Jalebi is a sweet sticky dessert, made of deep fried batter, which is then dipped in a sweet syrup. It usually has a pretzel-like or spiral shape. Jalebi is hugely popular in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh as well as Iran where it’s known as Zulbia.
Although it’s super sweet, it has a slight tangy taste, with a crispy outside and chewy middle.
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 Cardamom pods
- Optional (orange blossom or rose water)
- Mix the flour and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix the yogurt and water together.
- Slowly add the water and yogurt mixture to the flour and whisk until the batter is smooth and there are no lumps. Make sure the batter isn’t too runny. It should be slightly thick – enough to pipe from a piping bag. If the batter is too thin, add more flour, a table spoon at a time until it is the right consistency.
- For best results, set the batter aside for 4 hours in a warm place.
- Pour the mixture into a piping bag. You can also use a clean empty squeeze bottle (like a ketchup bottle).
- In a separate sauce pan, add all the ingredients for the syrup, and bring to boil.
- Make sure the sugar has dissolved and keep boiling for a further 15 minutes on a medium flame.
- Turn off the heat, and once the syrup is slightly cool, check the stickiness of the syrup. You can do this by dabbing the syrup on your thumb and index finger. Dab your thumb with your finger gently and you should see a sticky string of syrup between them.
- In a deep frying pan or wok, and add enough oil to deep fry your jalebi. Turn up the heat, and once the oil is hot, test your jalebi batter by adding a drop.
- The drop of batter should instantly start frying and float to the top. If the temperature is high enough to do this, turn it down to a medium to low flame (this prevents your oil from getting too hot later on.)
- Squeeze the batter into the pan in a spirally jalebi or pretzel shape.
- Fry the jalebi until it’s lightly golden on one side, then flip over and fry until it’s slightly golden on the other side.
- Take them out of the oil and plunge them into the syrup for a couple of minutes. Take the jalebis out of the syrup and set aside on a plate.
- Repeat the steps until you’ve used up all your batter.
And that my friends, is how you make jalebi!