Would you like to taste the best Jalebi ever? Now there was a theory I was intrigued by, even though I was never a persistent fan of this coiled & sugary sweetmeat. My husband “Ash the Brainiac” has a revolutionary theory about why my body implodes on me like clockwork and it has everything with my desire for comfort food. I reiterate jalebi does not fall under this category. Most Indian sweets do not appeal to me other than the sinful “Cashew barfi”. Nevertheless when “The Brainiac” pronounced sage words stating he could acquire the tastiest Jalebi I was skeptical. So one fine day, when I was asleep, he snuck out in the direction of the most obvious elixir of health that had hit our table: crisp, warm & syrupy jalebi.
I am more mesmerized by its unique shape and the way it’s doled out, fried and carefully transferred in the sugar syrup. I presume the golden liquid gold may also contain hints of saffron and this is the reason for the orange hue. My friend “Sondika the Oracle” would insist that tradition demands that you squirt some rich cream over the knotted tubes of sugary dough. Also, an elegant glass of condensed milk can atone for this crunchy fritter candy. The “Oracle” also whispers about a “Rabdi Jalebi” that I am yet to encounter in my long non-suffering food quest. I usually like them without any condiment or pairing, and with water. I live for the simple things you see or some would say the bland luxuries of food. I also have not strayed and tried the jalebi in any other way, so I could be blissfully wrong. I am ashamed to say that most of the time the jalebi that was picked up for me was usually from an average supermarket and has always been overpoweringly sweet, not fresh and undesirably soggy. The batch my husband picked up was deceptively light, fresh and the magic word – crunchy. I wondered as I demolished the jalebi, was I missing out by not sinking them into a bowl of warm milk. But it was too late to experiment, the jalebi box was attacked by everyone in my house.
I have yet to research the fermented dough involved in the art of jalebi creating. How the batter puffs up but still looks like intricate and delicate glass or why the palm-sized loops are so divine to bite into. This is the art of keeping a secret & my husband insists that it is blasphemous to consider over-analyzing these puritans of pleasure in anything mediocre.
I don’t know the name of this place my husband swears by. I do not know the location. All I remember is that when I tasted these thin squiggles of fresh, fried dough, soaked in not too heavy sugar syrup, my insides were smiling and my husband had the smug look that is forever etched in my brain and perhaps….my belly.