Monday, June 27, 2011
Whether I shall bake a cake or just have a payasam and a quiet day...was the contemplation I had three days ago. Being my husband's Hindu calendar birthday (the star of his birth - date), I wanted to do something extra. Thus the above contemplation. Then all of a sudden he suggested how would it be to make jalebis! I would do with the GITS ready mix pack, I thought. Then as I was looking up for something else, I came across this recipe in Samaiththu paar book. That tempted me to make it with the ingredients from my pantry, not from a box of ready to make!
I would love to try the jangiri too, but I have to wait to bring a good quality urad dhal from home for that.
Jalebis are different from jangiris in all senses but for the frying and the soaking in sugar syrup.
Traditionally, according to the book and another book, they are done with the aid of the coconut shells to drop the batter in the fat for frying. I had to use the modern aid of a plastic sauce bottle fitted with a nozzle in the lid that came with the Gits pack that I purchased long time ago.
Also, the jangiris are best done soon as you grind the dhal to a batter, while the jalebis are made with a batter fermented overnight in yoghurt.
Now, without further rattling, I shall share the recipe.
I made a dozen jalebis with the recipe I have shared below. In fact, you should get a bit more pieces for this quantity. I was using up more batter for each and hence the numbers were less.
200ml/3/4 cups (tightly packed and heaped) All purpose flour
350 grams/1&1/2 cup (level) sugar
1 tablespoon raw urad dhal powder (or soak 2 tablespoons urad dhal and grind to a smooth paste)
2 teaspoons rice flour
125ml/ quarter of a cup +1 tablespoon yoghurt (this can be replaced by 4 tablespoons cooking oil)
1 pinch of salt
1 tiny pinch of yellow food colour
Oil/ghee for deep frying
Few strands of saffron
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
2 drops of rose essence (optional)
Mix the salt, food colour, all purpose flour and the yoghurt/oil. Add sufficient water and mix to a medium thick batter. The consistency of dosa batter is optimum.
Close with a lid and leave it overnight.
Next day, prepare the sugar syrup by measuring equal volume of water as the sugar and dissolving the sugar and boiling for about 8 to 10 minutes.
The sugar syrup will be of a very thin string consistency, slightly thicker than that for gulab jamuns.
If held between the forefinger and the thumb, the syrup will feel sticky and if the fingers are pulled apart the thin string will form and break quickly. That is the correct consistency.
Add the essence, saffron and the cardamom powder to the syrup.
Now add the powdered urad dhal (or the paste if you chose to soak and grind) and the rice flour to the batter and mix well.
Fill the plastic sauce bottle with the batter. You may use a thick plastic bag with a small slit in the sharp corner like a cone to press the batter into the fat.
It is best to use a heavy bottomed slightly shallow pan (I use the non stick skillet) to deep fry the jalebis. Deep pans do not work well. The frying jalebis may clog towards the centre in such a pan.
Heat the ghee or oil in the pan. Once it is hot but not smoking, reduce the heat to medium.
Now holding the batter filled press above the oil, gently press the batter out through the nozzle in to the fat. Turn your arms in a circular motion thrice while pressing the batter to form circular shapes. Then run it across over the circles and end it there. Press two or three more as much as the pan will hold.
Allow them to fry for a few minutes, turn them over in the oil to cook on the other side. Remove from the oil with a slotted ladle and gently slide them in the warm syrup.
Allow these to soak in the syrup and absorb the syrup a little bit.
Meanwhile you can proceed with the next batch to be pressed into the oil.
Transfer the jalebis that have been soaking in the syrup to another plate, and leave the fresh batch in the syrup to soak.
As the syrup cools, it might thicken a bit and not soak the jalebis. Return the syrup to the stove and simmer on a low heat until the consistency is achieved. This will not happen when you are making small quantities as this recipe. However, when you intend to make a larger batch, this tip may come handy.
Proceed until all of the batter is used up.
These will absorb enough syrup and the texture will be juicy. Hence you will not have much of the syrup remaining and wasted. The oil though will be left over a bit.
The procedure may seem very difficult and the pressing and turning simultaneously needs a bit of practice. But the jalebis are sure to be a thoroughly enjoyable treat.
On a high note this post happens to be my 250th as the numbers show. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable culinary journey which has been made possible by readers and friends though the blog.
Thank you one and all for making it a beautiful and learning experience thus far and hope to continue in the same manner.
Thank you once again.