Jalebi Recipe & Announcing #IndianFoodPalooza

I was putting her to bed and as usual she says Maa, kahani (Mom, story). My already tiny, box of stories was almost empty this time. I couldn’t think of any new friendly dragon or a lion king’s story. But then somehow I ended up telling her about this bus ride I would take with my Papa as a kid. We would go visit my grand mother who lived in another city, a few hour drive away. The bus would go through a jungle, over the mountain, across two rivers and would pass a hanuman temple. I would always looks for real monkeys outside of the temple, but could never see one. It looked like she was starting to like the story, her eyes can tell everything very easily. And then those eyes widened a little more when I told her about this bus stop and the mithai shops (sweet shops) around it. Jalebi? She asked, when I told her about the several sweets in those mithai shops. Maa, I like Jalebi. You never make jalebi, she complained. I think you should make it one day, she suggested. I will, I promised. Pakka (sure), she asked. Yes, I smiled and carried on with the bus ride and jungle.


But after that conversation only a heartless or a fool would wake up next morning and not make jalebis! I had different plans for my first recipe, kick starting this Indian food event Indian Food Palooza but plans are meant to change, right? I had never made jalebi before in my life and although these crunchy little sweet treats were greatly missed after moving to the US, they always intimidated me. But then I thought if I really wanted to have you get out of your comfort zone and try cooking Indian food, then I should get over my intimidation too. So I made some jalebis for my little monster and also for this fun event that today I am starting with two very dear friends of mine and Indian food enthusiasts Kathy and Barbara. Well, the jalebis did not turn out to be the prettiest ones but they sure were crispy, light, sweet and absolutely nostalgic!


The day I announced my book, I, Kathy and Barbara were chatting on twitter. Somehow the conversation turned to Indian food and how some people find it a little intimidating. And then somehow we got this crazy idea for an event where we could motivate people to cook some Indian food and learn a few things about it and maybe along the way can teach us a thing or two as well. And the next thing we know, we were planning Indian Food Palooza (credit for the name goes to Barbara by the way!). Some friends were gracious enough to giveaway some prizes too.


We are very happy to announce a month long event Indian Food Palooza,  celebrating Indian food and cooks like you. We would love for you to join us and cook some Indian food this month. Whether you are experienced with cooking Indian cuisine or a little new to it, we encourage you to try something this month and let us know about it. Towards the end of this post I have listed out how you can join us with this event and also the details for some fabulous giveaways we have for you. But before that how about you take a look at the recipe for jalebi?


Recipe in detail:

INGREDIENTS: Makes about 8-10 jalebis
1 cup all purpose flour
2 ½ tablespoon rice flour
1 teaspoon yeast or 3 tablespoon sour yogurt
¼ teaspoon saffron
¼ teaspoon turmeric
For Sugar Syrup-
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
½ teaspoon rose water (optional)
Oil (for deep frying)

METHOD:In 2-3 tablespoon hot water dissolve yeast. Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes.
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.
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.
In the meantime make a one strand sugar syrup cooking sugar and water for 15-20 minutes on medium heat.
After fermentation the batter should be light and flowy. Add extra water if needed.
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.
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. Serve with yogurt, rabdi or just as it is.

To be eligible to win a prize you must:

  • Post an Indian dish on your blog between March 1, 2012 and March 31, 2012.
  • Link your dish up using the linking tool at the bottom of the post; only one entry per person please. Entering your dish on any of our sites will have it display on all three.
  • Put a link in your post to this post so that your readers can join us too!
  • Prize winners will be chosen and winners notified March 31, 2012 using the email included on the link created. Winners will have until April 4, 2012 to respond with shipping information or another winner will be chosen.

