Art & Culture

Ahmedabad and its Love for Fafda-Jalebi

India is a multilingual multiethnic country. Here after every few kilometers the language, culture, tradition, and eating habits change. The taste buds of this country and its people are unmatchable. Each city has a story revolving around the food whether it is Fafda-Jalebi of Ahmedabad, Tamatar Chaat of Varanasi, Vada-Pav of Mumbai, and many more. This country and its love for food is a match made in heaven.

Each city has a staple morning breakfast which is so unique that it tells the story of its people. One can easily identify the nature of its people just by knowing their staple morning breakfast.

Let’s decode A for Ahmedabad !

Ahmedabad and It’s Fafda-Jalebi

I remember my first introduction to Fafda-Jalebi was through television and it was none other than our beloved JethaLal in “Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma”. As a kid, I had two questions in my mind first, what is fafda? and second, why it is being paired with Jalebi?

Fafda is nothing but a dish made of besan. It is fried, crispy, crunchy, and often eaten with chutney. Every day, especially on weekends, it’s a common morning scene where you will find the whole of Ahmedabad standing in front of shops waiting for their fafda and jalebi.

I still remember back in 2017 when I got my first job in Ahmedabad straight after college and I got a chance to live in the city, amongst my other to-do list item one of the topmost priority items was to try fafda and Jalebi. So, to check this item on my to-do list one fine morning with my colleagues I landed in Chandravilas shop. Before visiting here, I had no idea about its 120-year-old legacy. So, while we were waiting for our fafda and Jalebi like the rest of Ahmedabad my colleagues decided to give me a small detour around its history.

Chandravilas and It’s Legacy

Chandravilas was started by Shri Chimanlal Amrut Joshi in 1900 on Gandhi Road in Ahmedabad. Why Gandhi Road only? In the 18th Century Ahmedabad emerged as a main center of trade and Gandhi Road in Ahmedabad was considered one of the busiest roads so, from a business standpoint it was a perfect place to start the business.

Chimanlal was the one who introduced this heavenly-made combination of fafda and jalebi. Not only the local ahmedavadi traders but the eminent personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Raj Kapoor, and many others were mesmerized by the Chandra Vilas’s taste.

Irrespective of whether you are hungry or not it is difficult to say no to the plate of fafda and Jalebi at Chandravilas. The long, crispy, and crunchy hot fafda is served with kadhi and grated raw papaya. Along with this, you will see the Jalebi that completes in 5 rounds. That’s the specialty of Chandra Vilas Jalebi made in pure ghee and jalebi in 5 rounds only. As soon as I took my first bite, I realized why people in Ahmedabad are crazy about fafda- jalebi. It is surely a match made in heaven. That’s how the people of Ahmedabad are a perfect balance of crispy, crunchy, and sweet like fafda and Jalebi.

locha lafda

There is a famous line in Scam 1992 that says, ‘Locha, Lafda, and Jalebi Fafda ko ek Gujarati k life sa koi nai nikal sakta hai.’ Today when I look back and think I realize this is so apt.

Also, read Lucknow : City of Nawabs

Apart from Chandravilas, there are many other famous spots where one can go and try this iconic combination. Some of them are Iscon Gathiya, Oswal, Laxmi Gathiya Rath, etc.

So, next time when you visit Ahmedabad either on an official tour, visiting your friends and relatives, or Joining IIM Ahmedabad or Nirma University or any other local college do try this iconic breakfast of Ahmedabad. And if you are someone who has any fond memory of fafda jalebi do tag us on Instagram using the hashtag #FGITO.

Next time we will decode the letter B. If you have any suggestions do let us know on Instagram or visit our website FGITO.


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