A street vendor fries jalebi in Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi, India (2006)
After a visit to Jama Masjid (aka Friday Mosque) you walk out into the markets of Old Delhi known as Chandni Chowk and the streets become increasingly crowded, with street vendors everywhere you look. Some are selling food cooked on the spot, others are selling spices, fruits and vegetables, tea, coffee, cookware – just about anything you can imagine. As you walk through, the market seems to go on forever, with something new every few feet. The cook in this photo is making sweets known as jalebi (जलेबी) by drizzling batter into hot oil and then carefully watching over them as they cook. The fried batter is then soaked in sugar syrup until saturated. The final product is somewhere between a doughnut and funnel cake. In the background you also see a wide pan of sweetened milk boiling, you’ll see this all over the place, the large surface area of the pan allows the milk to evaporate and thicken more quickly. In the end it becomes a dessert in and of itself, nothing but milk and sugar boiled down to a white paste.