Introduction: Jalebi an Indian Sweet (Instant Version)

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Good Instructable Citizens,  (I am watching Spartacus these days :D)

"Life is a celebration."- Osho

"Life is a celebration, when you eat Jalebies" - Tarun  Upadhyaya
  Ha ha :D

Jalebi (Ja as in jump le as in Label bi as in Big).

Jalabies are known as celebration sweet in India. In ancient India, people use to make & distribute Jalebies during weddings, child-birth, victory etc. In present India it is still known to be part of celebration. However the Jalebies are evolved  from just a celebration sweet to an extremely popular Indian sweet, savored across India and Indian subcontinent, from streets to 5-Star Hotels.

A little history (source :Wikipedia)

"Origins of Jalebi can be traced back to ancient India, where it was called Kundalika or Jal-vallika (being full of syrup, which is watery; hence the name). In later dialects of Sanskrit, Jal-vallika became Jalebi which likely arrived in the middle east during the period of Muslim rule, through cultural diffusion and trade from the Indian subcontinent, and its local name Jalebi became Zalebi as Z is more common in middle-eastern languages."

This sweet is so popular that many food companies offer instant Jalebi Mix so that you can make it at home. But I like to make it by my own, fresh and homely. Don't ya? :)

Traditionally, Jalebi requires a fermantation process of 24 hours, but since this version of Jalebi making is instant, it would only need an hour.

As difficult as it may appears to make, in reality it is simple to make :). Lets make this swirly, juicy, crunchy, mouth watering sweet. Keep the vows of your diet aside for a moment and savor this heavenly delight :).

Important information:

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Fermentation Time: 1 Hour
Servings: 4 (Grrr.. I had to share ;-))

Step 1: Ingredients

In order to make instant Jalebies you would need:

For Batter:
  1. 1/2 Cup White Plain Flour
  2. 1 & 1/2 teaspoon  bengal gram flour (Besan)
  3. 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast (you can use fresh yeast as well, this will significantly reduce the fermentation duration, honestly I have not yet tried it )
  4. 1/2 teaspoon oil or Ghee
  5. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  6. 1/2 cup of lukewarm water or as required

For Sugar Syrup
  1. 1 & 1/2 cup Sugar
  2. 2 Cup water or as required.
  3. 1/4 Teaspoon of crushed or powdered cardomom
  4. Saffron strands (I like to be generous here :))  
  5. A little more than 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.

To Fry:
  1. Ghee or  oil (Traditional Jalebies are made of ghee, so does this version)
To garnish:
  1. Finely sliced pistachios
Optional :
Jalebi can be relished with a number of food items, some of the popular ones are:

Fresh cream (Unsweetened)
Condensed milk (may also use Rabdi [Sweet condensed milk] )

Kitchen Tools
  1. Deep Frying Pan
  2. A deep cooking utensil.
  3. Spatula with holes
  4. A big bowl for batter
  5. Some plastic wrap
  6. A squeezable sauce bottle.
  7. Some absorbent paper
Commercially available Jalebies uses food colors, We will use saffron. Nothing beats natural color of foods, isn't it? 

Step 2: Making the Batter

The batter for Jalebi is simple to make and requires fermentation. In this instant version, we would use dry yeast to activate fermentation. Traditionally yogurt is used to ferment the batter and it requires overnight. Proceed as follows:

Activating the yeast:
I followed the instructions on the package (Image 1), you can do the same
  1. Take some lukewarm water  in a small bowl, add a pinch of sugar into it, stir it to dissolve it completely.
  2. Add yeast and stir vigorously till the yeast is somewhat dissolved (Image 2).
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and wait for 10 minutes for activation (Image 3).
  4. Take a large bowl and mix all the ingredients of batter (Image 4). Then add yeast. 
  5. Mix well so that no lump remains (Image 5).
  6. You may want to add more lukewarm water to achieve desired consistency (when you drop the mixture, it should fall like a string).
  7. Cover the bowl and leave the batter for an hour to ferment.
  8. The fermented batter after an hour should be like Image 6.
While is mixture is fermenting, lets make the golden syrup :)

Step 3: The Heavenly Syrup

The sugar syrup is known as Chashni (cha as in chat, sh as in she, ni as in neat) in Hindi. This syrup is to provide, color, sweetness, aroma to fried Jalebi funnels.

