Jalebi dessert recipe

This recipe takes two days to make and makes ten. The jalebi can be served hot or cold, and frying the jalebi does take a bit of practice. Don't expect a perfect first time.  

Jalebi is a deep-fried sweet snack that originated in India. It is, however, popular in Bangladesh, Iran, Pakistan, Tunisia, and Africa. In different regions, the dessert has different names. It is known as jilapi, jalebi, jilipi, zulbia, jerry, mushabak, or zalabia.


  • Plain flour (225g)
  • Plain yoghurt (2 tbsp) 
  • Saffron strands (1 tsp)
  • Water (300ml)
  • White sugar (225g)
  • Rosewater (1/2 tsp)
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Chopped pistachio nuts (2 tbsps)

Method (Day 1)

Combine flour, a little warm water and yoghurt to make a thick-ish batter. Add in your saffron strands and place them into the airing cupboard or a warm place for a maximum of 24 hours, but you can also use them after 12 hours as this allows the yoghurt to ferment. 

Whilst making your fermented yoghurt, you will want to make the syrup by boiling water and adding sugar. Boil for 10 minutes, often stirring to avoid the sugar burning. Take off the heat when you have a thick syrup add the rose water, and cool for the same length as the batter is being left (12-24 hours) 

Method (Day 2)

Stir the batter well, add a little warm water if you need but keep it thick, preheat oil for deep frying until reasonably hot. Fill a large clean plastic bag with the batter and grasp firmly, and cut a small hole with scissors in the corner of the bag to make it possible to be piped out into the oil. 

Squirt the batter into the hot oil in squiggles and figure eights or whatever shape you want. To stop pouring and allow them to cook, pull the bag away from the pan, point up and stop squeezing. 

Don't overcook the jalebi. Turn the jalebi over once. When golden on both sides, remove them from the oil drain well on kitchen paper and place them into the cold syrup. Soak in the syrup for no longer than 5 minutes, then sprinkle them with some chopped pistachios before serving. 


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