Rookie's Guide to Perfect Jalebis

Tips and tricks to make delicious and crispy jalebis at home

The temptation of freshly fried and crispy jalebi steeped in fragrant sugar syrup and topped with rabdi is hard to resist. One of the most popular Indian desserts, origins of jalebi in India can be traced back to the 15th century when it was known as Kundalika. The Persian export of zulabia, the saffron-hued dessert, jalebi is also known as jhangiri or imarti. Doling out jalebi batter through a muslin cloth into hot ghee, forming the perfect spirals that are dunked in a sugary syrup may come across as an elaborate process of the jalebi recipe. Follow this jalebi recipe video to make fresh crispy jalebi at home. If you want to master the art of making jalebi at home, here are some simple tips that you can follow.

The Jalebi Batter
The primary ingredients in a jalebi recipe to make jalebi batter are maida (refined flour), besan (chickpea flour) and yogurt. Before you begin with the jalebi recipe, make sure this batter is fermented for at least 24 hours. For a jalebi recipe, the perfect consistency of batter is defined by when it runs down in ribbons. Once your batter is ready according to the jalebi recipe, add water and/or flour to the batter to thicken or loosen it.

Zero-Fermentation Jalebi 
If you’re short on time and patience to follow your jalebi recipe entirely, add yeast to the batter for an immediate fermentation instead of 24 hours. It will take about half an hour for the fermentation to kick in and create magic to your jalebi recipe. 

The Perfect Spiral 
Traditionally, the jalebi recipe requires the jalebi batter to be transferred to a muslin cloth and then piped into a heavy-bottomed pan of ghee or oil to form perfectly concentric circles. If you are not comfortable using a cloth while following your jalebi recipe, you can use a sauce dispenser bottle where the nozzle will make the whole process of your jalebi recipe easier and less messy. For the perfectly round jalebi, you will need a steady hand that can only be achieved with practice over time. Meanwhile, did you know about the green jalebi from Bangalore?

Fragrant Sugar Syrup 
The sugar syrup is another crucial component of a good jalebi recipe. After deep frying, the jalebi recipe requires that you soak the crispy jalebi in a saffron and cardamom infused sugar syrup. Jalebi needs sugar syrup that gives you 2 strings when it's done. In your jalebi recipe, you can replace cardamom with kewra water or rose water.

Avoid Soggy Jalebis 
Once fried to its golden perfection after following the jalebi recipe, soak the jalebi in the sugar syrup immediately. Do not leave the jalebi in the syrup for more than 3 minutes; the longer you keep the jalebi there, chances of them getting soggy will increase. Also, make sure the jalebi is kept open to cool down once it has been bathed in sugar syrup.

Picture Perfect 
Stack your jalebi on a plate and garnish the jalebi with chopped pistachio or your favourite nuts. Every jalebi recipe will recommend its unique garnishing. Just keep it simple as the essence of jalebi is in the flavour.

Jalebi is best enjoyed when it is fresh and chances are you won’t have any left to store. But in case your jalebi recipe resulted in a large batch and you want to store them, keep the jalebi in an airtight container inside the refrigerator. 

With inputs from the culinary team of Delhi Highway restaurant, Mumbai


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