Monday, December 17, 2012

Why Jangri is NOT South Indian Jalebi

I don't know why it happens. I always think that I shouldn't get into such arguments. To use my better judgement. To stay away from trouble. But I can't seem to help it.

Just the other day, two of my colleagues were having an independent conversation (very much in my presence though). The topic was how jelabi was super tasty and how jangri is a South Indian version of jalebi. I could have just kept my trap shut (see, the conversation didn't involve me). And pretended to look at the Excel sheet with fake intensity. But I didn't. How could I? How could I stand one of my most favourite things in the world (Jangri!!!) being treated like a poor second-cousin of jalebi? How can I stand anyone not respecting and appreciating Jangri like I do? I mean, how can you not like Jangri? It's like saying Nelson Mandela is a fake. Not possible. Disliking Jangri. Also, not possible. Speaking ill of it - can't standable.

Okay, let me tell you what happened after that. I jumped in and vigorously defended Jangri. First and foremost, let me get this across. JALEBI and JANGRI are not related!!! Just because, both are orange looking and have a curly, wound-up, roughly-round shape they are not the same thing! It is like saying a domestic cow is one and the same as a ferocious mountain lion, because both walk on all fours, and have a tail. There are umpteen differences between a Jangri and Jalebi.

Before we plunge in to this, a word to the folks who are unfamiliar - in the north (of India that is, not the northern hemisphere), you get a very weak version of Jangri - which is called "Imarthi". But, just as you have to be in New York to eat New York cheesecake or New York bagel, you have to come down south to have authentic and good jangri.

Differences between Jangri and Jalebi:

1. Jangri is not Jalebi (in case you didn't pick that up already).

2. Jangri tastes better. (Don't shake your head. Yes, it does.)

3. Jangri is more healthy. (Jangri while made of urad dal - pure, health-filled, protein you see, Jalebi is made of maida (yes, unadulterated no-fiber containing maida - the cause of all health troubles around the world.)

4. Jalebi recipes include yoghurt. Jangri doesn't. (If you want to injest youghurt, drink Lassi, don't put it in your batter, you yoghurt haters!)

5. Jangri has a defined structure (two-large circles, with smaller beautiful circles arranged around the edges of the large circle). Jalebi has no structure whatsoever - it yields to the whims and fancies of the guy who is squeezing it through the cloth mould - which basically means, that it has no identity. Do you want to deal with a sweet that has such deep unresolved identity crises or do you want to eat a beautiful looking Jangri?)

6. Jangri tastes better. (Yes, it is true the second time, and the hundredth time.)

7. Jangri is not as sticky, and hence not as messy when you eat. (So, while eating Jangri, you can use your not-messy hands to scratch an itch that is bothering you very much.)

8. Jangri is strong. Jalebi is weak. Let me explain what I mean by that: people add malai to Jalebi. Some people also put milk in it and eat it for breakfast. I am not surprised. Jalebi can't stand by itself. It has to go and hide behind the creaminess of a malai or milk and hide its flaws. Jangri is taken as is what is - no accompaniments necessary. (Mark of strength, you see.) As thalaivar says, "Singham single-a than varum" similarly, Jangri-a single-a than adikanum.

Well, I can keep going, if you want. But I'll stop here by giving a call: Jangri lovers of the world, unite. And write the Jangri Manifesto, so as to keep the Jalebi-st forces at bay, and bring in the rule of the Jangri-teriat.


Anonymous said...

I think it's as simple as that, not everyone in North India can make a good jalebi as I am sure not everyone in South India can make good jangri.
It all depends on personal preference and where you have been brought up.

Ranjit said...

Of course Jalebi and Jangri are different, there is absolutely no comparison. However, Imarti is very close to Jangri and also the recipe is the same. Just like we get Rasogula every where but its not like Bengal. Similarly Imarti or Jangri (Whatever you call them regionally in different parts of India) will vary in taste from place to place. A person who has grown up eating Jangri will find the taste of Imarti different and probably may not to his/her liking. So the original comparison did not have any base whatsoever. But another blog on Imarti and Jangri could be interesting.

magesh said...

Anon - absolutely! But Jangri has a slight edge - that's all I am saying.

Ranjit - Oh no! I was not intending to start a Jangri-Imarthi war. I just wanted to fight the Jangri-Jalebi tussle!

Jithin John said...

thank you for correcting my misconceptions.... first, i had the two mixed up and hated what i thought was jangri(actually jalebi).. i have understood after the excellent explanation that what i loved was actually jangri!! hands down, the best!! i hate the greasy nature of jalebi.. and just like u explained, it never tastes good on its own. but jangri is awesome.... no grease, and its perfectly shaped if u are forced to share it with some one( people with siblings will understand).. unlike jalebi which can lead to world war style fights at home..

Anonymous said...

janngri is awesome.. jalebi is ok dokie.. will eat it, if I don't get jangri..

magesh said...

Jithin - glad to be of help, particularly when it could prevent world war style fights, even at home :)

Anon - you have encapsulated a great deal in just three lines. It's like when the author Michael Pollan famously coined his line: Eat Food...Not too much...Mostly Plants! you have come up with a similarly influential statement :)

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SRamesh said...

Oh my! Man you have put down all thoughts I wanted to list. Seriously I have this argument with so many people. I mean sometimes I feel how they can be so ignorant. Any way nice to see this blog.

Meghana said...

Yes!! Jangri and Jalebi are two different recipes, there is absolutely no comparison.
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Vemula Madhu said...

traditional and tasty sweet
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Anandi Patil said...

i love jilebi,thank u for sharing
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