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Jalebi Indian Funnel Cake Recipe

Made of All Purpose flour yogurt and baking soda immersed in a simple syrup

While, Funnel cakes are a standard faire at State and County Fairs in United States, Jalebi is just another popular dessert in North India. Jalebi originated in Arabia, where it was called Zalabia. It was brought to India during Moghul Empire.

This was a prepared daily by every Halwaii. Everyone had their own signature style. Some made them thin and crunchy, while others made them thick gooey and large. During holidays, they would add tiny amounts of food color to the Jalebi and immerse them in saffron colored syrup. The fun part is to make symbols with the batter. One of the Halwaii in our village used to draw up "Om" a holy symbol during holidays. I guess you could draw your initials for birthdays. I will start with a simple traditional recipe and then in the notes give you what else can be done with the recipe.  Warm Jalebi goes well with a cup of Garam Chai, just after a monsoon rain shower.
You can make various fruit Jalebi. Most appropriate fruits are Guava, Pear, Apple and Plantain.

 

Ingredients

Jalebi Batter
1. Maida (All purpose flour): 1 Cup
2. Dahi (Yogurt):  Cup
3. Baking Soda: teaspoon

Syrup
1. Sugar: 1 Cup
2. Water: 1 Cup

 

Method
1. Jalebi batter

Mix flour and yogurt to a paste. Let it sit and ferment overnight. It works better with a day old sour Dahi. Add enough water to make it a pour-able paste, it should be neither thick, nor runny. After the fermentation is finished, just before frying, stir in baking soda.

2. Syrup

In a heavy bottom pan, combine sugar and water. Heat to a boil. Keep cooking another 20 minutes and you should have a single thread consistency sugar syrup.
3. Set your deep fryer to 375 F. Get a pastry bag with an " opening. Put your batter in the pastry bag. Gradually swirl the batter outward in a circular motion, or criss-cross about 2" to 3" round. Let it cook till lightly golden brown. You do not want to over cook it. Get your tongs and turn Jalebi over so that both sides are lightly golden brown. Remove Jalebi from the fryer and dip it in the warm syrup and remove.

Notes
Jalebi Color If you want to add color to Jalebi, add two drops of yellow food color and one drop of red food color in Step 1 before fermentation.
Apple Jalebi: Skin and core apples. Slice them about " thick. Dip in Jalebi batter, deep fry both sides and dip in syrup.
Plantain Jalebi  Slice them about " thick. Dip in Jalebi batter, deep fry both sides and dip in syrup.
Syrup flavor: Chose one of the three flavors; teaspoon of ground cardamom, Kewra water (2 teaspoon) or Rose water (2 teaspoon). Don't mix flavors, just chose one. Add the flavoring after the syrup is ready, just before dipping the Jalebi.
Serving like Funnel cakes: Add 1 Tablespoon of sugar for each cup of flour in Step one. After the Jalebi is fried, do NOT dip them in syrup. Place the Jalebi on paper towels to absorb frying oil. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve warm.
Making Jalebi batter like Funnel cake batter : 3 eggs beaten, 2 Cups milk, cup sugar, 4 Cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, teaspoon salt. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another bowl. Transfer dry ingredients to wet bowl slowly adding and mixing. This batter does not need to be fermented. This replaces Step 1.

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