Take a walk through most any market and you’ll inevitably stumble across a stall making India’s most iconic, delicious, and habit forming snacks. Jalebi is a popular sweet among Indians, and after one taste, it’s usually a favorite among tourists as well. Crunchy to the touch and nearly odorless, jalebi is instantly recognizable by it’s unique orange swirl shape.
The lip smacking sweet taste of jalebis can be enjoyed year round; However, jalebis are an especially popular Indian sweet served during Diwali and Holi. A perfect jalebi is best eaten fresh and warm. Most tend to harden as they cool before turning undesirably soft after several hours as the sweet sugar syrup fully soaks into the once crunchy fried dough.
Made in over-sized cooking pots, fermented battered is swirled into hot oil in coil or pretzel like shapes. The result is a crispy fried flour that is quickly soaked in hot syrup before serving.
Tourists may ask, “Is it safe to eat jalebi from street vendors?” To which I say, “That’s the best place to get jalebi!” Stacked in circular pyramid displays, jalebis are never very far from the large iron kadhai from which they are made. Don’t settle for day old or stale jalebi. Ask if the batch is fresh. In busy markets you’ll find employees working diligently to keep up with demand so you’ll know each jalebi is freshly made. If in doubt, it’s perfectly acceptable to walk up to the display, place the outside of your hand against a few jalebi, and feel for the desired temperature.
Eating jalebi requires no special skills. Simply hold the entire sweet in your hand, taking bites until gone or break away bite size pieces one at a time. Jalebi can also be enjoyed dipped in fresh curd, or dunked into warm sweet milk. Try one with rabri for an extra special sweet blast.
Average cost for jalebi on the street is between Rs 5 – 10 each.
How to Make Jalebi
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