Jalebi – The National Sweet of India.
With time, the sweet became synonymous with celebrations in India. No craving is bigger than the craving of a dessert. Jalebi is one of the most popular in dessert consumed during festivals and weddings. But, seriously speaking, who really needs an occasion? Be it with Dahi, rabri, ice cream, samosa chai, fafda or just by itself, the jalebi is nonpareil. This dessert that is crunchy on the outside but sweet, juicy, and soft on the inside is totally a win!
It is a fried Indian dessert made out of refined flour. The batter is shaped into spirals and is deep-fried to a beautiful sunset orange then dunked into the sweetest, most fragrant cardamom-saffron syrup to soak in all the goodness. A few minutes later you are left with insanely addictive Crispy Crunchy Juicy Jalebi to be served hot or cold.
The word Jalebi is said to have been originated from the Sanskrit word Jalvallika. Jalvallika means filled with water and Jalebi is filled with sugar syrup. It is also said that the word Jalebi might have originated from Zoolabiya, a word used in West Asia. Some facts say Jalebi arrived in India with the Persian-speaking Turkish invaders and soon became a prominent part of the culinary culture.
Jalebi And Memories To Cherish
Some sweets bring back so many memories. Jalebi is really right up there as far as my food memories are concerned. When I was little, my dad used to bring thin and crispy delicious jalebi along with hot and spicy samosa from a little sweet shop while coming back from office for all of us. Those were the best jalebis I have ever had.
Also, jalebi reminds of the old 90s Ad had Ramu Kaka, a runaway child and a plate of piping hot jalebis. A child leaves home after getting angry but goes back to his home to have jalebis. See the effect of homemade jalebi! It’s an adorable ad by the way! These sticky and gooey sweet treats are every child’s dream come true.
Since this treat is deep-fried in oil or ghee and then dipped into a thick sugary solution, this is undoubtedly not the healthiest sweet to snack on, but it truly is irresistible.
There are popular variations of Jalebi which are known as Imarti and Jahangiri which are made from Urad flour instead of Besan. Also, Jalebi can be prepared in 2 ways: Traditional method and Instant version. The instant version is quite popular in which there’s no fermentation required. Whereas in the traditional method the fermentation gives jalebis that little sourness, which is so characteristic of this Indian sweet. Some people also uses chickpea flour instead of all-purpose flour.
Tips for making Perfect Jalebi
So here’s what I have learned over the years and I am excited to share all my tips with you guys to make the perfect crispy juicy jalebi at home!
- Batter Consistency: Do not make the batter very thin keep it a little dense. The consistency of the batter should be free-flowing and not super thin or thick. While making batter start by adding water in small incremental amounts (1 or 2 tablespoons at a time), keep mixing, and add more water until the desired consistency is achieved. If the batter is dispersing in the oil as you pour it, maybe it’s too thin and you need to add some flour to it.
- Oil Temperature: Make sure the ghee/oil is rightly hot for frying the jalebis, keep the flame medium-low. If the temperature will be high then the batter will spread in oil and you will not be able to shape it. So keep the temperature at medium-low when you pipe the batter in hot oil. Increase the heat once piped and then fry till crisp
- Shaping Jalebi: For shaping, you can use a thick zip lock bag or a squeezable bottle. Squeeze batter in hot oil, making spiral motion from inside to outside. For thicker jalebi, use a wider tip or cut a slightly bigger hole in the zip lock. The shape of the jalebi doesn’t matter. Really! I know we’ve always seen perfectly spiral jalebis. But bite into an imperfect one, and it will taste the same.
- Frying: Ghee is the traditional ingredient to fry jalebis and gives it an authentic taste. But if you want, you can use neutral-flavored vegetable oil to fry these. You may make as many Jalebis as would fit into the pan, without touching each other. Once you have made the spiral shape with the batter, increase the heat to medium-high. When one side is partly cooked, turn over and fry the other side. Fry till the jalebis are a light golden.
- Sugar Syrup: Take care of the sugar syrup, prepare single thread syrup. Basically place a drop of syrup in between your thumb and index finger and then when you move fingers away from each other, it should form a single thread. If the sugar syrup is too dense, or two threads, then the jalebis won’t absorb the syrup and will just get coated on outside. If the sugar syrup is thin then the jalebi will turn out soft when drenched in syrup.
- Soaking: After frying jalebi till golden in color and crispy, remove from oil and immediately dip in warm sugar syrup, for 30-40 seconds on each side is good enough. Do not keep it for longer otherwise, they’ll be too sweet and will start becoming soggy. Also do not add jalebi to the very hot sugar syrup otherwise, it will turn soft.
- Serving: Jalebi can be eaten alone or with rabri (which is thickened milk) and the combination is simply amazing. It can also be served with curd, Ice cream, Fafda, etc.