Please note:  We want to encourage everyone to join us and share their experience but our
sponsors are shipping prizes directly and have requested that we limit the shipping area to the
Continental USA.
Prizes to be awarded include:

My other two partners in crime:
Kathy of The Colors of Indian Cooking is making Aviyal
Barbara of Creative Culinary is making Mumbai Sandwich

Some other useful links which might help you with Indian cooking.
KO Rasoi by Sanjana
Chef In You
eCurry by Soma Rathore
Journey Kitchen by Kulsum
Cook In a Curry by Maunika Gowardhan
Tongue Ticklers by Harini Prakash
Lite Bite by Sanjeeta
Veggie Belly by Sala Kanan
Kothiyavunu which is a great source for Kerala recipes
Sandhyas Kitchen
Cookbooks by Suvir Saran and Madhur Jaffery



  1. “Remember that Bengali households still are known for their amazing food culture and this fact is known world-wide 🙂

    tanSEN was bengali my dear friend, so were a lot of other people! want to see the entire list as it stands today? so was subash chandra bose and sri aurobindo :)

    and i can name a million others and i am proud to say our greateness can be exerted beyond our national borders.
we are the fifth largest speakers!

    we bengalis have won pretty much every award in the world stage
you name it we have it and we are damn proud of what we have :)
its the only country in the world which took rebellion because it couldn’t speak its mother tongue and it won! and won so hard that the UN had to adopt that day as the international language day, which celebrates languages from all over the world.

    its the only country in the world which took rebellion because it couldn’t speak its mother tongue and it won! and won so hard that the UN had to adopt that day as the international language day, which celebrates languages from all over the world.

    did you know that the FAMOUS SEARS TOWER is architectured by another bengali?”

    MBA (IMT Ghaziabad)
    Bengaluru, Karnataka

  2. Hello,
    We love your recipes, especially when its on Jalebi.
    These are so delicious.
    I have always looked at your blog for the various pictures and the way you write.Just Love it!
    You have shared some nice information about Jalebi in this post.
    The points you mentioned are genuine and perfect.
    The content completely describes about the topic you wanted to portray with us.
    Thanks for sharing such valuable post.

    VentairIndia Team

  3. These look absolutely fantastic! I love jalebis! I wish I had the skill to make them! For now, I will continue to enjoy those made by my favourite Indian restaurant. Mmmmm Yours look mouth-watering! 🙂

  4. Hi Prerna,
    Thanks for declaring the winners of Indianfoodpalooza. I’m a newbie blogger and this is my first time to win anything via food blogs. It was fun participating in this event. My husband started complaining that I cook for participating in Indianfoodpalooza cos after preparing something I would make it wait till it was photographed and link it to your event site. Once again thanks to you, kathy and barbara for hosting this fun event. Congratulations to all the winners and better luck next time for all the participants. All the submitted recipes were amazing 🙂 Happy Blogging folks!
    Cheryl @ Kitchenkemistry

  5. Hi Prerna! I just added my entry! Thanks for hosting the Indian Food Palooza! You’ve inspired me to start blogging about Indian food again! Cheers! ~Katherine (“Bombay Blonde”)

  6. These look beautiful and I’m sure they are. They look crunchy, which I like, and sweet, which I read. I’m ready to give this a try.

  7. These jalebis look amazing! Garam jalebis with some cold rabdi, I am in heaven.
    I would love to participate in this wonderful event. Head back home in a week, after a vacation. Will start working on an interesting recipe. Excited and looking forward to it.

  8. hey Sweety, I think these jalebis look and taste great but I think adding turmeric to jalebis gives a totally different flavor, I keep it at the minimum to jalebi coloring available at indian stores and also omit the yeast and rice flour, as I normally keep the dough mixed with water and yogurt and leave it in the fridge overnight or two to let it become slightly sour, but I guess we all do what we feel is right, not judging anyone but suggesting only, maybe i should try your method and see that turns… I read your blog always… hugs and be well lovie….

  9. These look beautiful, perfect especially in milk. I have never had them with milk nor tried making my own. So intimidated by the whole process, really need to try making them 🙂 Thnx for the inspiration!

  10. Hi Prerna, I am new to your blog. You have a lovely space…loved your bed time story…and the jalebis look awesome, wouldn’t have guessed that they are your first attempt…:-)

  11. Beautiful post ! The best stories we can pass on to our kids is our own childhood. Sometimes I feel sorry that our kids miss so many wonderful things that we used to enjoy as kids.But then they get lot many other great things we never even imagined !
    I could never get jalebis perfect too. But who cares as long as they taste great 🙂

  12. Jalebis dripping all over the recipe, literally, going by the photograph bearing the recipe.:) Delicious! So far I have only been fed jalebis by my Rajasthani neighbour, M Aunty. Sometimes having a very good cook as a neighbour makes you a bit lazy! I must think up something totally Tambrahm or something from my adopted State of Maharashtra. Will be fun participating in this event. Love the concept, Prerna. And thanks for mentioning my blog. Super thrilled!

