Recipe by Pooja Makhijani

Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and oozing sticky syrup with every bite, jalebi are a wildly popular South Asian street food. Made from a slightly fermented batter, deep-fried and soaked in a saffron-infused syrup, jalebi are often served during holidays and at celebrations. Thank you to author Pooja Makhijani for bringing this recipe into our kitchens!

1 hr
13 hrs
about 2 1/2 dozen 3” jalebi
Jalebi - select to zoom
Jalebi - select to zoom


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  1. To make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours and spices.

  2. Add the water and yogurt and whisk until the batter is smooth and pourable (though not runny).

  3. Cover the bowl and allow the batter to ferment (rest) at room temperature for at least 12 hours. Once fermented, the batter will smell pleasantly sour and its surface will be covered with bubbles.

  4. To make the syrup: In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine all the syrup ingredients and bring the mixture to a rapid boil.

  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the syrup registers between 223°F and 235°F on a digital or candy thermometer.

  6. Turn off the heat and allow the syrup to cool to between 150°F and 160°F.

  7. To fry the jalebi: Pour the vegetable oil into a Dutch oven or deep-sided skillet; it should be at least 1” deep. Heat the oil to 330°F.

  8. Pour the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip (1/4” or smaller), or a squeeze bottle.

  9. Pipe or squeeze batter into the hot oil in swirl shapes about 3” wide.

  10. Fry the jalebi, flipping them over halfway through, until crispy and browned; each side should take no more than a minute.

  11. With tongs, gently shake off any excess oil from the jalebi and immediately drop them into the warm syrup.

  12. Press down gently, letting the jalebi soak for up to 30 seconds. Remove them from the syrup and place them on a rack to cool.

  13. Repeat frying the batter and soaking the jalebi in syrup until all the batter is used, maintaining oil temperature and reheating syrup as needed.

  14. Storage information: Jalebi are best eaten fresh, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.