Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

Street vendors sell this fritter resembling flat curly fries year-round. It’s best eaten when freshly made and still crispy.


  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 cups plus ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups warm water (100–110°F)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Orange food coloring
  • 1 cup canola oil, for frying


  1. Place the yeast in a small bowl and sprinkle with the ¼ teaspoon sugar. Add ¼ cup of the warm water and set the yeast mixture aside until it bubbles.
  2. Combine the yeast mixture with the flour. Gradually add the remaining warm water until the mixture achieves the consistency of yogurt. Stir in the orange food coloring drop by drop until the mixture is bright orange. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside overnight in a warm place.
  3. Place 2 cups of water and the 2 cups of sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until it reaches the consistency of maple syrup, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Pour the jalebi mixture into a squeeze bottle or a pitcher with a narrow spout. Heat the oil in a deep pan. Test the temperature by adding a drop of jalebi batter to the oil. If it immediately bubbles and bobs to the top, the oil is hot enough. Squeeze or pour the jalebi dough into the hot oil in overlapping, spiraling circles about 4 inches in diameter. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Continue until all the jalebi dough is used.
  5. Transfer the jalebis to a bowl and pour the sugar syrup evenly over them so all the sides are coated. Serve immediately while warm.