March 26, 2017

Making jalebi from scratch

Making Jalebis - Indian sweet

I had an unusual request this week. Doing an Indian food demo for a class of undergraduate students learning about "Foods of Asia".

This was my first demo class ever and I was nervous. It was in a residence hall kitchen and the faculties are pretty spectacular. I chose to make - Chicken tikka masala, dal with dill and tomatoes and pulao.

I prepped and marinated the chicken before but other than that, we did the rest during the class. The students helped me chop the vegetables, stirred the dal and rice, and made the chicken tikka.

The funniest moment came when an Indian-American student in the class refused to eat dal saying he ate it every day growing up. I told him "that is what I do to my kids too. I hope they won't hate dal when they grew up."

It was a fun experience - interacting with the students, the professor and the graduate student. Tasting food with them and watching the interactions. Thank you for the opportunity.

Now I am interested in doing some cooking classes. Friends who have done it, will you give me some advice? What are some of the key lessons/tips?

Coming back to the recipe, it's one of the things I learned to make at home because the kids like it. Such a balance - making them eat what I want them to eat and what they want to eat.

Here is how I made it. I just searched the internet and used the recipe from the blog - Madura's kitchen.

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon corn flour
1/4 teaspoon lemon/lime juice
1/2 teaspoon eno or any other fruit salt
1 teaspoon yogurt
Oil to fry the jalebis
about 5-8 tablespoon water to make a thick pancake like batter

For syrup
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice (to keep the sugar from crystallizing)
pinch of cardamom power and some saffron strands

For the sugar syrup
Heat the water and sugar together till they get thick - one string consistency. Add in the cardamom and saffron and keep it warm.

Making Jalebis
Making Jalebis - Indian sweetMix the flour, corn flour and yogurt together. Now add the water and lemon juice to make a thick batter like consistency.

It's important to remember to add the eno/fruit salt at the very end. The batter will froth and will be ready for frying as soon as you add it.

Pour the batter into a ketchup bottle or something to pour it out in a consistent way into hot oil.

Heat oil in a wok or karhai. Then put the batter in concentric circles. Mine is smaller so I had to do one at a time, you can put more then one. It may look easy, but it is hard. Mine looked nowhere as good as hers.

Making Jalebis - Indian sweet

As the jalebi come out, dunk them quickly in the sugar syrup for a couple of minutes and take them out on a plate.

Eat warm and enjoy. Keep the extras (if they last that long) in an airtight container for 3-5 days.


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