I had never made jalebi before in my life and although these crunchy little sweet treats were greatly missed after moving to the U.S., they always intimidated me. But, then I thought if I really wanted to have you get out of your comfort zone and try cooking Indian food, then I should get over my intimidation, too. Well, the jalebi did not turn out to be the prettiest ones but they sure were crispy, light, sweet, and absolutely nostalgic!
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*Note: A one-strand sugar syrup will form a strand when a little (cooled) sugar syrup is pressed between the thumb and index finger.
In a bowl, dissolve the yeast in 2-3 tablespoons hot water. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Combine the all-purpose flour, rice flour, saffron, and turmeric in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and water, a little at a time to make a thick batter. Cover and let ferment for 1-2 hours. After fermentation the batter should be light and flowy. Add extra water as needed.
About 15-20 minutes before frying, make a one-strand sugar syrup, cooking the sugar and water in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Keep hot.*
Meanwhile, fill a deep pot about 1/3 full with oil and place over medium heat. When a piece of batter dropped into the oil sizzles, begin frying the jalebi. Using a funnel, pastry bag with tip number 12, or a zip-lock bag with a small corner clipped off, pipe the batter into the oil in circular motion.
Fry until the jalebi are golden on both sides. Take it out of the fryer and drop into the hot syrup for 5-7 seconds. Strain out the extra syrup and take out the jalebi. Serve with yogurt or just as is.