• Apple funnel cakes (jalebis) (Essence of India)Source: Essence of India

Apple jalebis are batter-coated rings and India’s answer to lovely melt-in-the-mouth funnel cakes, those fried crisp cakes served with sugar syrup.






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  • ½ tsp dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 140 g plain flour

Sugar syrup

  • 225 g sugar
  • 3 tsp milk

To serve

  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 3 tsp slivered pistachios

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time: 45 minutes

1. To make the batter, combine yeast, 2 pinches sugar and 110 ml lukewarm water in a bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle over 2 pinches flour, cover with a lid and set aside for 3–4 minutes, or until frothy.

2. Combine remaining sugar and flour with the yeast mixture and another 110 ml lukewarm water, approximately, to make a thick batter. Set aside for 40–50 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, to make sugar syrup, combine sugar and 225 ml water in a deep kadhai or deep, heavy-based pan over medium heat. Heat for 8–10 minutes, or until sugar completely dissolves syrup is one-thread consistency (see note). Add milk, reduce heat to low and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Keep warm.

4. Heat oil in a deep pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, dip apple rings in batter and deep fry for 2–3 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp on both sides. Drain and set aside.

5. Dip in warm sugar syrup, soaking for 1 minute. Transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with cardamom and pistachios. Serve.



• To check if the syrup is at one-thread consistency, use a spoon to remove a little from the pan and allow to cool slightly. Using clean fingers, dip a finger into the syrup and press onto your thumb. Pull the syrup apart gently. It should form a single thread that does not break.


This recipe is from Essence of India on SBS Food (Channel 33). Stream episodes via SBS On Demand.