You will not want to step out of your house for Jalebi after this perfect, easy, and delicious recipe.
Let’s start making quick and easy Jalebi Recipe and Indulge in these sumptuous sweet treats and bask in the saffrony flavor and the crunchy texture.
Do try other Recipes :
- Instant Gulab Jamun
- Sahi Tukra
- Til ke Laddu
- Rice Kheer
- Mango Shrikhand
- Layered Samosa
- Potli Samosa
- Dahi Ke Sholay
- Air Fried Stuffed Mushrooms
- Sabudana Vada
- Methi Pakoda
- Paneer Dum Tikka
- Paneer Tikka Pizza Sliders
- Aloo Tikki Chaat
- Veg Momos
- Katori Chaat (Air-Fried)
- Tandoori Paneer Tikka
Preparation Time: 10mins ∏ Cooking Time: 20mins ∏ Servings: 4-5
Level: Intermediate(Medium) ∏ Measurement: 1 Cup ≡ 250 ml ≡ 250gm
For Jalebi Batter
For Sugar Syrup
How to make Jalebi :
Step1: In a large bowl mix together 1/2 cup of flour (maida), 1 tablespoon curd, and 1/2 teaspoon rice flour.
Step2: Add a pinch of orange food color. Instead of artificial food color, you may also use turmeric powder.
Step3: Start adding water in small incremental amounts (1 or 2 tablespoons at a time), keep mixing.
Step4: Add more water until the desired consistency is achieved. The batter should not be too thick or thin. You may need up to 1/2 cup water depending on the quality of the all-purpose powder.
Step5: Now add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Mix everything well. There should not be any lumps in the batter.
Step6: Do not make the batter very thin keep it a little dense. The consistency of the batter should be free-flowing and not super thin or thick. If the batter is dispersing in the oil as you pour it, maybe it’s too thin and you need to add some flour to it.
Step7: To make sugar syrup, add 1 cup of sugar in a small pan. Add around 1/2 cup of water and mix it. Turn on the flame, place the vessel on it, and cook on medium flame till the sugar dissolves completely.
Step8: Once it comes to a boil, add 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder and few drops of lemon juice. Stir at intervals.
Step9: Add few strands of Saffron (or Kesar). Let it simmer till the syrup becomes sticky and form a one string consistency.
Step10: To check the sugar syrup, pour 1 to 2 drops of sugar syrup in a bowl, and when it cools down, stick between fingers. If single thread forms then the sugar syrup is ready. Turn off the flame. Keep the syrup warm while you make the jalebis.
Step11: Transfer the batter into a squeeze bottle or a thick zip lock bag. Since I don’t have the squeeze bottle so here I have used a thick polybag of flour for making jalebi. Meanwhile, heat oil or ghee in a pan or Kadai. I used a combination of the two. Keep heat to medium-low.
Step12: Secure the top by closing it with the thick rubber band make sure there is no leakage. Now make a small cut at one corner. (Initially make a tiny cut and check the batter then cut more if required.)
Step13: To test if the ghee/oil is ready for frying, squeeze out a drop of the batter into the pan, if it comes up at once, then the ghee is ready to fry the Jalebis. Remember to keep at low heat else you won’t be able to form the shape.
Squeeze the batter into the hot oil, making small circular spiral shapes. Start making spiral from inside to outside then lock it by making a line from out to inside the circle. If the batter is dispersing in the oil, maybe it’s too thin and you need to add some flour to it.
Step14: You may make as many Jalebis as would fit into the pan, without touching each other. Once you have made the spiral shape with the batter, increase the heat to medium-high.
Step15: When one side is partly cooked, turn over and fry the other side. Fry till the jalebis are a light golden.
Step16: Lift the Jalebis out of the ghee with a slotted spoon or a skewer, draining out any excess ghee.
Step17: Put them straight into the warm sugar syrup, pressing them gently into the syrup to soak it up.
Step18: Remove jalebis from the sugar syrup after half a minute. I like to put them in skewers so that excess sugar syrup is drained into the pan.
Step19: Transfer to a serving plate. Enjoy homemade jalebi with rabri or curd. You may garnish with some nuts on top!
Watch this video for making Jalebi
- Do not make the batter very thin keep it a little dense. The consistency of the batter should be free-flowing and not super thin or thick also make sure there are no lumps.
- Ghee is the traditional ingredient to fry jalebis and gives it an authentic taste. But if you want, you can use neutral-flavored vegetable oil to fry these.
- You may add a food-grade yellow/orange color to the sugar syrup while boiling it if you want a bright yellow color. But we recommend sticking to saffron, which adds gorgeous color and natural golden color.