Recipe: Forest-school-at-home jalebi
We were going to be doing some cooking at forest school this week, but all that's on hold of course! So we thought we'd share the recipe that we would have been making on the campfire - the lovely syrupy, crispy, aromatic jalebi!
Traditionally, the batter is fermented to make it bubbly and airy, but we are using the quick method, where the bubbles are created by a combination of bicarbonate of soda and sparkling water.
We cooked them in the garden on a camping stove, so at least if felt a bit more like forest school. They're delicious!
Jalebi batter – needs to be the consistency of thick pancake batter, and easily pourable
1 cup plain flour (about 125g/4 oz)
2 tablespoons corn flour
Half a cup Greek yoghurt (about 65g/2 oz)
A third of a cup cold water (about 80ml)
Half a cup sparkling water (about 125ml)
pinch bicarbonate of soda
a tablespoon of lemon juice
To make the batter: Mix the flour, cornflour, yoghurt, lemon juice and water together. Add the bicarbonate of soda and sparkling water just before you're ready to start frying.
You need to be able to pour the batter in spirals/swirls into hot oil in a frying pan, so put it into a jug or bottle with a good spout.
Syrup: Half a cup sugar, brown or granulated (about 60g/2 oz)
quarter of a cup of cold water (about 60ml)
small pinch saffron (or turmeric for colour) - optional
quarter teaspoon ground cardamom powder - we didn't have any, so we used ground cinnamon instead
half teaspoon lemon juice
To make the syrup: put all the ingredients into a small pan, heat and stir until the sugar dissolves, then gently boil it for a couple of minutes. Let it cool before you use it.
To cook the jalebi: Heat your oil (vegetable or ghee) in a heavy-bottomed frying pan, making sure there’s enough to shallow fry the jalebi.
Pour spirals of mixture into the hot oil, fitting as many as you can in the pan without them sticking together. Turn them over when they’re getting some colour and look golden.
Take them out with tongs, and drain on kitchen roll.
Eat them hot, dipped in the cool syrup first. They should be really light and slightly crispy, and the cool syrup stays on them, rather than making them soggy. You can see that forest school dog managed to try an escaped jalebi - and he enjoyed it very much!