Jilebi, also known as Jalebi, is a popular sweet dish in India and other South Asian countries. It is made by deep-frying a fermented batter of all-purpose flour (maida) or wheat flour into a spiral or pretzel-like shape. The fried jilebi is then soaked in a sugar syrup, which gives it a sweet and sticky texture. Jilebi is often flavored with saffron and cardamom, giving it a distinct aroma and taste. It is commonly served as a dessert or snack and is enjoyed on festive occasions and special events.
Here’s a recipe for making fresh jalebi:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (maida)
- 1 tablespoon chickpea flour (besan)
- 1 teaspoon yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- A pinch of turmeric powder (for color, optional)
- 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- A few strands of saffron (optional)
- Oil or ghee for frying
- In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, chickpea flour, yogurt, baking powder, turmeric powder (if using), and ghee. Mix well.
- Gradually add water to the mixture while stirring continuously until you achieve a smooth batter. The consistency should be similar to that of a pancake batter. Allow the batter to rest for about 15-20 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare the sugar syrup. In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Add a few strands of saffron for flavor and color (if desired). Once the sugar syrup comes to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes until it reaches a slightly sticky consistency. Keep the sugar syrup warm.
- Heat oil or ghee in a deep frying pan or kadai over medium heat.
- Take a jalebi bottle or a piping bag with a small round nozzle. Fill it with the prepared batter.
- Squeeze the batter in a spiral or pretzel shape directly into the hot oil or ghee. Start from the center and work your way outward.
- Fry the jalebis until they turn golden brown and crispy. Flip them gently using tongs to ensure even cooking.
- Once the jalebis are cooked, remove them from the oil and drain the excess oil by placing them on a paper towel.
- Dip the hot jalebis into the warm sugar syrup. Allow them to soak in the syrup for a few seconds, then remove and place them on a serving plate.
- Serve the fresh jalebis warm and enjoy their deliciousness!
Note: Jalebis are best enjoyed when they are fresh and warm. You can garnish them with some crushed pistachios or almonds for added flavor and presentation.