Tucked along the lanes of the backpackers market Paharganj in Delhi, lies a sweet shop that has been standing still for the past 82 years. The shop Lala Ram Chand started in 1940 and over the years, it has become an iconic place for piping oil and beautiful jalebis.
Located near the Ramakrishna Marg metro station, a few minutes of walking will lead you to this sweet destination. Even from a distance, you can smell the sweet fragrance of the Jalebi. The shop has a big kadhai and a small counter. You'll see their oldest employee Mr Chunchun frying perfectly round Jalebis that he has been making for the past 21 years. He is very amiable if you want to talk to him about anything related to the shop or the jalebis.
With a bright smile and sparkling eyes, Mr ChunChun takes the batter-filled cloth bag and squeezes it in circular loops into the boiling hot desi ghee for deep frying. Soon, the mushy, white swirls will transform into crispy, golden-coloured jalebis, which will then be immersed in rich, sugary syrup for a few minutes. This syrup, which is a mixture of sugar, flavouring spices, and other hidden ingredients, makes the jalebis lusciously delectable. As you bite into your hot Jalebi, imagine the crisp surface-breaking open into your mouth to release divine sweetness and the taste lingering in your mouth to tantalise your taste buds even after hours of eating it.
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Mr Chunchun says, "Our shop is locally known as 'Paharganj ki mashoor jalebi ki dukaan'. People from different places or cities come here to eat jalebi and imarti. Yesterday, we had a customer who has been coming here since 1977. First, he used to buy jalebi for himself. Now, he buys a kg for his family. Many customers even come here with their grandchildren."
For the past 82 years, the shop has remained untouched. It has been witness to changing eras in the capital. Its long existence is not a mere coincidence but a result of the taste of perfectly crisp jalebis they serve that has been unchanged over the years. The renowned shop was started by Lala Ram Chand and later handed over to his son.
Besides Jalebi and Imerti, they also sell samosa with meethi teekhi chutney and other delightful sweets. Before leaving the shop, we talked to some more customers who have been coming here for the last 20-30 years. "This is the best jalebi in Delhi. We keep coming here for the taste and memories associated with this place." says a customer.
Today, simply mentioning the name of this shop to foodies in the area is enough to get them in the mood for jalebi. For anyone with a sweet craving, Lala Ram Chand Jalebi Wale is a must-visit!