Jalebi recipe – A quick and easy Indian Sweet that can be made under 30 mins. Learn to make Jalebi at home with this easy instant step-by-step recipe. You will be surprised at how crispy, juicy & delicious these are! Jalebi is one of the most popular desserts from Indian subcontinent. Similar to Gulab jamun, jalebi too makes its appearance during most weddings, celebrations & festivals. They are much popular as a street food and is also sold in Sweet shops or mithai shops.
Jalebi is a spiral shaped crisp & juicy sweet made with all-purpose flour, gram flour and sugar syrup. Also known as jilapi, jilipi & zalebia, this is made by first preparing a batter which is later fermented to acquire a unique fermented flavor. The batter is then poured to spirals or concentric circles in the hot oil.
They are fried until crisp and then immersed in sugar syrup. These crisp fried sugar coated jalebis are truly addictive and delicious. In India, we often come across stalls and push carts where vendors make hot jalebi.
Making jalebi at home is easy and can also be made by a beginner. There are 2 ways to make Jalebi:
- 1. Traditional method made by fermenting the batter.
- 2. Instant version without fermentation.
I have shared tips to make both the methods in this post.
How to make the best jalebi
The key to making crisp juicy & light jalebis is the consistency of batter. You can make amazing jalebi at home if your batter is prepared correctly. The consistency of the batter must be free flowing yet thick.
I have this image to help you understand and fix the consistency if you have trouble making it right.
- 1. Shrunk jalebi – over fried or fried on low heat.
- 2. Flat jalebis – oil not hot enough, made on low heat.
- 3. Thin & flat – runny batter
- 4. Thick & soft jalebi – Too thick batter
I have shared how to fix the batter consistency in the recipe below.
How to make jalebi (stepwise photos)
1. You will need a squeezable sauce bottle or oil dispenser or zip lock bags. A dispenser with a sharp tip works better. For readers in Singapore: I bought it in mustafa 2 yrs ago. You can find similar ones there.
Before proceeding further decide on which method to follow. Fermented or instant. I made a few times following the fermented method the results were good but it is hard for me to follow the schedules like planning and keeping the kids waiting.
So I love the instant method. I felt there is no difference in flavor due to the addition of curd.
If you prefer to go by the fermented method, then make the batter the previous night. Make the sugar syrup just before frying the jalebis. If following the instant method just follow the steps as is in the same order mentioned below.
Making sugar syrup
2. Add sugar to a pot. Avoid cast iron pans like the one I used as it quickly crystallizes the syrup.
3. Pour water.
4. Boil the syrup until it reaches a 1 string consistency.
5. To check take a small portion of sugar syrup in between your thumb & fore finger. Gently move the fingers apart, you must see a single string. I took it off a bit early as it continues to cook in cast iron pans.
6. Pour 1 tsp lemon juice. Add in saffron (optional) and cardamoms. Mix & Set this aside.
Making batter for jalebi
7. Add maida, corn flour & turmeric. If fermenting then add besan instead of cornflour.
8. Mix well and add curd. You can skip the curd and ferment the batter for 12 to 24 hours until a slightly sour flavor develops.
9. Start by adding 1/4 cup water. Use more as needed.
10. Make a thick smooth batter by mixing. Use more water as needed.
11. Beat the batter well with a whisk for 4 to 5 mins in circular motion. The batter will turn smooth.
12. You may get a thick batter like this with a ribbon consistency. This is not the consistency we want, So sprinkle more water as needed. The batter has to be free flowing & moderately thick but not too thick.
13. Add lemon juice and mix. If fermenting, skip lemon juice.
14. Heat ghee or oil for frying. If using oil, then add 1 to 2 tbsp of ghee to the oil. This enhances the flavor.
15. When the oil is heating up, add soda to the batter. Give a gentle mix.
16. Spoon few tbsps of batter to sauce bottle. The oil has to be hot enough and the flame medium high. Check if the oil is hot by dropping a small portion of batter in the oil. It has to rise immediately without browning.
17. Make one jalebi and check the consistency. If it turns out thick then, sprinkle some water and thin down the batter a bit. If it is thin and flat, then add 1 tbsp maida and mix. For more details check the pic in the FAQ. Fry them on a medium high flame until crisp.
