As I asked Mannu bhai, my driver and guide for the Jaipur trip to take me to the best sweet shop, he replied with a smile. “Ghewar madam?” Image

– he asked, referring to one of the most delectable sweets that you would have ever tasted. And when it comes to Ghewars, there’s no place that has it sweeter than Jaipur.

With a fancy stunt jerk motion, he stopped the car outside a posh sweet shop. To be honest, I was taken aback with the sheer variety of sweets. Variety, no – it was a lavish spread. As I captured the whole buffet sort of arrangement on my camera, the man behind the desk smiled. Noticeably proud, he quickly jotted down my blog address.

As he handed me a slice of the famous Ghewars, I noticed the brittleness of the piece. Well, I could have got my teeth stuck and wrenched from the gum if I had tried it. I looked at him, apprehensively. By then, he had already packed in two huge boxes of it; plus, almost tons of other sweets that I had nonchalantly ordered.

To be polite, I coughed and asked him to unpack the ghewar. As he looked up, I think he realized my dilemma. The chuckles – no – uproar of laughter that followed was something I’ll never forget.

“Madam, you’ll lose none of the tooth, I promise.”

“Maybe, but ghewars have always been those sweet lumps. These are too marble-like in hardness for my poor teeth.”

It was only after that the riddle got solved. For he, like an expert, took a slice of ghewar, and floated it down the simmering cauldron in the kitchen side. What came out of the cauldron was the most gooey, err… not the correct word, sweet I’ve ever tasted! The magic potion in the cauldron was sugar paste, chashini, as they call it in Hindi.

He never added the ghewar price to the bill, as if trying to bowl me over by the ‘guest courtesy’ culture of Rajasthan. Well, I was already bowled over, years back.

Mannu bhai couldn’t help smiling on our way back as I took off the lid of one of the boxes, and lost myself to the joys of ghewar. One hand on the steering wheel, he was helping himself to a slice with the other.

That solved the curious case of Jaipur’s Ghewars for me. I have all my teeth intact.

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