Recipe from the book, Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad & Tobago (Hippocrene Books, NY), by Ramin Ganeshram.
Street vendors sell this dessert year-round and it’s best to eat it when it is freshly made and still crispy.
1 teaspoon active dry yeast 1/4 teaspoon sugar 2 cups warm water (between 100-110 degrees F) 2 cups all-purpose flour Orange food coloring 2 cups sugar 1 cup canola oil, for frying
Place the yeast in a small bowl and sprinkle with the sugar. Add 1/4 cup of the warm water and set the yeast mixture aside until it bubbles.
Add yeast mixture to the flour. Gradually add the remaining warm water until the mixture achieves consistency of a creamy salad dressing
Stir in the orange food coloring drop by drop until the mixture is bright orange. Set aside overnight in a warm place.
Simmer 2 cups of water and sugar together until it reaches the consistency of maple syrup, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Pour the jalebi mixture into a squeeze bottle or a pitcher with a narrow spout.
Heat the oil in a deep pan. Test the oil by adding a drop of jalebi dough to the oil. If it immediately bubbles and bobs to the top, the oil is hot enough.
Squeeze or pour the jalebi dough in overlapping circles into the hot oil. Make each piece about 4 inches in diameter. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
Pour the syrup evenly over the jalebis so all sides are coated. Serve.
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