Jalebi are funnel-cake style fried spirals that are doused in a sweet sugar syrup for a delightful treat. This homemade jalebi recipe makes for crispy, crunchy, syrupy, juicy jalebi and is traditional method.
In a mixing bowl, take the 1 cup of all purpose flour or maida. Add besan or gram flour, a pinch of baking soda and turmeric powder.
Mix all the above dry ingredients with a spoon or spatula.
Then add water. The amount of water to be added depends on the quality of flour used. I added 1 cup water. Depending on the quality of flour and besan, you can add from ¾ to 1 cup water.
With the spatula or spoon, first mix. Break the small or tiny lumps with the spatula or spoon while mixing.
Then in round circular directions stir the batter briskly for 4 minutes. This adds volume to the batter and makes it even and smooth.
The batter should have a flowing consistency. Cover and keep the batter to ferment in a warm place for 12 to 15 hours. I kept for 15 hours. If you live in a cold climate, you can keep for 20 to 24 hours and if you live in a hot or warm climate, keep for 6 to 10 hours.
After fermentation the batter will have tiny air-pockets in it with a tangy taste.
Stir the batter and if you carefully see, the batter would have become thinner than what it was before fermentation.
So to thicken the batter again, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.
With a spoon mix very well.
Now pour this batter in the squeezy tomato ketchup bottles that we get in the market. You can also use coconut shell and make a small hole in it. You can also use a piping bag or make your own with butter paper. Depending on the capacity of the bottle, you can pour less or more in it.
Preparing sugar syrup
Take 1 cup sugar in a pan. Add saffron strands to it. Do add saffron as it gives a nice orange yellow color and also its aroma to the jalebi.
Add ½ cup of water.
Keep this pan on stove top on low heat and begin to stir, so that the sugar dissolves.
On a low to medium flame, cook the sugar syrup.
Cook till you get one string consistency in the sugar syrup.
Once you get the one string consistency, switch off the heat and add ¼ tsp lime or lemon juice. Stir well. Keep the sugar syrup on the burner itself so that it remains warm when you add the jalebi in it.
Heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan. You can also use ghee or half-half of oil and ghee. Ghee gives a better flavor.
To check the temperature of oil, add a tiny amount of batter to the oil. If it comes up quickly and gradually the oil is hot enough for the jalebi to be fried. The frying temperature is 350 degrees Fahrenheit/176 degrees Celsius.
Now squeeze the bottle and make concentric rings with the batter.
Either start from the center and move outside or vice versa. Be careful while making the jalebis as the oil is hot.
You won't get perfect shapes as the jalebis keep on moving while you make the circles. This does require practice and it also depends on what equipment you are using to make them.
When one side is partly cooked, turn over and fry the other side.
Some jalebi will be cooked faster than others.
Fry till the oil stops sizzling and the jalebis are a light golden. Remove with a tongs or a bamboo skewer. While removing shake to drain the extra oil.
Adding fried jalebi to sugar syrup
Then immediately put the fried jalebis in the sugar syrup. The sugar syrup should be slightly hot or warm when you add the jalebis in it.
Turn over after after a minute so that both sides are coated with the syrup.
Keep them in the syrup for about 2 to 3 minutes. If you keep for two minutes, they will be lightly colored and if you keep for 3 minutes or more, they will have a deep color.
Remove with a wooden skewer or tongs. Shake lightly so that the excess sugar syrup falls back in the pan. Place them in a plate or tray lined with a foil or butter paper.
Make all jalebi this way. Its better to have a help while doing so. Otherwise it is kind of multi-tasking.
Serve jalebi hot, warm or at room temperature. The leftovers can be kept in an airtight container and refrigerated.
Consistency of the batter: Ensure that the batter consistency should be flowing yet thick. It can also be medium-thick. Do not make the batter runny, watery or very thick.
Fermentation: Consider your city temperature when fermenting the jalebi batter. A hot climate will make the fermentation go fast and a cool or cold climate will slow it down. In a hot temperature, ferment the batter for 6 to 7 hours. In a cool climate, ferment it for 10 hours or as needed. You can also use the Instant pot for fermenting the batter. Also keep in mind not to over do the fermentation. A batter which has got fermented way too much will taste very sour and have an unpleasant smell.
Consistency of sugar syrup: The sugar syrup must have a one-string consistency. If it is cooked less than the 1 string consistency, the jalebi will absorb it like water and will soften and break them. If you cook the syrup more than 1 string thread, it will crystallize on the jalebi after cooling.
Frying: While frying jalebi, keep the heat to medium or medium-high heat. Fry them in a moderately hot oil.
Scaling: This recipe can halved or doubled.
Note that the approximate nutrition info is for 1 jalebi.