By Foodism Team
If you are into our blogs, you already know this- Jalebi- which is the national sweet dish of India is not really Indian, it was in fact brought to medieval India by Turkish invaders.
Let’s take a quick recap of this Indian national sweet!
The earliest mention of jalebi, or Zulbiya (the Persian name for jalebi) dates back to the 10th century. The first account of this dessert was when an ancient Persian cookbook, ‘Kitab-al-Tabeekh’ authored by Muhammad bin Hasan al-Baghdadi, mentioned the recipe of this dish.
In Iran, jalebi, aka Zulbiya, was traditionally offered to the paupers during Ramadan. In modern-day Iran, Zulbiya is an indispensable dessert during Nowruz. There’s a slight difference between Zulbiya and Jalebi, while Zulbiya has an asymmetric floral coil pattern Jalebi has circular coils. The Middle-Eastern recipe endorses the usage of honey and rose water syrup whereas in India it is filled with the usual sugar syrup. So when did we decide which is the national sweet dish of India?
India Adopts the Jalebi
According to Hobson-Jobson, a glossary of Anglo-Indian terms, the word jalebi is derived from Zulbiya, the recipe of which was introduced to medieval India.
India adapted Zulbiya as a part of its cuisine by the 15th century which was known as Kundalika or Jalavallika at that time, so much so that every special occasion like weddings or primaeval festivities had jalebi on their menus.
Jalebi has got variants across the country. Some of which are: Jalena, Imarti, Jangiri, Chanar Jalapi and many more!
Now that we are all caught on, let’s jump on to how to make this national sweet dish of India!
Crisp and thin jalebi can be made by using the traditional method only. There are no other tricks to make a crispy jalebi.
- Use only curd with flour to ferment the batter.
- Keep the batter at room temperature or in a warm place for good fermentation.
- Try to use a jalebi cloth to pipe the batter.
- Keep the temperature of oil or ghee to low to fry the jalebi.
- Fry them till crisp golden on both sides equally.
- Drain any excess oil or ghee from the jalebi and then dip into a light sugar syrup.
Jalebi is often served with a glass of hot milk or topped with some rabdi which is more popular. It is such a delicious dish that you usually don't need anything as a side dish to serve it. It can be served, warm or hot or at room temperature!
How to make jalebi at home
It is one of the simple dessert recipes that require very few ingredients maida, curd, sugar and ghee only.
You can also make Instant Jalebi!
In the instant jalebi making method, you won't get the perfect flavour and crispness of jalebi. It only gives you the shape and syrupy taste.
- Instant jalebi recipe can be made with ENO.
- For that, you need to make a thick batter by mixing maida, curd and water.
- Add a few drops of vinegar and a pinch of ENO.
- And knead or whisk everything together to make a thick free flowing batter.
- Now add this batter in a sauce or piping bottle or in a jalebi cloth to proceed further to make the jalebi.
Steps to make the traditional recipe
1. As we are making jalebi with fermented batter, so first prepare the batter to ferment it.
2. Take maida in a mixing bowl and add the curd.
3. Mix them and pour water slowly to make a rough thick batter. After fermentation, the batter automatically becomes soft and smooth.
4. Foil the bowl and keep it at a warm place or room temperature for 10 - 12 hours.
5. After the said time you can notice that some bubbles appear over the batter. These are the sign that the batter has fermented. Sometimes the batter may come out from the bowl.
6. Now whisk the fermented batter nicely for 2 minutes to make it smooth.
7. If the batter looks thin then add some flour to make it a little bit thick. Keep the batter aside
Making sugar syrup
1. Take the sugar and water in a pot and heat over a medium flame fire. Stir continuously till the sugar melts.
2. Cook the sugar syrup till it becomes thick and attains one string consistency.
3. You can check by removing one teaspoon of sugar syrup and placing one drop between the index finger and thumb. Move your finger away from each other and it should form a single thread.
4. Mix cardamom powder and a drop orange colour, remove the sugar syrup in a container.
Making the jalebi
1. Heat ghee or oil in a flat pan or Kadai over medium flame heat. You can mix ghee with oil as well.
2. If using a sauce bottle then transfer the batter into it.
And if using a jalebi cloth then place the cloth over a bowl and pour the batter over it. Bring the edges to the centre and close gripping by the palm of the hand.
3. Squeeze the batter in hot oil making a spiral motion from inside to outside.
4. Fry the Jalebi from both sides until golden brown.
5. Take them out and put it in sugar syrup and put a little pressure on it.
Repeat the process and you will have beautiful golden brown traditional Jalebi on your plate!