Jalebi Spiral Doughnut, also popularly recognized as the national sweet of India, has its earliest reference in India, in a Jain manuscript Priyamkarnrpakatha written by Jinasura in 1450 AD, The traditional name for Jalebi was Jal-Vallika meaning “dipped in water”, which in later dialects in India became Jalebi, Jalepi , Jilabi and so on. In Sanskrit it was also alternatively known as Kundalika, which means coiled rope, circle, which is how the shape of this jalebi spiral doughnut. Personally, it reminds me of two things, one is the ripple effect of stone thrown in water, and secondly it reminds me of the countless galaxies that exist in our universe! It so nice to see nature reflected in our daily food and day to day activities!!
The current recipe for making Jalebi, is still very similar to what has been documented in 17th-century classic Bhojan-kutuhala by Raghunath. All these evidences clearly give more weight to the theory that this is an Indian Sweet as compared to some claims that it originated from Persia, where it was known as Zelbia or Zoolabiya. The Persian trade route would have definitely made the travelers excited in their talks about this aphrodasiac dessert which is prominent dessert at weddings and also for major national celebrations and holidays. The fact that Jalebi it was mentioned in the manuscript with the name Priyam, makes me think it was aptly made by the rich merchants to please their guests! And boy it pleases so many across the world, as it is found in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Persia, Iran, Africa, Egypt, Turkey, and even Israel. And it seems in the USA, a Syrian used it to make ice cream cones, till the current ice cream cones were made.
In Gujarat, traditional celebrations of Dusshera is done with jalebi and gathiya, and I have an extreme liking for jalebi. Hence, I had to try it out for Dusherra. So I opted to trying out the Gits Instant Jalebi Mix using a cookie decorating nozzle. The result was very satisfying as I was able to get a great shape, that held even after hours, the right texture that was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the color was the shining golden! Next time I will try to use a different nozzle, so that the thickness is a bit more. I have to admire that the Gits Instant Mix are often my source for instant and reliable recipes and for which I have also blogged earlier for making Idlis, Dhoklas, Handvo and now even desserts.
Jalebi Spiral Doughnut has an enticing shape, a firm texture, inviting color and fragrance. It becomes simple to make with an instant mix, and it would be not surprising if Jalebi, can also be one of the easiest fried donut recipes. Even if the shape is not totally perfect, it does not matter, as one cannot go wrong with this fried dough dipped in saffron sugar syrup! Enjoy these lovely swirls of delicious sweetness as we get closer to the festival of Diwali!!
Recipe makes about 25-30 2inch wide Jalebis
Cooking Time : 30 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
- 1 pack of Instant Jalebi Mix
- Oil for frying
- Icing bag, nozzle or ketchup bottle for making jalebi.(In India, the Gits Packet includes the bottle too!)
- 2 cups sugar
- 11/4 cup of water
- saffron strands
- few drops of lemon
- 1 tbsp of milk(optional)
Cooking the sugar syrup:
- Mix the sugar and water and bring to boil.
- Boil vigorously about after 8-10 minutes.
- Add 1 tbsp milk and a few drops of lemon, to clear the water.
- Remove the froth with a slotted spoon to make the sugar syrup clear of dirt.
- Add saffron strands to the water and keep it lukewarm, ready to be dipped.
- The consistency of sugar syrup or chasni should be for one string.
- Make the sugar syrup first, before making the Jalebi.
Making the Jalebis
- Mix the ingredients for the pack with 190 ml of water plus 6 1/2 tbsp of water.
- Whisk the mix thoroughly with hands.
- Continue mixing till it is an extremely smooth paste.
- Put the oil to heat on a medium flame
- Pour the mix into a icing bag or a ketchup bootle. I used a Kuhn Rikon cookie decorating bottle with nozzle#1
- Make swirls into the oil on a low heat. The swirls will hold shape and rotate on its own, when the oil temperature is appropriate.
- Cook for a a minute or so and flip over with a slotted spoon. Alternatively you can use tongs too.
- Cook the other side for a minute and a half and remove and instantly drop it into the sugar syrup. The color should be light pink, as the above image does not give the indication of the cooked jalebi color.
- Ensure that the sugar syrup is always lukewarm, so keep it on a low heat continuously.
- Press the inserted Jalebis so that they soak up the sugar syrup.
- Remove from the syrup after a minute or so and serve.
- After 10 minutes, on cooling, can be stored in an airtight container.
- Enjoy them hot, cold, with milk rabri, or just as plain simple snack and sugar shot!
For Vegan recipes, milk can be avoided in the sugar syrup, as it is mainly used as a cleanser. To get a better control of the shape keep the nozzle close to the oil so that you can go with the flow of the rotating swirls.Do not overcook, the jalebi as that will make them brown in color and also stiff.
A delay in the transfer to sugar syrup will yield it not evenly colored, as well as it will entail crystallizing of sugar on the top. Frying in oil is more preferable to hold the texture, as compared to frying in ghee, though folks in Rajasthan and some other parts, fry only in ghee!
Using a nozzle was an instinct based, as was to figuring out how to swirl! Try topping it with cinnamon powder to create a new flavor.The sugar syrup can also have additions of rose water and cardamom powder for extra flavor.
A sense of joyful accomplishment on savoring Jalebi Spiral Doughnut, a childhood favorite dessert of mine, specially from my hometown Rajkot, where it is savored with fafda ghatiyas. I distinctly remember watching in awe some of the kandoi making these delicious savories and snacks and in my wildest dream I did not think I will be doing this one day! The taste was great, the look was sharp and the texture was firm as I liked it!!! By making this, I surely was happy I celebrated Dusshera in its true sense and the joy of sharing these sweets with friends and family made it even better! Happy Dusherra though belated one, to all my readers!!
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