Crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside, rustic golden spirals that make a centerpiece at every festival in India - Jalebi! People like it for breakfast and people like it for dessert. Some like it hot and crisp, others prefer it soft and at room temperature. It can be served with sweet rabdi or with cold sour yogurt. It's hard not to choose one when you see a bunch of Jalebi glistening in golden syrup.
Sometimes I'm so intimidated by a recipe that it takes a long time to make it happen. Jalebi is one of those dishes.
I tried it once a long time ago and it was a big flop. It only made me more nervous about doing it at home.
But then, with practice, you'll get the hang of it, and you'll likely get to do it more often throughout the year.
What ingredients go into making Jalebi?
This jalebi recipe requires yeast and it takes about 1 hour to ferment. On hot summer days, it ferments even faster.
For the Jalebi dough
- All purpose flour
- Corn flour
- Gram flour
- Ghee, clarified butter
- Orange food coloring, optional
You must also make a Sugar Syrup with sugar and add the cloves, cardamom and saffron for flavor and color.
Can you make Jalebi without yeast?
Yes you can! You can make Jalebi with yogurt, but it would require overnight fermentation. You will need to add yogurt to make the dough, then let sit overnight for the dough to ferment.
What equipment do you need to craft Jalebi?
You would need Plastic squeeze bottle, or you can use a piping bag. You can also just use a zipped log and pour the dough into it, cut off the tip and start shaping the Jalebi.
I prefer the piping bag option.
Steps to make Jalebi
- Activate the yeast in lukewarm water with sugar.
- Prepare the dough by whisking it to obtain a fluid consistency.
- Let the dough ferment for 1 hour and prepare the sugar syrup in the meantime (see note below on syrup consistency and temperature).
- Fill the dough into a prickle bag and shape the spirals on medium hot oil.
- Once fried to the brim, coat it with syrup and place it on a serving plate.
- Enjoy fresh!
Some important tips you want to remember!
OIL TEMPERATURE IS CRUCIAL:
Let the oil be at medium temperature when you start to shape the swirls in the oil.
If the oil gets too hot, the dough will start to separate when you start to press the dough. If the oil is too cold, the dough settles to the bottom of the pan and flattens.
The consistency of the syrup should not be too thick or too thin. Simmer for 5 minutes, then cool.
If the syrup is too fine, the cripsy jalebi will soften when soaked in the syrup. If the syrup is too thick, the jalebi will not be able to absorb it.
The sirup shouldn't be hot when you drop the fried jalebies. It will become pasty if you put hot oil.
Don't let the fried jalebi sit in the syrup for too long. Just soak it, smear it and take it out. If you keep it too long in syrup, it will lose its crispy texture and become too mushy.
While making Jalebi is tricky, and chances are the first time you won't get any crisp whirlpools (I sure don't), but don't throw away as it will still taste amazing. It is a famous Indian sweet and almost everyone falls in love with it. It is a famous Diwali treat and a must during any festive season.
Here are some other Diwali dessert ideas:
for the Jalebi dough
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ tablespoon of corn flour
- 1½ tablespoon of chickpea flour
- 2 tablespoons of ghee, clarified butter
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of yeast
- about 1 cup of lukewarm water
- orange food coloring, optional
for the syrup:
- 1½ cup of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 3 cloves
- 2 green cardamoms, crushed
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- pinch of saffron threads, optional
- Mix 1 cup of lukewarm water with the sugar and yeast. Stir, cover and leave to act.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour with the corn flour, chickpea flour and salt. Pour in the ghee and mix it. You want to incorporate the ghee properly so that it is crumbly.
- Now pour in the activated yeast and start whisking. Finally, add the food coloring (optional) and give it a final whisk. Make sure there are no dry crumbs and the color is mixed evenly.
- Cover the bowl and let ferment for 1 hour. Do not shake or move the bowl. The dough is fermented when you see a few bubbles on the top. In the meantime, prepare the syrup.
- In a saucepan, add all you need for the syrup and simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes. We don't want the syrup to have a string consistency, but it shouldn't be too light either.
- To fry the Jalebi, heat enough oil in a flat saucepan. Keep the heat on medium. Now, using a pastry bag / zipper bag or squeeze bottle, start squeezing the dough into the hot oil in concentric circles. Do not overload the pan.
- When you've finished shaping one jalebi and move on to the next, the first one should already swell!
- Fry until golden and cracked. It should take about 5-7 minutes. Once the frying is done, transfer it to the golden syrup and coat it all around. If the jalebi are too big, you can leave for about 30 seconds. Then remove it and put it on a serving plate.
- Enjoy fresh and hot jalebi.
- The dough can also be prepared without yeast. In this case, you need to add sour yogurt to prepare the dough and let it sit overnight for it to ferment.
- When you fry the Jalebi, make sure the oil is medium low, otherwise the concentric circles will be very difficult to form. Also, remember that creating the perfect Jalebi Spiral is an art that takes a lot of practice.
- Do not leave the jalebi fried in the sugar syrup for more than 30 seconds. Otherwise, it will become soggy.
