Jalebi – An Indian Dessert

Here comes January. The time in my life where I sit down to write down the list of resolutions. I know they are hard to stick to for a long time yet I write it religiously every year. My impossible list of promises to self are piling up one over the other like a huge mountain without a peak.

2013 was year of highs and lows. I got pregnant early this year which was exciting as we were almost ready mentally, physically and financially for the fourth member in the family. My little sister was married in summer. I was thrilled to bits when she announced it. I couldn’t attend the wedding as planned. A bummer there. Then a month later my grandmother died. She was one of the best things that life has slapped on me. I was devastated when I heard the news. I couldn’t go for that as well. Then the baby arrived. My happiness can’t be explained in words. As a family we were super excited with the new addition; our little princess. She is a pretty looking baby who came with huge eyes and beautiful smile. I cannot thank God enough for bringing her into my life. Then spot on a week later my mom felt terribly sick. She was diagnosed with brain tumor. She was flown back to India within a week of diagnosis for the surgery. She is recovering slowly but steadily.


Days were flown by so fast. My little daughter is 2 months old now. The drama that unfolded on the night of November 6th still stays fresh in my mind. A 911 call. Then my mom’s stay at hospital. Her surgery in India. My brain froze and I was mentally exerted. I couldn’t really enjoy the arrival of my little angel as other things kept my mind pre-occupied. Still we braved through the days.

Despite all the drama, the holidays season was welcomed with the usual spirit by us. My little boy was super excited to do a lot of baking. So the days were filled with baking cookies, cakes and buns. He kept himself busy by placing spoonful of cookie dough on the sheets. I was busy placing one tray after the other in the oven. There was lots of sweet things to keep us happy and satisfied.

With those sweet things in my home, I would like to wish all my readers a very happy and prosperous New Year! May this year be filled with lots of yummy food and good health.

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Even though we ate so much of pastries, cakes, muffins and cookies, to me nothing beats the taste of the Indian sweets. They are the ones that scream celebration to me. So in true desi style, we kicked off the new year with a famous Indian dessert called Jalebi. I followed Indian Simmer’s recipe and they work like a charm. It’s a simple, fool proof recipe. This dish is sure wow your guests.


Recipe Source: Indian Simmer (recipe below is obtained from Indian Simmer)

Yields: 8-10 Jalebis


For the jalabi batter:
1 cup all purpose flour
2 ½ tablespoon rice flour
1 teaspoon yeast or 3 tablespoon sour yogurt
1 teaspoon turmeric

For sugar syrup:
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
½ teaspoon rose water (optional)

Oil (for deep frying)


For the batter:

  1. In 2-3 tablespoon hot water dissolve yeast. Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Now combine flour and spices in a large mixing bowl. Add yeast and adding water, little at a time make a thick batter. Cover and let it ferment for an 1-2 hours.
  3. If using yogurt instead of yeast then repeat the same process just the batter would be thinner in this case. Exactly like a pancake batter. Cover and ferment for 6-8 hours or overnight.
  4. In the meantime make a one strand sugar syrup cooking sugar and water for 15-20 minutes on medium heat.
  5. After fermentation the batter should be light and flowy. Add extra water if needed.

To fry:

  1. Heat oil for deep frying. Using a funnel, piping bag (with tip number 12), a Ziploc bag (cut a small opening), a jalebi maker of a plastic ketchup bottle with a nizzle like opening, pipe the batter into the oil in circular motion.
  2. Fry until the jalebi is golden on both sides. Take it out of the fryer and drop into the hot syrup for 5-7 seconds. Strain the extra syrup out and take the jalebis out.
  3. Serve with yogurt, rabdi or just as it is.

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  1. Vinitha.. happy new year to you… Hope your mom feels better soon..
    The jalebi’s look crispy n delicious…

  2. Am sorry to hear about your grandma’s loss and your Mom’s health. Hope she recovers quickly and is back to play with her two adorable grand kids. I am so surprised how you managed all this at the same time. You are really brave Viji. Happy New Year. May this year bring lots of joy and peace in your family.

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