Mmmm Jalebi! Who doesn’t love this delectable sweet soaked in sugar water from India? I remember my friend’s parents making hundreds of Jalebis at the Sikh Parade in Yuba City, CA one year. He had a kettle about the size of a car, oil a rolling, and he kept making Jalebi after Jalebi. Everyone that would pass would take one, or three. And there were thousands of people. Hmm, he must have made so many.
Anyways, Jalebis are quite simple to make. They make a perfect sweet for a party, especially a special occasion or holiday. I served these at the last party I had. Of course, they all got eaten. But be careful, they are sticky!
- 1 tsp yeast
- 1/2 cup water, around 109*
- 1 cup white flour, maida
- 2 tsp besan flour
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- several strands of saffron
- oil for frying
- 1 tsp lemon juice
In a bowl, add the yeast and hot water. Dissolve and cover. Let sit for about 5-7 minutes, or until frothy.
In another bowl, mix the white flour, besan, and sugar, and oil.
Add the yeast mixture to the flour and stir until smooth. The mixture should be free of lumps, and should somewhat resemble pancake batter (although it will be sticky). It should not be too thick, and should not be too runny. So as needed, add water. Cover and let sit in a warm place for about an hour. No more than 1:15. If you proof it too long, the mixture will not work.
Once ready, heat the oil to medium high. Put the batter in a ziploc bag with the corner cut out, or if you have a pastry bag, put it in there. I used a cleaned out ketchup bottle. Once the oil is ready, fry the jalebis by squeezing the bottle/bag in a circle motion over the oil. Try to make a pretzel shape and let drip into the oil. I am no good at pretzel shapes, so I just went around in circles for a couple of times. Cook the jalebis on both sides for 1-2 minutes. You do not want them to turn golden brown, but rather they will be a white color when they are finished. Let drain on paper towel.
Get the sugar water ready. Add the sugar and water to a pan. Let come to a boil, then squeeze lemon juice. I added some honey instead of lemon juice, which also gave the jalebis a nice color. Add the saffron and cardamom powder. Let boil for 30 seconds longer, then remove from heat.
Dip the fried jalebis into the sugar water, then place on a plate. Once the jalebis were plated, I poured a little sugar water over them, just enough to let them sit in the syrup. Jalebis can be served warm or cold.