Thin and crispy jalebis are everyone’s undoing. Make them at home now with easy step by step instructions that’ll give you the best homemade jalebis every single time. Perfect for festivals like Diwali and Holi when you want a feast that doesn’t take ages to make.
- 1/4 cup + 1/2 cup of Flour (divided)
- 2 tablespoon Curd
- 2 tablespoon + 1/4 cup Water (divided)
- 2 cups Sugar
- 2 Cups Water
- 3 tablespoons Milk (to clean the syrup)
- 12–15 strands of Saffron
- 2 tablespoons warm Milk to soak the saffron
Ghee (preferably) or Oil to fry
- Levain: Whisk together 1/4 cup flour with 2 tablespoons each of curd and water. Pour the paste into a screw top bottle or container and leave in a warm, dry place overnight or even up to 2 days depending upon the weather. When ready, you will see small bubbles forming on the surface due to fermentation. This is the levain for the jalebis.
- Sugar Syrup: Heat sugar and water together, stirring occasionally till the sugar dissolves. Add 3 tablespoons milk and the lime wedges to this and let it boil for a couple of minutes. You will see that the milk curdles and all the impurities in the sugar will get entangled in this scum. Collect this, along with the lime wedges with a slotted spoon and discard to clean the sugar syrup. Let simmer on low till the syrup attains one string consistency. Add saffron to two tablespoons warm milk and let it soak for a few minutes. Rub it with a spoon to release the flavor and color and add it to the ready syrup. Keep the syrup warm on low heat. You can add a few teaspoons of water later if you need to thin out the syrup again.
- Batter: Whisk 3 tablespoons of the levain with 1/4 cup of plain flour and 1/4-1/2 cup of water till smooth. This batter should be of dropping consistency, neither runny nor too thick. Fill this batter into a squeezy bottle (like the one shown in the video), screw the top and leave for about 10 minutes.
- Frying Jalebis: Heat ghee or oil in a flat bottomed shallow pan. To test if the ghee is ready for frying, squeeze out a drop of the batter in to the pan, if it comes up at once, then the ghee is ready to fry the Jalebis. Hold the bottle a few inches over the hot ghee and pipe out small concentric circles or spirals straight into the pan. You may make as many Jalebis as would fit into the pan, without touching each other. Once you finish piping, lower the heat to medium and fry the Jalebis, turning once or twice in between, till golden on both sides.
- Soaking in sugar syrup: Lift the Jalebis out of the ghee with a slotted spoon, draining out any excess ghee and put them straight into the warm sugar syrup, pressing them gently into the syrup to soak it up. Lift them out of the syrup after half a minute and serve immediately.
- Levain: The remaining levain can be refrigerated and used again by adding more flour and water to it. Think of it as a starter. It lasts in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Ghee vs Oil for frying: Ghee is the traditional ingredient to fry jalebis and gives it an authentic taste. But if you want, you can use a neutral flavoured vegetable oil to fry these.
- Colour: You may add food grade yellow color to the sugar syrup while boiling it if you want a bright yellow colour. But we recommend sticking to saffron, which adds a gorgeous colour and natural golden colour.
- Pouring the batter: Jalebis are traditionally made with a mold made with several layers of cloth stitched together and a small hole cut in the middle for dropping the batter into the hot ghee. This takes skill and practice, which is why we use a squeezy bottle instead.