I did not grow up with memories of mitthai-wallah pushing carts of sweets during tea time, but i grew up with an adventurous mom who was willing to try out novel recipes in those heydays when there was no internet, food blogs, let alone foreign recipe books. What she had back then was good hearted neighbours who shared honest recipes that they brought, together with their tradition to Malaysia. One such neighbour that remains vivid in my memories is an old Punjabi lady, who would give us some freshly made chappathi every time they passed by our house.
She used to complain that she could never get her north Indian sweets in our little town. I obviously didn’t even know then the difference on south versus north indian sweet, but what I do know is I loved her homemade sickeningly sweet creations- laddoos, gulab jamuns and jalebis, so much so that these 3 sweets remain etched as my favourites till date. Recently when Lubna asked me to write a vegetarian based guest post for her gorgeous blog, Kitchen Flavours, I happily suggested that I gift her readers with a sweet recipe, possibly Jalebis. Lubna was quick to warn me that Jalebi is India’s national sweet, so I better get it right!
Jalebis that I know are crunchy with holes inside their spiral coils, so it can ‘trap’ and absorb the maximum amount of sugar syrup- yes they are not healthy! Yet, may I justify just a piece for celebration? To make them extra special, once fried and soaked in sugar syrup they can be drizzled with the amazing flavour of slowly brewed sweetened milk that thickens into smooth cream. The traditional flavour is usually infused with cardamom and rosewater, but I have replaced the exotic spices with fresh vanilla bean.
Saffron from the jalebi pairs really well with vanilla flavour, and since the recipe yields more than your fair share of ‘dietary requirement’, this sweet is perfect for special occassions and gatherings.
Head over to Lubna’s lovely space for the recipe here;-)