Instant Jilebi

North Indian style hot crispy Jilebis are my favorite.  Its Diwali time and what else is better than Jilebis!  The other day when my husband told me that he had a craving for Jilebis, I wanted to make it for him.  I checked with my Mom as she used to make it a lot when we were in North India.  But she was not sure about the measurements.  So I checked online few recipes and thought to try my own with what I had in hand.

Since I had only the gel color, I was not sure how would it end up if I add it into the batter and fry.  So I tried it in the sugar syrup and it worked well.  The first batch I made didn't even make to the photo session.  They were gone in minutes.  Long story short, I made Jilebis 3 times already in last few days.

Its actually very simple to make.  Just we have to remember 3 key points, like the batter consistency, temperature of the oil and sugar syrup consistency.  If you get these 3 somewhat right, you will get a decent batch of Jilebis.  Please read the directions and notes carefully before you start.  Don't be disappointed if the first few Jilebis turns out to be weird shaped.  You can still get it right.  Justr be patient.

Disclaimer: These Jilebis are addictive.  They are not super sweet as compared to the store bought ones.  They are crispy and not that heavy.

I have put a detailed recipe so that it will help you to avoid the mistakes I made.  Hope you will try this recipe and let me know how it turned out for you. 

Items needs:

Flat frying pan

Couple of wooden skewers

Slotted spoon

Squeeze bottle/clean ketchup bottle

Bowl to mix

Fork to beat the batter

Flat pyrex container lined with parchment paper to keep the hot jilebis



1 cup - all purpose flour

4 tbsp - corn flour/corn starch

1/4 tsp - baking soda

pinch of salt

4 tbsp - plain yogurt

1/2 cup + 1 tbsp - water

Sugar Syrup

1.5 cups - sugar

3/4 cup - water

2 tsp - lemon juice

4 - green cardamom pods

6-8 drops - orange/yellow color (refer notes)

Refined Oil to fry 


  • Add all purpose flour, salt, baking soda & corn flour in a mixing bowl and mix well with a fork.
  • Add yogurt and mix well.  Slowly add 1/2 cup of water in batches and mix well with the fork.  Mix well till there are no lumps.  If the batter forms a ribbon consistency, you are good.  If not, add the additional tablespoon of water and mix well.  The batter should not be too thin and too thick.  Cover it and let it sit till you make the sugar syrup.
  • Take a small saucepan that has some height.  Add the sugar, water, lemon juice, color and cardamom pods to it.  Let it boil and all the sugar dissolve.  Boil it for another 5-6 minutes till the syrup is lightly sticky.  No need to boil till 1 string consistency.
  • Pour the batter into the squeeze bottle with the help of a cup with spout.  Close the lid and test the flow of the batter into the bowl with batter.
  • Heat the frying pan with 1 inch of oil on medium heat.  Once the oil is hot, lower the flame to somewhere between low and medium.
  • Squeeze the bottle into the hot oil to form Jilebis starting from the center going in concentric circles.  I went with 3 circles and the ends were brought back into the center again.
  • Once the lower side starts to crisp, flip them carefully with a wooden skewer.  Cook both side till light golden yellow.
  • Take the hot jilebi using the skewer and drop in the sugar syrup.  Use another skewer and a slotted spoon to keep it dunked in for 10 seconds on each side.  Remove them using the slotted spoon into the prepared pyrex pan.
  • Repeat the process of frying the jilebi and dunking is syrup till all the batter is used.  You can garnish them with sliced pistachios.
  • Enjoy the hot jilebis.  Left over can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for a day or 2.
  • Keep everything ready by your side before you start frying the jilebis.
  • I used gel colors for cake in the syrup.  I mixed 4 drops of red and 4 drops of yellow to get the orange color.  If using powdered food color, you can add 1/4 tsp of the color to sugar syrup.
  • Don't use a deep pan with lot of oil for frying.  It will mess up the shape of the jilebi.
  • I found the squeeze bottle easier to handle and mess free than a piping bag.
  • If the oil is too hot, the batter will puff up into bubbles and mess up the shape of jilebi.  If the oil is not hot enough, the jilebi will be too flat and it will not absorb any syrup.  
  • The first jilebi can be the trial to check the batter and temperature of the oil.  If the batter is too loose, add 1 - 2 tsp of all purpose flour and mix it well.  The batter should not break when piping into the oil.
  • Keep the sugar syrup hot all the time, so that hot jilebis when dropped into the syrup absorbs the syrup faster and keeps it still crispy.
  • I kept frying 3 jilebis at a time and dropped them right away into the syrup and drained.  Start with 1 jilebi at a time and once you get the hang of it, you can fry more and dunk it into sugar syrup.  If you get a helping hand, its much easier.  One person can fry the Jilebis and drop into the syrup.  The other person can then dunk them in the syrup well and remove it to the pan.

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