The divine jalebis are one of the most popular Indian treats because of appearance and texture – from the crispy, tortuous laps a thick syrup emerges – and through their sweet well-being.
85 g flour
1 tsp chickpea flour
1≤2 tsp dried yeast
1≤2 tsp sugar
1≤2 tsp vegetable oil
100 ml lukewarm water vegetable oil, to bake with
For the syrup
120 g sugar
120 ml water
pinch of cardamom powder pinch of saffron
1 tsp lemon juice
TIP: A piping bag or a plastic bottle with pointed spout are useful tools to make the characteristic jalebi circles.
1 put the flour and chickpea flour in a large bowl and add the yeast and sugar. Make a dimple in the middle.
2 Add the oil and water and mix well until you have an even batter. Add more water if necessary. Pour the mixture into the piping bag or plastic bottle and set it aside.
3 Heat the ingredients for the syrup in a pan and cook until the sugar has melted and the mixture is slightly thickened.
4 Heat a layer of oil of 3.5 cm in a frying pan. the oil is hot enough if a tiny bit of the batter added to the pan comes bubbling and untanned. if the dough turns straight brown, the oil is too hot; in that case, remove the pan from the heat for a few seconds.
5 squeeze the dough into a circular pretzel shape of about 5 cm in diameter in the oil. Repeat two or three times, depending on the size of the pan, but leave enough space.
6 fry the jalebis on both sides golden brown.
7 spoon the fried jalebis into the warm syrup and leave it for a few minutes.
8 Remove the jalebis from the syrup and serve immediately.
Jalebis probably come from ancient Persia, where they were called zoolbia. A first entry was found in manuscripts from the 13th century. the court would have been scattered over the Indian subcontinent at least 500 years ago during the rule of the Mughal dynasty. Local variations have given jalebis a prominent place among the richness of all kinds of exotically coloured mithai (sweets)
Biting into a tortuous jalebi is nothing short of a lusty experience. The exhilarating foreplay of the textures, from the crispy but playfully firm crust to the warm sweet syrup dripping outwards, is instilled by the flirty touches of rosewater and kewra (palm syrup). After pinging on a swirling Indian market, nothing is as invigorating as a garam garam (‘hot hot’) jalebi. Part of the fun is to see how the street vendor runs the batter in the pan and turns the jalebi around and around until he is golden brown. They are then immersed in a thick syrup before being handed over to the hungry customer on a plate.