|photo by Rohit Matto on flicker|
CELEBRATING DIWALI WITH SWEETS
When we were kids my grandmother used make lovely jalebi's. We always used to help her out making them. Of course we used to get only one task! Dipping the jalebi's in the sugar syrup :)
I distinctly remember the festive mood there used to be when preparing for the jalebi. The batter was always prepared the previous evening.
Flour mixed with something (those days you hardly pay attention to the ingredients when everything is cooked and served ready for you! golden days !!) and covered with lemon halves of which the juice was already in the batter.
I still don't know why those squeezed out lemon halves were placed on top of the batter and covered with a lid. May be for the essence of lemon. Anyway i tried it and it worked fine.
So after all these years here is my first tryst with the jalebi making. i was really happy when it turned out so nice. Hmmm. not bad!
All purpose flour (maida) -- 1 cup
Yogurt (curd) -- 3/4 cup
Lemon juice -- of 1 lemon (small)
Sugar -- 1 1/4 cup
Saffron -- few strands (optional)
Oil/ghee -- for deep frying
Sieve flour and keep aside.
Mix curd with 1/4 cup water and add it to the flour slowly mixing it to form a thick batter. The batter should be thick, freely flowing when dropped from a spoon gradually. Getting the right consistency is the main trick here.
Now squeeze in the lemon juice and mix it nicely. Keep the lemon haleves on top of the batter and keep it covered. Leave it for fermentation overnight. (In warm weather around 12-14 hours)
Start with the sugar syrup.
Mix the sugar with enough water to dissolve it. Its more work if you add too much of water and also waste of energy as you have to evaporate the excess water. So add only as much as required. (i added enough to immerse it and a little more to completely dissolve it.)
Once the sugar is dissolved, add the saffron strands and boil it slowly until it becomes thick. You need not get one thread consistency but a little less than that.
When the sugar syrup becomes thick and the sides of the pan at the edge of the syrup starts becoming sticky and bubbly (i am giving a rough idea) turn off the heat. Keep the syrup aside.
I used a ketchup dispenser to make jalebi. Discard the lemons. Mix the batter nicely and fill the bottles with it.
Heat ghee or oil in a wide frying pan. Once it is hot lower the heat and fry jalebis on low flame. Fry them until both sides are light golden brown. Once done immediately dip them in the sugar syrup.
I know this part very well :)! It has to be done immediately after the jalebi comes out of the frying pan. Keep them in syrup for a minute and Take it out.
Jalebi is ready to serve