Jilapi or Bengali Chanar Jalebi is my choice for J. I didn’t really search much for this alphabet as this was the first one that made me pick up this theme. Amma spoke to me about Bengali Jalebi and I remembered reading about Chanar Jalebi.
So Jilapi, as it is referred by the Bengalis, is made with fresh paneer or chhana and is made into swirls much similar to the maida Jalebi and dunked in a sugar syrup. The deep fried swirls are soft and juicy after soaking in the sugar syrup for a couple of hours. I adapted mine from this.
Jilapi is the first of the sweets that I am going to feature in the Bengali Sweets Collection that is deep fried chhanna. As I had said earlier, I made batches of similar dishes and this was part of that batch. I will be sharing that picture in the final post of this deep fried sweets series. However, just to share, everybody got shocked seeing the huge batch of different shapes.
This Jalebi again requires well kneading of the chhana and you add milk powder, flour and baking powder to make it hold its shape and become soft.
In this A to Z Bengali Sweets for Protein Rich dishes:
Step By Step Pictures for making soft Chhana for Bengali Sweets
Step by Step Pictures for kneading the chhana to a soft texture.
Step by Step Pictures for Making Chanar Jalebi
How to make Sugar Syrup
Jilapi | How to make Chanar Jalebi
For the Jhilapis
1 cup Paneer / Chhana Crumbled
1 tsp Semolina or Sooji
1 tsp All Purpose Flour / Maida
2 tsp Milk Powder
A Pinch of Baking powder
Cooking Oil for deep frying
For the Sugar Syrup
1 cup Sugar
1 1/2 cup Water
3-4 Cardamoms / Elaichi
How to make Bengali Chanar Jalebi
For the sugar syrup
Take the sugar with water and let the sugar melt and remove the impurities if any. Then boil the sugar with the water and crushed cardamoms till one string consistency. This will take about 8-10 minutes.
For the Jalebi
Prepare the soft chhana for making Bengali Sweets.
Take the crumbled paneer on a plate and with your heel, knead till there are no coarse grains or lumps and the Chenna becomes very soft.
Add the semolina, flour, baking powder and the milk powder to the soft chhana and knead it for nearly 10-12 minutes or till it starts releasing oil to make a smooth textured dough.This is the most important step for the Jhilapi to retain its shape and not crack when you shape it.
Cover the bowl and keep it aside for 10 minutes and divide the mixture into 15 equal sized balls.
Start rolling each ball gently into a rope of 5-6 inches of length with the palm of your hand on a plain flat surface. If the dough is sticky or cracks, gather the dough again and knead again.
Starting from one end, roll the cylindrical rope in the shape of a coil as shown in the picture. Press the end of the rope onto the inside and gently press it firmly so that it doesn’t disintegrate on frying.
Heat a kadai with oil and reduce the flame when it reaches smoking point.
Gently lift the coiled jalebi and slide into the hot oil and fry on medium flame till golden brown.
Drain the Jhilapis and soak them in the prepared warm sugar syrup for 2-3 hours.
Garnish with chopped nuts before serving warm or chilled.
It is important to knead the Chenna well for the jilapi to be soft.
If the dough is sticky do not add extra flour, it will make the jhilapis hard. Roll out the Chenna like a rope with a little oil in your hands or by sprinkling very little flour on the surface you are rolling.