Chanar Jilipi (Jalebi made from Cottage Cheese)

It has been quite a while since I prepared any new fried sweet. While pondering over what could be an interesting recipe, I zeroed on a bengali speciality called Chanar Jilipi which is one of my favourites of this genre. As the name suggests, it follows a jilipi or jalebi shape but made of chena or cottage cheese.  A bit tricky to make, contrary to hardness of jalebi, it is fired, still soft and tender, soaked in sugar syrup. The trickiness lies in maintaining the swirl shape and the texture as chena is a delicate product to handle and easy to crack while rolling or even during frying.

Among the fried sweets Gulab Jamun is adored overwhelmingly by the followers. Like wise, I believe that this recipe would prove to be a treat for sweet lovers.

Chanar Jilipi (Jalebi made from Cottage Cheese)

Ingredients for 5 pieces :

  1. Milk (3% fat content) – 4 cups
  2. Vinegar – 3 tbspoon
  3. Plain flour – 2 tbspoon
  4. Baking powder – ½ teaspoon
  5. Sugar – 1 cup
  6. Water – 1½ cup
  7. Green cardamom – 2 pods
  8. Oil or Ghee for deep frying

Procedure :

At first prepare the ‘cottage cheese’ or ‘chena’ using milk and vinegar. For its recipe look into the page entitled Chena/Indian cottage cheese under the “Useful Supplementary” tab in my blog.

In order to squeese out excess water from the cheese hang the cheese cloth containing the cheese for 30-45 minutes.

Then take out the cheese on a wooden work surface. Add flour and baking powder to it. Mix all the ingredients well and knead the chena or cheese until your palm feels oily and you get a smooth dough.

Now divide the dough into 5 equal parts.

Take each part and roll it with hand on the wooden surface like a piece of rope. Then swirl the cheese rope softly to give it a ‘jalebi’ shape. Press the end of the rope at the center so that the jalebi doesn’t open out while frying. Now cover the cheese jalebis with a wet clothe and prepare the sugar syrup meanwhile.

In a big pan take the sugar and water. Open the cardamom pods and add them to water. Put the pan over medium flame and let the sugar dissolve. After that boil the mixture for 5-7 minutes and then put the gas off. Cover the pan with a lid so that the sugar syrup remains warm.

Heat sufficient amount of oil in a frying pan over low-medium heat. As the oil becomes hot put the gas on low and add those cheese jalebis into the oil. Fry them till they turn light brown. Using a spatula or spoon keep flipping the jalebis while frying to make sure that they are evenly cooked from all over. Transfer them on paper towel to remove the excess oil.

Then put the fried cheese jalebis (must be warm) into the warm sugar syrup. Let the jalebis soak the sugar syrup for at least an hour.

“Chanar Jilipi” is now ready to serve.

Note :

  1. Take the chena or cottage cheese and flour in 3:1 ratio.
  2. Getting a proper texture of the cheese dough is important. So that you can avoid any cracks while swirling the cheese rope.
  3. Chena or Cottage cheese get burnt quickly. That’s why always fry the jalebis on low flame. Otherwise it will get burnt from outside and remain uncooked from inside.
  4. You can fry the jalebis in Ghee instead of oil to get a nice aroma and rice flavour.
  5. ½ tbspoon milk powder can also be added to give the jalebis a rich taste.
  6. If the jalebis do not soak the sugar syrup properly then boil them in sugar syrup for 2-3 minutes.

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