Jalebi

Jalebi
Photo Credits: Ravi Talwar

Jalebi is one of the most loved traditional sweet delicacies in India. Crisp on the outside and filled with sweet syrup inside, Jalebi is the item of choice to accompany breakfast in many Indian regions. Regardless of how twisted they look, it is quite easy to make crispy jalebis at home.

Ingredients

  • Refined flour (Maida)                                         100 grams
  • Semolina (Sooji)                                                 30 grams
  • Curd                                                                  1-½ cup
  • Sugar                                                                2 cups
  • Water                                                               As required
  • Cooking Oil                                                       1 tablespoon
  • Cardamom powder                                           ¼ teaspoon
  • Saffron strings                                                 Few
  • Yellow or orange food colour (optional)              Pinch
  • Clarified butter (Ghee) or Cooking Oil                 For deep frying

Equipment Needed

Procedure

  1. Pour curd in a big bowl and add maida and sooji to it. Whisk everything to make a lump-free paste.
  2. Add some water to get the right consistency i.e. neither thick nor thin, (when you pick a portion of it and drop it back it should fall like a thick string).
  3. Add 1-tablespoon oil and the food color to the thick solution and keep aside covered to ferment for at least 24 hours.
  4. To make sweet syrup put a pan on medium-high heat with sugar and 1-½ cup of water. Bring to a boil and turn the heat to low. Let the mixture simmer until the solution becomes slightly thick i.e. one-string consistency.

Note: One string consistency means when you put a drop of the sugar syrup on your thumb, touch with your index finger and bring it apart, a thin string is formed.

You must clean the sugar syrup by pouring in 2 tablespoons milk into it while boiling and straining out the foams so that a clean and transparent sweet syrup is obtained.

  1. Turn off the heat and add green cardamom powder and saffron strings to sugar syrup, stir and then let it cool a bit.
  2. Put a flat base deep pan with ghee or oil in it on medium heat.
  3. Take the fermented solution (it would have doubled in volume), whisk it gently and pour onto a thick cotton cloth. Gather the cloth from all sides to make a bag or pouch like shape and make a tiny hole at the piping end.

Tip: You may also use a readymade piping bag for this purpose. A clean ketchup squeezer or zip lock pouch (with a small hole at one corner of the base) also make for good substitutes.

  1. Squeeze out a string of this solution into medium hot ghee moving your hand in small circles.
  2. Fry from both sides flipping over until light pink in color. Drain out and dip the fried jalebies in warm sugar syrup for 20 – 30 seconds maximum.

Tip: Never dip fried jalebies in very hot syrup. It should just be warm otherwise jalebies won’t remain crispy but will get soggy.

  1. Pick them out with tongs and place on a serving platter. Serve hot!

Preparation Time: 45 minutes (excluding fermenting time)

Serves: 2

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