The flavours of Gujarat

The flavours of Gujarat

Waking up early on a Sunday morning and heading to Jayanagar is a good idea if the breakfast happens to be a sumptuous spread of hot ‘jalebis’, ‘fafada’, ‘dhokla’ and ‘patra’ (steamed besan-coated leaf) at Jalaram Sweets. The 37-year-old store, almost the size of a small room, sees customers pouring in as early as 6.30 am on Sundays to feast on the authentic Gujarati fare that, they say, is unparalleled in taste. And once there, they also give in to the temptation of picking up sweets and savouries from the irresistible variety available.

‘Gujarati kachori’, ‘dabeli’, ‘ganthia’, ‘methi thepla’, ‘kaju katli’ and ‘mohanthal’ (besan and mung dal sweet) are some of the much sought after items here. “We also have specials like ‘ghewar’ for Rakshabandhan, ‘modak’ for Ganesh Chaturthi and ‘undhiyu’ (mixed vegetable curry) for Sankranti. Recently, ‘dry fruit punch’ and ‘shrikhand’ have been added to the menu,” say brothers Hiren and Rohit Vasu who run the business. More than 60 varieties of namkeen like ‘soya sticks’, ‘mathris’, ‘farsan’, ‘falahari chivada’ and ‘bhakarwadi’  are prepared along with 70-80 varieties of sweets, claims the duo. The humble shop was started in 1978 by Jayaprakash Shantilal, a Gujarati belonging to the catering business, along with his wife Usha Jayaprakash, equally passionate about cooking. Though the couple takes over occasionally, the legacy is being carried forward by their sons who have kept its reputation intact.

While Rohit handles the manufacturing, Hiren manages the shop. “Rohit personally supervises the preparation of each and every item,” says Hiren. They stress that they have never compromised on the quality and freshness of their products. “Earlier, everything was prepared by hand. However, with the progress in business and technology, we switched to machines for making some items. But the recipes passed on from our father remain the same,” Rohit makes a point adding, “We try to work as hygienically as possible. Only food grade steel trays, plastic containers and sweet boxes are used for display and sale. Also, gloves are worn while serving customers.”

Ultimately, it is the distinct taste of the delicacies that speaks of their meticulous approach towards the business. As Hiren sums up, “The competition is rising with new eateries coming up regularly. But patrons come all the way from areas like Koramangala, Whitefield and Bannerghatta Road seeking the taste that we have maintained over the years.”

SV Suresh, a regular here since 15 years, attests, “I purchase goodies for all family functions from this shop. By simply looking at the product I take home, they know it’s from Jalaram. No other option works for them! Besides, the owners are wonderful people, which makes it a pleasure coming here.” Jalaram Sweets is open Monday to Saturday from 9.30 am to 9.30 pm and Sundays from 7 am to 3 pm (breakfast available from 7 am to 11.30 am). It is located at No. 202/ F, 27th cross, 3rd block, Jayanagar. For details, call 22447956.


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