  13. Jalebiiii!! You know what kind emotions that brings to surface right 🙂 I remember trying to make it at home ages ago and though tasted great my shapes were no where like a jalebi. he he it was funny. And I think you did a fabulous job. What a delightful event.

  14. Those sinful gorgeous treats with the sugar syrup dripping all over is taking my breath away..now I feel like raiding the nearby sweet shop for the same..But nothing comes as close and s tasty as a home made sweet, and your look just right.
    Thanks for the mention, Prerna glad to be a part of this wonderful event. You rock..as always! Best wishes for your book, warm hugs.

  15. I love how you steered away from plans and made something that fit the moment and these look perfect. They remind me a bit of an American ‘fair food’ (typical foods prepared at state fairs and traveling carnivals) called funnel cakes. The dough, while not seasoned like yours, is piped into hot oil and then finished with powdered sugar. These sound SO much better. Another reason to be happy I once purchased a small deep fat fryer!

    So glad we’re doing this together, I can’t wait to see all of the amazing dishes from our readers!

  16. these photos are to-die-for, Prerna. and the story is so sweet, telling your daughter about a trip you made with your Papa- that’s really beautiful. youre a great mamma 🙂 and wonderful cook. x s

  17. This sweet treat always, always reminds me of the famous Jalebi advertisement by Dhara (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpPc6PiMb0Y) that I loved during my childhood 🙂 🙂
    I made Jalebis first time last weekend at my sister-in-law’s place & realized it’s really not as difficult as I thought. This one’s especially so much fun to make whatever swirls or shapes; doesn’t have to be perfect like a round rasgulla or diamond katli.
    I was enjoying making Jalebi so much that at one point I was even trying to write my name, until it started floating away by the time I reached “h” 😀

    • Hehe Nisha you are cute! But I do not blame youm kaing jalebi really is so much fun. Now I want to try and see what happens when I pipe these directly in thinn syrup instead of oil. Hmm, that’s a goo dthought! 🙂

  18. Prerna,

    I would love to join you! I will be posting & linking few recipes to #IndianFoodPalooza Sounds like a lot of fun! 🙂

    Love the Jalebi recipe..I have never been brave enough to try jalebis at home but now I will! Thanks for sharing! xx

    • Hi Sara, we would love to have you cook some Indian food! Please share as many recipes as you want because I am sure they will all be delicious! waiting! 🙂

  19. awww …such a cute story !! the best time we spend with our kids is when they are going to sleep…..the state between fully awake to the land of dreams….has always been my most cherished part of the day.

    i loved the clicks ….just wanted to reach out and take one. love the irregular shapes- 🙂 thxs for posting

  20. First time here and loving it!!These jalebis have surely made me nostalgic!They may not be the prettiest but I love their texture and the color.I bet they tasted delicious nevertheless 🙂
    Just one question,I have posted a recipe on 4th Mar..will that be eligible??Thanks 🙂

    • Hello Soni, welcome to Indian Simmer 🙂
      Yes, March 4th is fine. We want you to participate in the event and promote Indian cooking. So we are flexible with the start dates 🙂

  21. I was waiting for the event to start and what a dish to kick start with. Seriously drooling at it!! Love the story and I could imagine your her expressions 🙂

  22. Delicious looking Jalebis…. For a first time they sure came out well!! a step by step pictorial would have been more useful 🙂
    I will definitely try to join!!

    • I know, wouldn’t that be better?! But I guess the next time when I am more experience with making jalbeis maybe then I will have the nerve to post a step by step 🙂

  23. Nice that you tried making Jalebi’s I have recipes sitting in my cook book and I have never tired it. Loved the way you have posted the recipe. Nice!

  24. Jalebis look crunchy and syrupy. What more is needed that those two qualities?!! I know getting the shape right is tough. I tried making it long time back, but the shape was not so good. Awesome event and I would love to a part of it.