Crunchy on the outside and juicy inside, rustic golden spirals that make a centerpiece at every festival in India – Jalebi! I am sharing with you how to make Instant Jalebi in less than an hour! People like it for breakfast and people like it for dessert. Some like it hot and crispy, others prefer it soft and at room temperature. It can be either served with sweet rabdi or with cold sour yogurt. It’s tough to not pick one when you see a pile of Jalebi gleaming in golden syrup.
Jalebi is one of the most popular Indian sweets, and it is impossible to not like it. Every celebratory occasion in North of India calls for a box of Jalebi.
It is fairly easy to make and yes shaping those spirals for the first time might be difficult, but then it doesn't have to be perfect.
What matters is the texture!
Why this recipe will work
It's instant - Most Jalebi recipe will call for overnight fermentation of the batter. This Instant Jalebi recipe uses yeast, which makes the process very fast, and you will have warm Jalebi to enjoy in an hour.
Stays crispy even the next day - With the right quantity of the ingredients and accurate measurements, Jalebi will turn out crispy and will soak syrup, making it shine and juicy at every bite. This recipe is full proof, and I have been making Jalebi for several years now.
This Instant Jalebi recipe calls for yeast, and it takes about 30 minutes to ferment. On warm summer days, it might ferment even faster.
All purpose flour - Jalebi is always prepared with All Purpose Flour or Maida. I am sure it will also work with other variety flour, but not, so sure of the gluten free version as I didn't try.
Corn flour - The crispy texture in Jalebi comes from the small portion of the corn flour that goes in the batter.
Gram flour - Gram flour or chickpea flour again helps in the crispy texture and also adds a lovely taste to the Jalebi.
Ghee, clarified butter - Ghee adds flavor to jalebi. In India, there are famous sweet shops who are known for frying Jalebi in ghee. It not only tastes rich, but also smells amazing. I however, fry in oil.
Sugar - Sugar is needed to make the simple syrup where we dunk the fried Jalebi to soak up all that sweet syrup.
Yeast - The traditional way of making Jalebi is by adding yogurt to make the batter, and then it is left overnight to ferment. The instant version is by using yeast. If you don't want to add yeast, you can use yogurt too ad let it ferment overnight.
Orange food color, optional - I use Wilton Golden Yellow concentrated color paste, which gives that gorgeous golden color. If you don't add any color but use saffron while making the syrup, then the Jalebi will turn a mild yellow shade.
Spices - Cloves, cardamom and saffron is added while making the syrup. You don't have to use the spices while making batter.
Steps to make Instant Jalebi
- Activate the yeast in warm water with sugar.
- Add all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Add ghee to the dry ingredients and mix it around.
- Pour the activated yeast and mix.
- Whisk the batter to a very smooth consistency. There shouldn't be any lump at all.
- Add the food color and whisk again. Leave the bowl covered in a warm place for it to ferment.
- After 30 minutes, the batter should be fermented.
- Pour in pipping bags or squeeze bottles.
- Shape Jalebi in medium hot oil in a heavy bottom skillet and fry for few minutes each side.
- Take it off the pan to the warm syrup and toss it around. Don't leave Jalebi in syrup for more than 1 minute. It will make the Jalebi soggy.
Yeast will ferment the batter in less than 30 minutes. Traditionally, it is prepared using yogurt in the batter. If you use yogurt, you have to let the batter rest for overnight to ferment.
To avoid the sugar syrup from getting crystallize, add just few drops of sugar along with water when you start making syrup.
It shouldn't be too thick or else the fried Jalebi will not be able to soak the syrup. If the syrup is too thin, then the Jalebi will turn soggy. Cook the syrup for 5 minutes, turn it off but keep in the stove as you might need to warm a little when adding the fried Jalebi.
The temperature of the oil is crucial. If the oil is too hot, then as you start shaping, it will fry and separate from the dough. If the oil is not hot enough, then it will sit at the bottom of the pan and won't puff. Once you shape the spiral, it should puff almost instantly.
Once the Jalebi is fried, place it in warm syrup and leave for 15 seconds. Then flip and leave for 15 seconds. Don't leave Jalebi for more than 30 seconds or else it will turn soggy. Also, make sure the syrup is not hot. It should be very luke warm.
What equipments you need to make Jalebi?
You would need Plastic squeeze bottle, or you could use a pipping bag. You could also use just a zip log back and pour the batter in it, cut the tip and start shaping the Jalebi.
I do prefer the pipping bag as I am more comfortable shaping and can squeeze out every little amount of the batter, which I find difficult with the squeeze bottle.
Few points to keep in mind!
Temperature of the oil is crucial:
Let the oil be in medium hot when you start shaping the swirls in the oil.
If the oil gets too hot, then the batter will start to separate as you start squeezing the batter. If the oil is too cold, then the batter settle at the bottom of the pan and flatten out.
The consistency of the syrup shouldn't be too thick or too thin. Just simmer for 5 minutes and then cool it off.
If the syrup is too thin, then the crispy jalebi will soften when dunk in syrup. If the syrup is too thick, then the jalebi will not be able to soak it up.
The syrup shouldn't be hot when you drop the fried jalebi. It will get mushy if you drop in hot oil.
Don't let the fried jalebi stay too long in the syrup. Just dunk it, to coat it around and take it out. If you keep it in the syrup for too long, it will lose the crispy texture and get too mushy.
Although making Jalebi is tricky and chances are the first time you will not get any swirls (I surely didn't), but don't discard as it will still taste amazing. It's a famous Indian sweet and almost everybody falls in love with it. It's a famous Diwali treat and a must during any festive season.
Here are more Diwali Dessert ideas:
for Jalebi batter
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1½ tablespoon corn flour
- 1½ tablespoon gram flour
- 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- about 1 cup warm water
- orange food color (optional)
for the syrup:
- 1½ cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 3 cloves
- 2 green cardamom (crushed)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- pinch of saffron threads (optional)
- Mix 1 cup of warm water with sugar and yeast. Stir, cover and let it activate.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk all-purpose flour with corn flour, gram flour and salt. Pour ghee and give it a mix. You want to incorporate the ghee properly, so it's crumbly.
- Now, pour the activated yeast and start whisking. Finally, add the food color (optional) and give it one last whisk. Make sure there are no dry crumbs and the color is mixed evenly.
- Cover the bowl and let it ferment for 30 minutes. Do not shake or move the bowl. The batter is fermented when you see few bubbles on top. In the meantime, prepare the syrup.
- In a saucepan, add everything mentioned you need for the syrup and let it simmer in medium heat for about 5 minutes. We don't want the syrup to have any string consistency, but it shouldn't be too light either.
- To fry the Jalebi, heat enough oil in a flat saucepan. Keep the heat at medium heat. Now, using either a piping bag/zip lock bag or a squeeze bottle, start squeezing out the batter in hot oil making concentric circles. Do not overcrowd the pan.
- As you finish shaping one jalebi and move to the next one, the first one should already puff up!
- Fry until it's golden brown and crispy. It should take about 5 to 7 minutes. Once done frying, transfer it to the golden syrup and coat it all around. If the jalebi are too big, you can leave for about 30 second. Then, take it off and put it in a serving plate.
- Enjoy fresh warm jalebi.
- The batter can also be prepared without yeast. In that case, you have to add sour yogurt to prepare the batter and allow it to rest overnight for it to ferment.
- While frying the Jalebi, make sure the oil is at medium low or else the concentric circles will be very difficult to shape up. Also, please remember that making perfect Jalebi spiral is an art that comes with lots of practice.
- Don't leave the fried jalebi in the sugar syrup for more than 30 seconds. It will turn soggy otherwise.