Celebrate Diwali with delectable Paneer Jalebis
Diwali, The Festival of Lights, is the perfect time to enjoy traditional Indian sweets.
Jalebis are a traditional and very popular Indian sweet. They are available in almost all sweet shops and served at marriages, celebrations, and get-togethers. Jalebis are served alone, or with rabdi. Rabdi is another traditional Indian sweet made by boiling milk for a long time and adding dried fruit. Paneer Jalebis are distinctive in that they are made with paneer cheese with only a little all-purpose flour.
Don’t know where to buy paneer? It’s easy to make your own, and ricotta makes a good substitute.
For more Indian celebration recipes: Throw and Indian Party, Inside and Out
For the sugar syrup:
- 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
For the jalebi batter:
- 250 grams (9 ounces) paneer (or substitute ricotta cheese)
- 25-30 ml (5-6 teaspoons) all-purpose flour
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) corn flour
- Pinch of baking powder
- Orange food coloring, optional
For frying and finishing:
- Desi ghee (claified butter) or vegetable oil, for frying
- Chopped pistachio nuts, as needed
1. For the sugar syrup:
In a medium saucpean combine the sugar and 150 ml (1/2 cup) water. Bring to a boil and stir continuosly until the sugar dissolves. Cook for 4-5 min more until it has a sticky consistancy.
2. For the jalebi batter:
In the container of a blender, combine the paneer, flour, corn flour, baking powder, and 60 ml (1/4 cup) water. Blend until smooth. Add just enough water to make a batter that can be pressed easily from a piping bag; it should be slightly thinner than cake frosting. If desired, you can add a drop or two of food coloring.
3. For frying and finishing:
Heat the ghee or oil in a shallow pan over medium heat. Pour the batter into a piping bag fitted with the nozzle of your choice. When the ghee is shimmering hot, squeeze the batter directly into the fat by rotating your hands to make rounds. Work in batches, frying until light brown underneath, then flip the jelabis to brown the other side. Set on a paper towel to drain, then immediately dip in the sugar syrup. Remove after 1 minute, set aside on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with pistachios. Repeat until all the batter is used. Serve hot.