As I sit and reminisce about the last year, I realise that how much small things, events or incidents in life give you so much happiness and a sense of satisfaction. There are the big life events, like having a baby or accepting a huge award for something or many such, which are life altering. Brishti was life altering for me. I was already a mother but she brought in a fresh new perspective of motherhood. New dreams and new hope brings along with it, new challenges. Managing home with two children, maintaining that sought after ‘balance in life’, was nothing short of a test. All along these times, it was the little things which gave me immense happiness, like making this apple jalebi for the first time and perfecting it. Is it too trivial? Not for me.
Tugga got merit cards for all subjects in the last two terms.
Brishti, more or less sleeps through the night.
Brishti’s first word was ‘Dada’ and I couldn’t have been happier. One less insecurity to worry about. You see, Tugga wants Brishti to love him more than she loves her father.
I had wanted to make apple jalebi last diwali. I even attempted it but it did not turn out good. It was a recipe without yeast. I ended up making apple rabdi, which was brilliant as well. So there was this nagging thing in my head of not being able to make something. I don’t know if it happens to all but to me, if I cannot get something right, it bothers me till such time I perfect it. I read many recipes on the internet and finally decided on making apple jalebi from Rak’s Kitchen. I had bought yeast beforehand. I tried the recipe after putting the kids to bed. In complete peace and silence, apple jalebi happened. I followed the recipe to a ‘t’. Cut the slices of the apples just right- not too thick and not too thin. The yeast had created a beautiful fermentation to the batter. I dunked the apple slices in the batter and then carefully slid them into the hot oil for deep frying. Once golden, drained the oil and coated the apple slices with saffron and rose water infused sugar syrup. Finally garnished with some chopped pistachios.
Brishti loves to dance with her father while listening to old hindi songs. I can see the bond with her father growing.
Anindya came back from Italy with a suitcase full of food. It was an ‘omg’ moment for me and he definitely exceeded my expectation from him.
It was 10 pm. Anindya and I helped ourselves to an apple jalebi each. Both of us had our eyes closed, as we bit into the crunchy exterior to get a burst of syrup in our mouth and then, the soft flesh of the apple with a subtle sourness melted in the mouth. There was a whiff of saffron and the rose syrup. Such simple ingredients and yet, it was dripping with indulgence. I thought, may be my mind was exaggerating. I immediately sent a couple of jalebis to my neighbour and friend for her to try out. Her response sealed the thought. She said it was divine.
This Diwali, if you can get hold of yeast, try making some apple jalebi for your guests. I am assuring you that they will love it.
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For the batter
- 2 nos apples
- 1 cup All purpose flour
- 2 tsp corn flour
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1 tbsp Ghee or Clarified Butter
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1/2 tsp instant active yeast
- 1/4 tsp Sugar
For the syrup
- few strands Saffron
- 1/2 tsp rose water optional
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
- 2 tbsp pistachios
- oil for deep frying
- First thing you need to do is make the batter. For that, in a small bowl take 1/2 cup of water and add 1/4 tsp of sugar and then the yeast. Stir to dissolve and then keep it aside for 10 minutes.
- In the meanwhile, in a larger mixing bowl, take the flour, ghee, corn flour, 1 tsp sugar and salt. After ten minutes of the yeast activating, just stir it and add that to the flour.
- Using a whisk or a fork, mix the batter. Keep half a cup of water in a mug and slowly add to the batter to have a nice thick consistency. The batter should be thick enough to coat a slice of apple. Add more or less water as per the consistency.
- Once the batter is smooth, cover and keep it aside for an hour. After an hour, the batter is ready .
- While the batter is resting, make your sugar syrup. In a sauce pan or a kadai, take the sugar, water and saffron and turn the heat on. Stir to melt the sugar and then let it boil for about 8 minutes. When the syrup has thickened (one string consistency), add the lemon juice and the rose water and turn off the heat.
- Slice the apples into approx 5 mm thickness. Discard the seeds using a knife and it will create a hollow in between.
- In a kadai, take oil for deep frying. Using a whisk, smooth the batter once more. Take one apple slice at a time and dip into the batter and then slowly slide into the hot oil.
- Keep a check over the heat since too much will turn the jalebis brown too soon. You want a nice golden brown colour to the jalebis. Flip the jalebis to cook the other side. Once the jalebi has become golden brown, using a spatula, shake off the excess oil and dunk it in the sugar syrup. Stir it around in the syrup for a little more than a minute and then take it out and keep on a serving plate.
- Repeat the process with all the apple slices. Finally add chopped pistachios on top to garnish.
- The apple jalebis are ready to be served and can be had hot. In fact it tastes best when its hot. Serve it with some vanilla ice cream to elevate the level of oomph.
- The batter can be made in advance and kept. I kept it for 6 hours and it worked fine. Make the jalebis just when you want to have them.
- The jalebis can be kept in the fridge and it retains the crisp but if microwaved, they become soggy.
- You can deep fry in ghee instead of oili if you wish to.