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Easy Jalebi

Crisp and light deep fried festive Indian Jalebi dunked in a thick sugar syrup flavoured with cardamom and saffron.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Servings 1 large batch

Ingredients
  

For the Jalebi Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp fine rice flour or cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tbsp yogurt
  • Yellow- Orange edible colour
  • 1 cup water more or less as required

For the Sugar Syrup :

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 to 5 pods cardamom partially opened
  • A few strands of saffron
  • 1 tsp lime juice

For deep frying :

  • Oil or ghee for deep frying

Instructions
 

For the Sugar Syrup :

  • Put together all the ingredients for the sugar syrup in a deep medium pan. Stir to dissolve the sugar then bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, till the sugar syrup reaches one-string consistency.
  • To check one string consistency take a drop of sugar syrup between your thumb and index finger. Move the fingers slowly apart the sugar syrup should form a single string. If you’re not able to judge this, the sugar syrup should be a bit viscous and sticky.

For the Jalebi batter :

  • Whisk together all the ingredients for the batter and just enough of the water to make a smooth, thick batter of dropping consistency, a bit thicker than pancake batter. It should be a bit viscous. Let it rest for about 20 minutes or so.
  • Then lightly whisk a couple of times and transfer the batter to a piping bag or squeezy bottle. Warm the sugar syrup and keep it this way. The syrup should not be hot or you will end up with soft, soggy Jilebi.
  • Heat the oil or ghee and bring the heat down to low-medium-ish. I prefer to use oil. Drop a bit of the batter in the oil. If it bubbles and rises up, it is hot enough. If the oil is too hot, the piped batter will not keep its shape but spread out. If the batter is too thick, thin it down with a little water. If the batter disperses in hot oil, it could be thin. Add a couple of teaspoons of flour as required, to thicken it.
  • Pipe the batter in hot oil, making 3 or four concentric circles not too far apart moving from inside to outside. Finish off each Jalebi by moving back across the circle to the opposite edge. This creates a sort of line that will hold the concentric circles together. See images.
  • This piping technique takes a little practice. You can try piping into the bowl of batter for practice while the oil heats up.
  • Using tongs turn the Jalebi over so it cooks well on both sides till crisp. Drain on paper towels for a minute or so. Then immerse in the warm sugar for a couple of minutes. Do this in batches after each lot gets fried.
  • Meanwhile heat oil or ghee in a pan or kadai. I used a combination of the two. Keep heat to medium-low.
  • Fry till crisp from both sides. Remove from oil and immediately dip in warm sugar syrup, few seconds on each side is good enough. A couple of minutes after dunking take them out and transfer to a rack with a tray underneath. The excess syrup will drip off. They’re best eaten slightly warm. You may garnish them with chopped pistachios. Otherwise, they can be stored in an airtight container and be served at room temperature too.