Make these sweet Indian treats by frying batter into crispy swirls, then dipping them in a sugary syrup made with cardamom and saffron

  • Prep:5 mins
    Cook:30 mins
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 65
  • fat 3g
  • saturates 0.4g
  • carbs 8g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 0g
  • protein 0.3g
  • salt 0.03g


  • 1 litre vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • flaked almonds or finely chopped pistachios, to serve
  • 200g caster sugar
  • small pinch of saffron
  • 1⁄4 tsp green cardamom powder, or use regular ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 125g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1⁄2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp natural yogurt
  • 1⁄2 tsp turmeric, or a few drops of natural yellow food colouring
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1⁄4 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp bicarbonate of soda


  1. First, make the syrup. Put the sugar and 100ml water in a pan set over a medium heat. When the sugar has dissolved, add the saffron and bring to the boil. Continue to boil for 5-6 mins until thickened and syrupy – the consistency should be like honey. Remove from the heat and add the cardamom and lemon juice – the lemon juice prevents the sugar crystallising. Set aside.

  2. For the batter, put all the ingredients except the baking powder and bicarb, in a large bowl. Slowly add 150ml water and whisk for a few minutes until smooth, then add the baking powder and bicarb and stir well – it should be as thick as pancake batter. Pour into a squeeze bottle with a narrow tip, or spoon into a piping bag and snip off the tip so you have a small opening. Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed saucepan until it’s no more than two-thirds full and heat to 170-180C, or until a drop of the batter sizzles when added.

  3. Carefully squeeze or pipe swirls of the batter directly into the hot oil – do this in batches (you should be able to fry four or five at once). Fry for 1-2 mins on each side until golden. Remove the jalebi with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain, then, while still warm, dip in the syrup using tongs or a fork, turning to coat. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds or chopped pistachios. Serve straightaway or leave to cool.

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