the grandparents, involves how these walks often ended.

In Banaras, it appeared that the staple breakfast was 'Kachori' and 'Jalebi'. Make that 'garam garam' (you have to say it twice, just hot does not suffice) 'kachori' and 'Jalebi'. On days that we skipped the walk, my mama

Photo Courtesy: by Soumyadeep Paul

 Photo courtesy: By Biswarup Ganguly (Own work)

(maternal uncle) made sure we got our dose of fried and sweet- yes, that's what we were there for. No, I lie. Well okay that was one of the reasons, one of the many reasons. I clearly remember the mama driving in on his Lambretta scooter with kachoris and jalebis wrapped in a 'pattal' (dried leaves) wrapping. How we leaped in joy.

In Allahabad, we had a slightly different ritual of getting our dosage of the covetous fat. There the menu was samosas and jalebis. The Allahabad samosas then were not the potato filled version that is more common. They were the 'dal' (lentil filling) filling one. Again, 'garam garam'. Wouldn't have it any other way. Evenings that we missed, yes, there was always a back-up plan (well, sometimes), we would take a rickshaw to Kachehri. Now, anyone who is from Allahabad, will know all about Kachehri. I remember it as a hub of everything that you must eat at Allahabad. The street is lined with sweet centers serving 'garam garam' samosas, kachoris and jalebis. But the most cherished image in my mind is that of lassi with a hugely thick layer of 'malai' served in a 'kulhar' (earthen disposable glass) and truly rich 'rabri' (condensed sweet milk, another famous dessert from the area), again, served in earthen bowls. Jalebi is often served with rabri as topping. we devoured those tasties. It's woven so intricately into the memory quilt that we bring with us from India. It's part of the memories of time spent with our parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins.

So talking of jalebi making it to the top 10 most fattening food in the world, yes, it may be fattening, but it deserves some global limelight for sure.


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