18. The last 1 minute I fry them on a low heat as this helps them to keep crisp for a little longer. Remove with a skewer.
19. Add to the slightly hot to warm sugar syrup. If the syrup has crystallized or turned cold. Then add 1 tsp water and heat up. Soak the jalebis for 2 to 3 mins.
Please note that adding jalebis to very hot syrup will turn them soft. Ensure the syrup is not warm.
20. Remove to a plate and spread them. Pour the entire batter to the sauce bottle and make more jalebi.
Serve jalebi hot or warm. Jalebi is eaten without any side across India. But in some regions it is also eaten with milk, rabri, curd or fafda.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (organic maida) 125 grams
- 2 tablespoons corn flour (or besan if fermenting batter) (16 grams)
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric or use natural food color
- ½ cup curd (plain yogurt) (or water if fermenting batter) (120 ml)
- ½ cup water (more if needed) (120 ml)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (or 1 large pinch for fermented batter)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- oil or ghee as needed
For sugar syrup
- 1 cup sugar (use organic) (200 grams)
- ½ to ¾ cup water (I used ½ + 2 tbsps) (120 ml to 180 ml)
- 1 pinch saffron or kesar optional
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder or elaichi powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 sauce bottle or Zip lock bag or cloth bag
Making sugar syrup
- Add sugar and water to a pot.
- Boil on a medium heat until it reaches a 1 string consistency.
- Take a small portion of the syrup in a spoon. Cool it slightly.
- Take it in between your thumb and fore finger.
- Gently move the fingers away from each other, you must see a single string.
- Pour lemon juice, cardamom powder and saffron. Remove from heat. Stir and set aside.
- If your syrup goes beyond this stage, then sprinkle some water and mix. Recheck for the 1 string consistency.
Make batter for jalebi – follow A or B
- A. Method 1: For Instant jalebi : Add maida, cornflour and turmeric to a mixing bowl. Mix everything well until uniform. Next add curd. Pour water & make a thick lump free batter. The batter has to be thick but of flowing consistency. If needed add more water. Beat the batter well with a whisk in one direction in a circular motion for 4 mins. The batter will turn smooth.
- B. Method 2: For fermentation : Mix together maida, besan & turmeric in a bowl. Pour water & make a thick batter of pouring consistency. Cover and ferment for 12 to 24 hours until the batter gets a very mild sour flavor. The batter will not rise, but will have tiny bubbles on top.
How to make jalebi
- Heat ghee or oil on a medium heat to fry jalebis.
- If using oil, then add 1 to 2 tbsp ghee to the oil. This enhances the flavor.
- Pour 1 tsp lemon juice to the batter & mix. Skip the lemon juice if you have fermented the batter.
- Add soda and mix gently just until combined.
- Check batter consistency: The prepared batter must be smooth free flowing and thick. Spoon just 2 to 3 tbsp of batter to the sauce bottle to check if the consistency is right.
- Next check if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small portion of the batter. It has to come up immediately without browning.
- Now squeeze the bottle gently and move in circular motion to get spiral. If you are getting very thick jalebi, then the batter is thick. Next if you are getting very thin flat jalebis the batter is thin.
- To fix thick batter, add a tbsp or more water. Next to fix thin batter, add a tbsp of maida (all purpose flour). Take a look at the pic in the FAQ section to fix the batter.
- Mix the batter well. Spoon it to the bottle.
- Ensure oil is hot and the flame set to medium high heat.
- Squeeze in the batter gently in circular motions starting from the center moving outside.
- You can also do it the other way. You will get properly shaped ones after making a few.
- While the jalebi is getting fried, check the syrup. It must be slightly hot to warm when the jalebi is dipped into it. If not heat up a bit.
- The last 1 minute, turn the flame to low and fry the jalebi. This helps to make them extra crisp.
- When the jalebi is done it turns crisp. Remove it with a skewer and add to the warm sugar syrup directly.
- Allow to rest for 2 mins. Remove to a plate. Continue to make more jalebis.
- Serve jalebi hot.
Turmeric doesn’t affect the flavour. It is just for color.
I added 1 tsp water to the sugar syrup and heated a bit when ever it turned cold & crystallized. I did it thrice for the entire recipe.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Jalebi Recipe first published in October 2018. Updated & republished in November 2021.