Jalebi sweets

Jalebi sweets

Learn how to make India's hugely popular national sweet dish



Prep Time

10 mins + 10 mins rest time

Cook Time

10 mins


  • 200g caster sugar
  • 6 Rajah Cardamom Pods, seeds crushed in a pestle and mortar and shells discarded
  • Large pinch saffron
  • 60g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 30g natural yogurt
  • 50ml water
  • ¼ tsp orange food colouring
  • Neutral oil for frying (e.g. sunflower or vegetable)
  • Large handful of chopped pistachios (for garnish)


  1. Add the sugar, crushed cardamom seeds and saffron (crumbling this between your fingers as you sprinkle it in) to a wide-base saucepan with 200ml water and heat over a medium-low heat. Stir with a spatula and cook for 4-5 min or until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and let the mixture bubble for another 3-4 min or until it feels thickened and looks sticky. Remove from the heat and keep to one side.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the plain flour and bicarbonate of soda, before slowly adding in the vegetable oil, yogurt and food colouring. Add in half the water, whisking until smooth then slowly add the remaining water until it’s a pancake batter consistency, adding more if needed. Pour into a piping bag, and keep aside to rest for 5-10 mins.
  3. Heat your oil in a wide-base deep pan, about 2 inches deep over a medium heat until it reaches 180*C. Alternatively to test the oil, you could add some of the batter and it should take 10-15 seconds to brown.
  4. Once the oil is hot, snip the end of the piping bag and pipe a circle, swirling in the middle, moving the bag along after each jalebi is complete. After 10 seconds the jalebi should be browned underneath and ready to flip. Cook for another 5-6 seconds on the other side before carefully removing and adding to the sugar syrup. Keep going until all your batter is finished, then remove the jalebis out of the syrup onto a serving platter and decorate with the chopped pistachios to serve.