Jalebi, also known as zulbia and zalabia, is a sweet popular food in some parts of South Asia, West Asia, North Africa, and East Africa.

It is made by deep-frying maida flour (plain flour or all-purpose flour) batter in pretzel or circular shapes, which are then soaked in sugar syrup. They are particularly popular in the Indian subcontinent and Iran.

This dessert can be served warm or cold. They have a somewhat chewy texture with a crystallised sugary exterior coating. Citric acid or lime juice is sometimes added to the syrup, as well as rose water.

Jalebi is eaten with curd or rabri (in North India) along with optional other flavours such as kewra (scented water). This dish is not to be confused with similar sweets and variants like imarti and chhena jalebi.

In the Indian subcontinent, it is known as Jalebi and served with sweetened condensed milk dish, rabri or eaten with kachori and vegetable curry in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent.

In Iran it is known as zolbia in Persian and in addition to being sweetened with honey and sugar is also flavoured with saffron and rose water.

It's one of my favourite Indian sweets. When I was a kid, my family (my mother, father and sister), we used to go to Shimla (a popular tourist city in Himachal Pradesh, India) on vacations and there was a sweets shop where we always had Jalebi or Jalebi with hot milk. I have many beautiful childhood memories attached with this dessert.

And now whenever I visited my parents, my sweet family, we always have Jalebi. We enjoyed it very much when we are together.

I liked this so much that I thought why not give a try to this. When tried, it came out super delicious. So here I am sharing the recipe of one of the famous sweets of India.

  Recipe Servings: 4
  Cooking time: 25 Minutes


To make Jalebis

  • All purpose flour (Maida) - 1 cup
  • Yogurt (Curd/Dahi) - 1/2 cup
  • Ghee/Oil (for deep-frying) - as required
  • Water (to make batter) - as required
  • A square piece of cloth with a hole in it or a strong plastic bag for piping out the jalebis in the hot ghee

To make sugar syrup

  • Sugar - 1 cup
  • Saffron Strands (kesar) - 1/4 tsp
  • Water - 2 cups
  • Rose water - 1 tsp (optional)
  • Cardamom Powder - 1 tsp
  • Lemon Juice - 1/2 tsp


To make Jalebi batter

  • In a large bowl, whisk all purpose flour (maida), yogurt (curd/dahi) and sufficient amount of water to make a smooth and pouring consistency batter. Cover the batter and keep in a warm place to ferment for 12-15 hours.

  • Fermentation time varies as per the weather conditions and temperature of the place. At cold places it can be 24 hours. You see small bubbles on top of the batter once it's fermented.

  • The batter should not be too thick or thin. You may need up to 3/4th water depending on quality of all purpose flour/maida.

  • Once fermentation is done, beat the batter again for about 15 minutes.

To make Sugar Syrup

  • Meanwhile take a pan and add sugar to it.

  • Then add water to it and let it all come to a boil.

  • Once it comes to a boil, add cardamom powder, rose water (optional), saffron strand and lemon juice. Add lemon juice to stop crystallisation process.

  • Let it simmer till syrup becomes sticky and form a one string consistency. To check the one string consistency, place a drop of sugar syrup in between your thumb and index finger and then when you move fingers away from each other, it should form a single thread.

  • If you can't get consistency, just make it sticky. Keep the syrup warm while you make the jalebis.

To make/fry Jalebis

  • Heat sufficient ghee/oil in a kadai or a pan on a medium heat. To check/test if the oil is ready, drop in a  little bit of the jalebi batter in the oil, and see if it comes up at once. If it does, your oil is ready for frying jalebis.

  • Fill the bag with the jalebi batter. Twist the opening to seal the bag. Snip one lower corner of the bag to make a small hole, through which you can pipe out the jalebis into the hot oil/ghee. The smaller the hole, the thinner will be the jalebis and the more crispy it will be.

  • To pour some jalebi batter into the oil/ghee, hold the bag over the hot oil/ghee and pipe out swirls (like whirlpools), of the desired size, straight into it. Make as many such rounds/jalebis as come in comfortably.

  • Lower the heat to a medium flame and cook for 1-2 minutes then turn the jalebis over and fry till a light brown appears on both the sides.

  • Take out the fried jalebis, drain out the extra oil and put them into the sugar syrup. Leave it in the syrup for 2-3 minutes, and then again take it out.

  • Enjoy yummy hot Jalebis with rabri or as such.