To make this syrup, do as follows:
  1. Mix water, sugar and lemon juice in a deep pan (Image 1).
  2. Put it on high flame and bring to boil.
  3. Add lots of saffron strands and cardamom powder. (Image 2)
  4. Keep boiling.
  5. To check if the syrup is ready, do as follows:
    1. pour a drop of syrup on a dish.
    2. Stick the drop on your thumb.
    3. Press it with other finger (like a pinch ) 
    4. Gently try to separate them, if you see a string formation (I did not mean sticky here, this is the keyword), the syrup is ready (Image 3
  6. The ready syrup should look like Image 4.
TIP: It may be possible that due to over cooking, the syrup will become too thick when cooled down. Don't worry, add some more water & sugar and re-boil it.

Do you like the all natural golden color of this heavenly liquid? Try to smell it , your senses will melt away :) & mouth will be filled with water.

Step 4: Let It Swirl Baby

Once the batter is properly fermented, transfer it to the squeezy plastic sauce bottle. To make the jalebi swirls, do as follows:
  1. Heat the oil in the deep frying pan
  2. Squeeze a small drop of batter in the oil (Image 1)
    1. if the ball pops on the surface too quicky, the oil is too hot, switch off the flame for few seconds(Image 1, in my case)
    2. if the ball settles at the bottom, the oil is not ready to fry.
  3. Now squeeze the bottle in the hot oil in the swirly motion and make small swirls (Image 2)
  4. TIP: If the oil is too hot, you will not be able to make a swirl (Image 3)
  5. TIP: If the oil is not hot enough, you will again not be able to make a swirl because the funnels will stick with each other.
  6. Fry till the edges of the jalebies turn golden brown (Image 4)
  7. Flip to fry the other side (Image 5)
  8. Once they are golden brown, remove them on an absorbent paper (Image 6).

It will take some practice to make these swirls, I was also not perfect in the beginning (look for the image Evolution of perfect Jalebi Swirl). It is better to fry one at a time if you are a beginner like me.

They look so beautiful and I am so impatient to dip them into the golden sugar syrup. Lets do this.

Step 5: A Tempting Union

The simplest and tempting of all the steps so far :).
  1. Re-heat the syrup.
  2. Turn off the stove.
  3. Dip the Jalebi swirls for few seconds, flip them a few times.
  4. You will notice the saffron strands have beautifully embraced the jalebi swirls along with the syrup.

Serving Suggestions:
  1. Always serve hot by heating the syrup.
  2. Sprinkle a few sliced pistachio on top.
  3. If you want you can also pour some syrup on top of the served Jalebi.
  4. You can also pour some fresh cream or condensed milk on top.
Savor the taste & aroma. Your delicious Jalbi is ready. :)

You can keep the syrup in the refrigerator for weeks.   

Step 6: Final Thoughts

Jalebies are scrumptious sweets, sweets...right and therefore calorific. They are not advisable for people with Diabetes and those which are obese & trying to reduce fat.

Beyond that, its is believed that Jalebies has some health benefits too:
  1. In India (in ayurveda) having jalebi with milk (or condensed milk) first thing in the morning, will help underweight people to put on body mass.
  2. It is used as a remedy for headaches in some parts of Pakistan, where it is placed in boiling milk and left to stand before eating.
Even Beyond that, it is an amazing sweet and loved by all :)

I hope you will find this ible worthy enough for you to give a try at home :). Please do let me know should you have any queries, comments & suggestions in the comments section below.

Thank you so much for your time & efforts to visit & read this ible, I really appreciate that.

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