Delhi

Jalebi

<< back to foods in Delhi

Jalebi from Old Famous Jalebi Wala in Delhi, India.

What: Very popular throughout India for centuries, jalebi are made from fermented batter, which is fried in ghee into ropy pretzel-like whorls and then soaked in a hot sugary syrup. While not unique to Delhi, the orangey sweets are a very common sight on the street and in sweets shops across the city—and you’ll soon learn why. When jalebi are hot and fresh, every bite is crisp yet chewy, warm with gooey sugary liquid. Deliciously sweet, we like to think of them as a kind of sticky Indian funnel cake.

Where: The most iconic spot to get your jalebi is the Old Famous Jalebi Wala (2325-6973; 1795, Chadni Chowk, corner of Dariba, map), on a typically crowded street corner of Old Delhi. They’ve been frying and soaking jalebi, using pure desi ghee, in open view for well over 125 years.

When: Daily, 8am-10pm

Order: Jalebi go for 250 rupees a kilogram here; the minimum order is 120 grams, which costs 30 rupees (and is about 1.5 pieces—plenty, really, for this rich sweetness). The shop also sells samosas, if you’re craving the savory.

Alternatively: Nearly any sweets shop will sell jalebi. Try Haldiram’s (multiple branches including 6, L-Block, Outer Circle, Connaught Place, map) or Old Delhi’s historic Ghantewala (2328-0490; 1862, Chandni Chowk, map), which is best known for its sweet sohan-halwa.