“Deepavali” or “Diwali” is the festival of light celebrated all over India. Every household gets lightened with “diya” or candle or electric lights. We enjoy the festival to its fullest by setting various colourful crackers on fire, which is the most attractive part for me. 🙂
For Bengalis Diwali is also significant for “Kali puja”. Just a day before diwali we worship goddess Kali and it is celebrated all over West Bengal. Again Khichuri Bhog is the main prasad for Kali puja.
To celebrate diwali in my own way, I decided to prepare some sweets at home. I have already tried and posted the recipes of Rasgulla, Kalakand, Rasmalai, Gulab Jamun and Shandesh. These are mostly “chena” or Indian cottage cheese based desserts. This time I preferred to try something different, easy to make and a significant Diwali sweet and I came up with the idea of “Jalebi”.
Jalebi is a very popular Indian dessert made from flour batter in pretzel or circular shape, soaked in sugar syrup. It is one of my favourite sweets. I still recall my childhood days when not for a single Sunday we could miss it in our breakfast with bread or after having “Kachori” or stuffed puri. With Diwali just around the corner, I take this opportunity to present the recipe of Jalebi, which I tried after a long time.
Wish you all a very happy and prosperous Diwali. 🙂
Ingredients for 12 – 15 pieces :
For Jalebi batter :
- Plain flour – ½ cup
- Fine semolina/Bengal gram flour – ½ teaspoon
- Plain yogurt – 1 tbspoon (optional)
- Active dry yeast – 1 teaspoon
- Sugar – ½ teaspoon
- Pinch of turmeric powder (for colour, optional)
- Few saffron strands grind to powder (optional)
- Oil – 1 teaspoon
- Luke warm water – 7-8 tbspoon
- Oil for deep frying
- One Ketchup bottle/Ziploc bag
For sugar syrup :
- Sugar – 1 cup
- Water – ½ cup
- Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon (to prevent crystallisation)
- Green cardamom powder – ½ teaspoon
- Few strands of saffron (optional)
- Few drops of rose water (optional)
Take 2 tbspoon lukewarm water in a small bowl, add sugar and dry yeast and stir well. Cover the bowl and keep aside for 10 minutes. When foam appears at the top of mixture, you are confirmed that yeast is properly activated. Otherwise you have to repeat the process.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add yogurt, yeast mixture, oil and remaining water to make a lump free batter.
Now cover the bowl and place in a warm place (I put it in oven) for fermentation for 1 hour.
After 1 hour check the consistency of the batter. If it is too thick add little water. The batter should neither be very thick nor light still maintaining a pouring consistency.
As warm sugar syrup is required to dip the jalebis in, prepare it before frying the latter. To do that take sugar and water in a medium size pan and heat over medium flame. As all the sugar dissolves and syrup starts boiling, lower the heat and add lemon juice, cardamom powder and saffron strands. Let it simmer for 5-6 minutes and then put the gas off. We need a single-thread sugar syrup.
Simultaneously heat sufficient amount of oil in a large, flat frying pan over medium flame. The oil should be moderately hot while frying the jalebi.
Now transfer the batter into the ketchup bottle. To make jalebis, pour the batter into hot oil in a rapid circular motion starting from centre towards the edge. Make the sizes according to your preference.
Fry them till golden brown and then transfer to a paper towel to soak the excess oil.
Now dip the jalebis into the hot sugar syrup. Soak them for 1-2 minutes and then transfer to a serving bowl.
Serve warm or cold. I prefer my jalebi to be hot. 🙂
- I have used yeast for quick fermentation. If you don’t have yeast then leave the batter at least for 2 hours for natural fermentation (24 hours for best result). In that case, use little amount of water and ½ cup of yogurt to make the batter. Add ½ teaspoon baking powder in the batter before frying jalebis.
- If you don’t have ketchup bottle, then use ziploc bag. First make a tiny hole at one corner of the bag and release the air inside, then pour the batter in and zip it. When you are ready to fry the jalebis make the hole a little bigger and fold the bag like a piping bag and then follow the usual procedure.
- If you have excess batter then you can store it in the refrigerator for 1 week.