Two years ago I attempted to make Jalebi; an Indian dessert that is soaked in sugar syrup and saffron.
During Diwali (Festival of Lights) instead of buying it from our local Indian bakery, I thought to myself, “How hard could this be?” I was beyond wrong.
Not only is the hand technique hard to master, but I also found out that there is yeast in this recipe as well.
Now, I had never worked with yeasted products at this point in my life and when I would go to our local Indian bakeries, the chefs would not tell me how to make it or show me the technique when I asked because only a hand full of people have mastered it and their recipe has been in their family for years. Therefore, it was a family secret.
Thank goodness we live in a generation where with a click of a button and typing in a few words in the search engine can help us get so far.
After watching a few YouTube videos and comparing recipes that I found online I decided to give it a go. It was difficult at first because of the amount of patience you required for this recipe, and not understanding how yeast worked I got frustrated pretty quick.
It was when I had to transfer the batter in a squeeze bottle that I realized there was to much gas that was produced from the yeast and right when I was about to practice the swirling technique, the bottle cap exploded from all the pressure and there was batter everywhere. Fun. So, after cleaning the mess I had made, I went back and did some more research, watched some more YouTube videos and finally came across a lady by the name of Manjula (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv13kzR4wBU)
After a second go at it, I somewhat got the rhythm down and overall it wasn’t the greatest, however my family enjoyed it. A year later I tried again and the quality and technique got so much better for me. Not only did the Jalebi hold its crisp, the flavor with the hint of saffron and rose water made it that much more flavorful and a delight.
BY: SHIENAL PRASAD