One thing that we all Indians could agree with that the desi mornings and our childhood would have been incomplete without the infamous ‘samosa and jalebi’ in nashta.
The aroma of hot-sizzling sugary goodness called Jalebi wrapped carelessly in a piece of newspaper is still etched in my recollection like it was just yesterday when my grandfather used to bring them for me, carefully hiding it from my grandma. She has sternly told him not to eat so much sweet as he had diabetes. He used to sneak into my room silently, and then we would eat them as fast we could, like that was the last time we were going to get to eat it (believe me eating Jalebi was so fun then). The fondest memory of my childhood and it bound to hit me during these long, almost unbearable days of quarantine. So, here I am, reliving those memories by convincing myself to stop being lazy and try making those jalebis myself.
What is Jalebi?
But first, for those who don’t know, let me elaborate on what ‘Jalebi’ exactly is. And then, I will follow it with the jalebi recipe. For those who are still unaware of Jalebi, it is a famous Indian sweet, renowned all over Asia because of its mouthwatering sweet taste. It is deep-fried chewy spiral shapes made of all-purpose flour, soaked in sugar syrup.
‘Jalebi’ is also known as ‘Jeri’ in Nepali, ‘Jilabī’ in Marathi and ‘Jilāpi’ in Bengali. This sweet has been loved ever since the 15th century when brought by Persian invaders to India. Leaving the history behind, let me tell you; Jalebi has undoubtedly got a lot of hype in India, that you’ll find its vendor around every corner or street. I’m from Indori, and Poha Jalebi from Indore is quite famous in Madhya Pradesh. So if you decide to visit this place, make sure to are going to enjoy Indori morning with Poha Jalebi.
Even though by origin it’s a dessert, but we Indians sure know how to turn it into more than that, pair it up with fafda, poha, curd or rabri, and you’ll get yourself a complete breakfast. There is a preconceived misconception; some people believe that Jalebi is also known as ‘Imarti,’ But in fact, both are very different from each other. Imarti is quite complex the way it looks. Also, the main difference lies in the dominant ingredient. The base ingredient used to make Jalebi is ‘flour,’ but for imarti, ‘vigna mungo (Urad Dal)’ is required instead of it, which gives them both their unique taste despite their same making process.
Once my friend told this fact that, along with being one of the most demanded sweets in India, Jalebi also plays a significant role in mythology. She said that sages claimed it to be highly auspicious to eat after nine-day fasting of Navratri, during the time of Dusshera. I was also told that It is also often said that ‘Jalebi’ was Lord Rama’s favorite sweet. That may be the reason people often relish on these orange delights as a token of their respect towards tradition as well.
How to Make Jalebis? (Recipe)
Now let’s go back to its ingredients and the Recipe of Jalebi because I know gossip is good but sounds great with snacks. We Indians sure are impatient when it comes to our sweets. After all way to our heart goes through our stomachs. And I especially love to eat sweets and piquant.
Ingredients Used For Making Jalebi
Jalebi hardly takes thirty minutes to be prepared if you have a fermented batter.
Tip: Prepare the batter night before to get the perfect amount of yeast in it for the following day.
Ingredients (For Jalebi):
- 125 grams of all-purpose flour (Maida)
- 16 grams or two tablespoon cornflour
- 120 ml or ½ cup of curd
- 120 ml or ½ cup of water (more if needed)
- ½ teaspoon soda
- Oil or ghee
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Ingredients (For Sugar Syrup):
- 200 grams or 1 cup of sugar
- 120 ml to 180 ml or ½ to ¾ cup of water
- ¼ teaspoon Kesar (Optional)
- ¼ teaspoon elaichi powder
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- Medium size pan
- Cloth bag / squeezable sauce bottle.
You can make this cloth easily. Take a piece of cloth handkerchief size. Make a hole at the center. Do not make it too wide or too narrow. The size of the cut will be the thickness of the jalebi rings.
Recipe for making sugar syrup:
- Take a pan and put water in it.
- Add sugar to the bowl of water and boil it until it reaches the same proportion.
- Once it is boiled, take a small portion of it out on a spoon for it to cool down.
- Once it cools down, take it in your thumb and forefinger. Now gently move both the finger and a thumb away from each other; it must form a single string. If you examine the consistency is not right, boil it for some more time.
- Now pour Kesar, elaichi powder, and lime juice. Transfer the pan from heat and set it aside.
Making Jalebi Batter:
- Take a mixing bowl, add flour and cornflour in it and mix them.
- Now add curd while mixing and mix it in the same direction.
- Then pour water to get lump-free and desired batter.
- Now beat the mixture and whisk it in the same direction for 4 to 5 minutes to turn it smooth.
- Check if the mixture is thick but running consistency.
(If not, then add either water or flour, depending on what is required).
• Now cover the batter and ferment it for 8-10 hours, and it is best to leave it to ferment overnight.
Making of Jalebi:
- Heat ghee or oil on a medium to fry jalebis. You can use whichever you prefer, but if you’re using oil, put two tablespoons of ghee in it for better taste.
- Add soda to it and then mix gently.
- The batter’s consistency plays the most critical role in Jalebi, so double-check, it should neither be too thick nor too runny.
- Now, to check if the oil or ghee is hot enough to fry jalebis in it, take a small portion of it in either your sauce bottle or self-made cloth bag. (I have used self-made cloth bag). Take some batter and make a bale (potli). It will be easy to make the shape with the help of it. Put half tbsp of mixture in the pan.
- Next, check if it is coming up without browning.
- Now squeeze the bottle or the table cloth gently and pour the batter in the oil or ghee in a circular motion.
- Immediately after frying, the jalebis put them in the syrup. (Allow to rest for 4-5 minutes)
And after carefully following all these steps, the jalebis are ready to be served, cold or hot.
By making Jalebis, I have realized a few things, first that it isn’t tough to make. It just requires a proper technique that comes from practice. And we need to take some extra precautions when it comes to consistency and thickness of jalebi batter and Sugar syrup. By this thirty minutes of actual cooking you’re getting delicious sweetness of jalebis, I’ll say that’s a pretty good deal I have been in. So turn this lockdown into something positive and bring a little sweetness in your lives.
What to do if my mixture is too runny?
If it’s coming too thick, add water, and if it’s too thin, add flour.
Can I refrigerate and use the jalebi batter?
Yes, make sure you do not leave it at room temperature.
If you make the jalebi batter and keep it in a cool place, you can enjoy it for several days by refrigerating it. Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions for the same, thank you! ❤️