Jalebi – If you are in India and you have not had Jalebi, then you have missed one of the favorite delicacy in here. Jalebi, which is often quoted because of its twisted shape, in examples when you want to tell somebody that he is a crooked fellow is not anything near to this reputation. A simple sweet which when eaten fresh, because of its crispiness, Jalebi is popular not just in India but in other parts of South and West Asia as well.
Another variation of Jalebi is Imarthi. While there is a slight difference in taste between the two, it more or less is a substitute of each other. Some people prefer eating Jalebi with milk or, curd. But I love it as it is.
We get some nice jalebis in some of the sweet shops in Bhagalpur (my home town) and there are a few particular ones that my father prefers. He makes sure that he gets Jalebis for me whenever I am at home. No one knows your likes the way your father does.
So here’s wishing all the fathers out there a very Happy Father’s day. (I know I am a day late but that should be ok. After all it is about sending love to your father)..
In a bowl mix maida,corn flour, cooking soda,ghee and yellow food color.
Add curd to it and make a thick batter by adding water. (consistency of the batter should be like vada batter).
Keep the batter in a warm place for about 12 hours/overnight or until it ferments well.
Next day mix the batter properly with a ladle. It should be a sticky thick batter of dropping consistency.
In the meanwhile in another stove, boil sugar with water,food color, until one string consistency for about 15 minutes in medium high flame.
Add lemon juice, essence/elachi,saffron and keep in lowest heat possible.
In a flat bottomed pan, heat oil or ghee.
Now pour the jalebi batter in the squeezy tomato ketchup bottles and fill with the batter and draw circles in a medium heated oil. Oil should never fume. So adjust the heat accordingly (you can also take a cloth with a smallest hole in the middle or a durable Ziploc bag with hole in the middle to fill batter).
Make 3-4 circles per piece and end the circle by overlapping the tip when you end in order to get a nice shape.
Fry on both sides till crisp and drain it and add immediately to the hot sugar syrup. Keep them in the syrup for about 2 to 3 minutes.
After some time, drain it and keep them in a plate.
So the hot jalebis are ready to serve.
While cooking jalebi, keep the flame on medium to make it crisp.
Fermentation is very important. If you doubt if the batter will ferment or no, you can add a tsp of dried yeast and ferment for less hours.
Lemon juice prevents sugar from crystallizing. If you want jalebis to be more on tangier side, add more lemon juice than mentioned.
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