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  • 4
  • Easy
  • 10 minutes, plus 12 hours rising time
  • 8 minutes


  • 140 g cake flour
  • 2 T cornflour
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 2 T clarified butter
  • 1/4 t saffron threads
  • 190 ml thick plain yoghurt
  • Water (optional)
  • Canola oil, for deep-frying
  • Gold leaf, to garnish
  • For the sugar syrup:
  • 140 g sugar
  • 250 ml water
  • 1/4 t saffron threads, toasted
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1/2 t rose water
  • 1/2 t ground cardamom

Cooking Instructions

Sift the cake flour, cornflour and baking powder into a ceramic bowl. Add the clarified butter and incorporate well using a whisk.

In a small pan, lightly toast the saffron over a gentle heat for 5 to 7 seconds, swirling it around in the pan. If you smell the saffron, it has probably been toasted for too long and burnt. Remove from the heat and crush using a mortar and pestle.

Add the crushed saffron and yoghurt to the flour mixture and mix well. The batter consistency is very important: it should be thick (dropping consistency) and not runny, otherwise the jalebis will come out flat. If necessary, add a little water. Cover the bowl with clingwrap and place in a warm place for 12 hours.

Mix the batter very well with a wooden spoon to knock out all the air. Pour the canola oil into a small saucepan so that the base is covered by 5 cm of oil. Heat the oil until very hot, but not smoking. Spoon the batter into a piping bag, in batches, and pipe into the oil in spiral shapes. Fry until golden and and turn gently with a spatula. Once both sides have been fried, drain on kitychen paper.

To make the sugar syrup, dissolve the sugar in the water over a medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the saffron threads, lemon juice, rose water and ground cardamom. Mix well. Place the fried jalebis in the hot syrup and allow to soak for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the syrup using a slotted spoon and place on a cooling rack to drain off the excess syrup.

Arrange the jalebis on a plate and brush with gold leaf. The jalebis will stay fresh for 4 to 5 days, stored in an airtight container. Add more lemon juice if you prefer your jalebis a bit tangier.

Abigail Donnelly Recipe by: Abigail Donnelly
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Nothing excites Woolworths TASTE's Food Director quite as much as the challenge of dreaming up recipes with innovative new foods – or the thrill of creating deliciousness on a plate with the humblest of ingredients. With Abi by your side, you’ll be a cooking expert in no time at all.

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