Whether you regularly whip up Michelin-worthy meals at the drop of a hat or your cooking skills are best described as “fine, ” you can always benefit from the helpful little tricks of others. Here, 14 of our friends’, families’ and coworkers’ most-used cooking tips.
There’s a time and a place to whip out that complicated coq au vin recipe you’ve been dying to try. A dinner party isn’t that time. With a new recipe, you’ll likely be chained to the kitchen the whole time, plus, when you’re trying something for the first time, there’s always the possibility that it could go horribly wrong. When cooking for a group, we always err on the side of tried-and-true crowd-pleasers.
You do hours of prep work on an intricate dish, only to be totally disappointed once you taste the terminal product. Bummer. Instead of putting in all that effort only to be disappointed, taste while you cook. That way, you’ll realize sooner that the dish isn’t tasting how you’d like it to, and you can make all kinds of last-ditch efforts to save it. This doesn’t just work for bad-to-OK meals. Tasting midway through and realizing how perfect a dash of cayenne or a squirt of lemon juice would be can take a great dinner to legendary status.
Plating pasta means tossing some onto a plate and finishing it with a nice dollop of sauce right on the middle, right ? Wrong. Here’s how to take your carbs to the next level : On the stove there should be two pans, one with pasta and one with sauce. Cook the pasta to al dente and transfer it into the sauce. Then, add a little bit of pasta water ( literally just the starchy water the pasta has been cooking in ), which will help the sauce cling to the pasta while also keeping it the right consistency. Perfection.
In the pursuit of the perfect steak, you have to be OK with your kitchen getting a little smoky. That’s because, to get the mouthwatering sear we’re all after, the meat has to be dry and the pan should be pretty damn close to smoking hot. Trust us, it’s worth a few seconds of a blaring alarm.
Most foods are ruined by too much salt. Steak is different. When it comes to seasoning your meat ( before you cook it ), more is more. Use a generous amount of coarse Kosher salt—more than you think you need. Since most cuts of steak are pretty thick, even though you’re using a lot of salt, it’s still only covering the surface.
This one isn’t too complicated. Whether you’re making avocado toast, pizza, fried rice or a burger, the addition of a fried egg on top will not hurt your feelings. Trust us.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but we’ve definitely found ourselves in a situation where we assumed we knew all of the ingredients that went into chocolate chip cookies only to find out that we had about half the required amount of brown sugar. Ugh. tera avoid a mid-cooking grocery-store trip, read the recipe from front to back—carefully—before you start.
Prepping céréales in mass quantities is less about taste than convenience. Rice, quinoa and even oatmeal last about a week in the fridge after being cooked. When we’re prepping any one of those, we double up our measurements and store the leftovers, which are then impossibly easy to use up throughout the week. Too tired to make dinner ? Heat up some leftover rice from the fridge and toss an egg on top ( remember ? ). Couldn’t be simpler.
So you fried up a pound of bacon for an indulgent ( read : delicious ) déjeuner. Great, just make sure you don’t throw out the grease in the pan. Instead, save it in the refrigerator or freezer ( it technically lasts for up to a year, but should be used sooner than that to take full advantage of its flavor ). Then, anytime you’re cooking something you typically prepare in oil, try cooking it in the bacon grease instead. You’ll never want to eat Brussels sprouts the old way again.
You’ve probably heard that whenever a dish is lacking a little something-something, the best thing to do is toss in some salt. But, we have it on good authority that salt isn’t always the answer. When you’re tasting a dish at the end and you think it needs a little oomph, often it just needs a splash of acid ( like lemon juice ) to round out the flavor.
You know the difference between a paring knife and a fillet knife, but do you know how to take care of them ? Or, more importantly, how to use them ? A set of good knives can be the difference between a stressful cooking experience and a great one. First, practice your knife skills. Look up tutorials on YouTube and practice chopping, slicing and julienne-ing. It’s amazing what you can do with your cook time when your prep time is shortened with solid knife skills. Then, once you’ve got your skills down pat, learn how to take care of your set. No one ever achieved kitchen greatness with a dull chef’s knife.
The key to tender, flavorful barbecue and roasts ? Cooking it on a low temperature for a long time. The same doesn’t go for roasting veggies. For crispy, perfectly cooked butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and more, remember the magic number : 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower, and you risk pulling a pan of blah carrots out of the oven. It might seem high, but to get the nice roasted flavor, you need high heat. And while we’re on the subject, stop crowding your veggies in the pan, which will also make them soggy.
You know how just about every cookie recipe suggests that you chill your dough in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, but oftentimes you don’t listen because you just want cookies now ? ! ( Same. ) Unfortunately, this step actually does make a difference. In addition to limiting how much the dough spreads while baking, chilling your dough intensifies the flavors and produces that perfect chewy, crispy texture we know and love.
It won’t do your breath any favors, but never ( ever ) scrimp on garlic. In fact, we typically double the amount a recipe calls for. Apologies to anyone who was planning on kissing us.