I'd remembered reading about Jalebi, an Indian deep fried treat, similar to funnel cakes, which seemed like it probably would be doable and not such a big mess... According to Wikipedia, these are served all over Asia, typically for Ramadan and Diwali festivals...
Essentially what they are is a batter piped into a spiral shape in oil to deep fry, then soaked in a sweet syrup.
I decided to try to make them gluten free and vegan, so I played around with some recipes I found and came up with this. Making them refined sugar free was a no brainer to me- I decided to use jaggery, since that is a non refined sweetener native to India- so I assume that this is how they were made traditionally anyhow.
You can easily make them gluten free or with gluten, and someone asked me if you could make them with chickpea flour and no grains- I'm sure it would be fine, I just haven't done it yet.
After I made them- they came out awesome, by the way, and didn't make a big mess at all!- I posted the above picture on Facebook, and my friend, who's husband is from an Indian background, asked me if she would be able to have one for her husband, since it is his absolute favorite treat that he used to get from restaurants, and he hasn't had it in a long time- she wanted to surprise him with one.
Well, I got great feedback! He said he loved them- they taste almost exactly like he was used to- but better! So that made me feel great...
There was a lot of demand on my Facebook post to share the recipe, so here it finally is.
P.S. They were a hit with my family as well. Sticky and crunchy and delish! Really hit the spot! I think I'll be making these again in the near future!
Homemade Vegan Jalebi Recipe- Deep Fried Sweet- Gluten Free and Refined Sugar Free Options aka Jilawi, Zoolbia, ZalabiyaIngredients:
1 cup flour- either all purpose gluten free flour mix or wheat or spelt flour if gluten isn't an issue for you (I used 1/2 cup buckwheat flour, 1/2 cup short grain rice flour, and 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)
1/4 cup potato starch or corn starch
1 3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon coconut sugar or regular sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Coconut oil (or other oil)
Jaggery syrup (or white sugar) or honey or maple syrup, etc...
3-4 cardamom pods (optional)
1. Fill a frying pan with at least an inch of oil. Heat up very hot.
2. Mix the flour, starch, water, coconut sugar, and baking powder, ensuring no clumps.
3. Put the batter into a plastic freezer bag and tie it shut.
4. With a scissors, cut off the tip of one corner of the bag, and pipe the batter out into the hot oil in a spiral shape. Start from the outside and work in towards the center, keeping the spiral as tight as possible. (Keep in mind that it will spread out wider as you pipe it, so make the spiral smaller than you think you'll want.)
5. The spiral will float to the top if the oil is hot enough- if it doesn't, let the oil heat up more. If it isn't hot enough, they will become oil soaked and gross.
6. When browned on one side, flip over to the other side until it is also browned, and then remove from the oil. Lay on absorbent material or in a colander to drain excess oil (or on a paper towel if you use those).
7. Then boil jaggery syrup with a little lemon juice, and cardamom pods if desired. Alternatively, you can just make a sugar syrup with sugar and water. You can leave out the lemon juice if you want- this part is up to you. But what you want in the end is a syrup that is somewhat runnier than honey, but not majorly- boil this until you get the syrup to that consistency.
8. Dip your jalebi in the syrup, flipping over so that both sides are coated, and leave it in there for 5 seconds. Then remove from the syrup and let it drip off the excess.
9. Enjoy hot or cold.
Have you ever heard of, had, or made jalebi/jilawi/zoolbia/zalabiya? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?
Linking up to Allergy Free Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday