For this month's Indian Cooking Challenge, I was very late to decide on a dish. It was so late that I hit on the first recipe that was on my draft. I am not sure where I got this recipe, it's been in my filing for a long time. So it was a big risk that I was taking in suggesting to the team.
As always I had decided on an off Saturday to venture into this but totally forgot to mix the batter and allow it to ferment. So I ended up mixing the batter in the morning and let it ferment through the day. Knowing our climate, I was sure it will all get fermented. We had earlier made Jangiri. Athamma was recollecting how her neighbor used to make these Jalebis. Then my grandmom walked in and said that my grandpa used to make Jalebi. I was always told how well he used to cook, especially the traditional sweets and savories, I actually he was around to get the recipe.
Thinking of Jalebi, remind me of another incident. For our wedding reception, Daddy arranged for hot Jalebi with Vanilla ice cream, a combination that wasn't so famous 12 years ago. Daddy is always known for his style and way of doing things and this went on to become another of the doctor's well known acts. I can still remember the rush the dessert section had. We ran short of this even after he had planned for twice that number. We came to know that many went for the second and third helping of the Jalebi. That was exactly what I was remembering when I took one bite of this Jalebi I made. No wonder, there is something remarkably addictive when you bite into a hot Jalebi, tart and sweet and full of sugary juice that gushes out.
I had doubled the amount of flour I used and later seeing that I wasn't getting crispy jalebis, I added more cornstarch as I went on. I must have added about 3 - 4 regular ladles full of the cornstarch which might equal one more cup approx.
Add curds, cornflour to the flour
Add the hot oil
Followed by food colour
Combine everything well.
Make sure there are no lumps
This was the consistency I got after fermentation. As I have mentioned it was too thin, so I added more cornflour and made it thick.
This consistency was right!
For the Jalebi batter
All purpose flour / Maida - 200 gms
Curds/ Yoghurt - 2 cups
Lime Juice - 2 tsp
Cornstarch / Cornflour - 150 gms apprx*
Hot oil - 2 tbsp
Food colour - orange / saffron / yellow
pinch of salt
For the Sugar Syrup
Sugar - 2 cups
Lime juice - 1 tsp
Water - Just enough to cover the sugar and melt.
Oil for deep frying
How to make Jalebi
The recipe asks you to ferment the batter overnight. I completely forgot and mixed the batter at 10 am and left it to ferment till 4 pm.
In a bowl, take the flour, add salt, then add in the curds, whisk well. Then add lime juice, cornstarch, saffron colour, and finally the hot oil. Mix everything well together and make sure there are no lumps. The batter needs to be thick.
I mistook and made the batter a little thin, so I had to add more starch to thicken the batter.
Once this is done, set it aside to ferment.
To make the Sugar Syrup
When the batter is all ready, get the sugar syrup ready. Take a pan with sugar, add just enough water to cover all the sugar. Keep stirring so that the sugar melts. Strain if required. Add line juice to avoid sugar crystallization. But few did after a few days.
Then again cook till you get a syrupy consistency. Keep it warm.
Making the Jalebis.
Heat oil in a Kadai. It is advised that once oil hot, you reduce to medium-low flame. But I saw that my Jalebis were getting soggy when I do that.
Spoon batter into a piping bag/zip lock bag or even your milk/ any thick plastic cover. Cut a tiny hole at one end, pipe the batter into the hot oil.
Fry till it's crisp and starts changing color. This took about just a couple of seconds for me, I had to be really quick with piping and turning the jalebis.
Flip and cook on both sides. Once done, drop the hot jalebis into the warm sugar syrup.
Done dunk them for long, flip on both sides and remove with a slotted spoon.
This is best served hot/warm.