The Box of Jalebi and the Fantastico Memories



 Yes, you guess correct. This blog post is about Jalebi, or should I say, Doodh Jalebi - The Celebration Sweet of India

Finding freshly made Jalebis is not that difficult in the state of New Jersey and then enjoying it with home made Saffron Rabri is a beautiful feeling. But still there is a kind of a hitch, as if, I am missing something...Though we've driven our Impala a few miles extra to get to that sweet shop in Edison, NJ, after reading all the good reviews on Yelp. I even did a lot of Indian grocery shopping from that area. The box of Jalebi was waiting on the back seat of my car for about two hours, while I was busy exploring this area, which is also known as Mini India of America. Finally coming home, a bit tired, thinking of from where to start preparing the Rabri. I don't have to think twice about the milk, as I always prefer full vitamin D whole milk for all my daily usage. The box of Jalebi is now lying on my counter top, waiting to be dunked in the saffron Rabri, as I've already started preparing it. Its been more than an hour while continuously stirring the milk to reduce it to half, when finally my husband says that you might get a swollen arm. Somehow, after few more minutes, I manage to finish the product by adding saffron and leaving it for a few minutes to cool down. 

Having Doodh-Jalebi on my laz y boy recliner, in front of my big screen tv, in a fully heated living room, along with my husband, who simply loved it, takes me down memory lane...some fantastico memories I had of having Jalebis or Doodh Jalebis 



During my childhood days, on a winter Sunday morning, when you are tucked in a thick Indian quilt, and you get a wake up call from your dad, saying that I'll be back in half n hour, and you guys should be ready by then. Inspite being a holiday, me and my brother somehow manage to get ready in that little time and then wait eagerly for our dad to arrive with one of our most favorite sugary breakfast - Jalebi's'. The only store-bought breakfast which everyone in my family loves. 



On the other hand, the beautiful aroma of homemade Rabri coming from the kitchen and the most sweet smile of my mom, somehow makes us more excited and hungry. The milk from which Rabri is bein made, is the best-est in town, which my dad use to bring in the wee hours of morning. It is the fresh milk from the milk-man, who use to have two to three cows in his own backyard. I still remember my dad taking more than a mile walk early morning with his stainless steel container, with a basket like handle, regardless of any weather, to get the fresh milk for the house. Till date, in my house, back in India, we never prefer packet or store-bought milk. The only difference is, now we get a home-delivery from the milk-man, as nowadays it is not allowed to keep the cows in the residential area. So all the milk-mans have moved to nearby villages, and they travel more than 50miles to deliver fresh milk to their permanent customers. 

The half n hour waiting time never use to be the same, as I knew my dad will wait longer just to get the fresh batch of Jalebis from the wok. Its really an experience to see how the fresh batches of Jalebis are made and how they get vanished in just a few minutes. Then comes my hero, my dad, along with a huge box of Jalebi, yes its never less than three pounds for four of us, in one hand and the bag of savory Samosas in the other hand. We literally use to jump out of our seats to help him out. Can never forget those moments when the whole family could together sit at ease and nosh upon the garma-garam, aka hot, Jalebis, with the home-made Rabri, aka evaporated thick milk and the spicy Samosas, aka savory snack. 

It was the same scenario at least on one weekend of the month, but for sure every year on January 26th, the Republic Day of India and the August 15th, the Independence day of India. Thus, this sugary sweet is also known as the Celebration Sweet. 

Having the SWEET SUGARY WAFER-THIN, HOT N CRISP JALEBI, followed by spicy and savory "Samosas" on  a cold winter morning with your family, is a luxury now....but somehow my parents manage to repeat the entire scenario, whenever we visit them till date. 

Anshu Bhatnagar

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