My back to the base craze is not over and as a result, I have decided to make Chanar Jilapi to welcome New Year. This Sweet requires no introduction and I don’t have any special story related to Chanar Jilapi to share like I always have! So Without further delay here goes my little-bit with Chanar Jilapi or Chena Jalebi (as they call in Non-Bengali speaking states).
Chanar Jilapi is a popular Bengali Delicacy and is the Chana-fied version of Jalebi or Jilapi. Chana ( or Chena) or Cottage Cheese is the core ingredient for making sweets in Bengal ( both West Bengal and Bangladesh) and this Jilapi/ Jalebi prepared with Chana is amazing to taste. It’s a distant cousin of Gulap Jamun ingredient wise and long-lost brother of Jalebi structure wise.
The recipe I follow to make is adapted from Amiya Thakur’s “Thakurbarir Ranna-Banna” a famous Bengali Cookbook written by a lady from Rabindranath Tagore’s house. A gem of a book it is! The recipe though calls for a few basic ingredients but the process is not typically simple. Especially to make the proper shape of Chanar Jilapi. It should be looked like an inside closed coil. However, After several tries, I make it presentable these days.
- Full Cream Milk: 2 Liter
- Lemon Juice: 3 Tbsp.
- Milk Powder: 3 Tbsp.
- Milk: 4 Tbsp.
- Semolina: 3 Tbsp.
- All Purpose Flour: 2 Tbsp.
- Baking Powder: ½ Tsp.
- Green Cardamom Powder: 4 Tsp.
- Kesar / Saffron: few Strands
- Refined Vegetable Oil: for deep frying
- Ghee/ Clarified Butter: 1 Tbsp.
- Sugar: 3.5 Cup
- Water: 2 Cup
- Whole Green Cardamom: 5-6
- Kesar/ Saffron: few Strands
- Take 2 liters of milk in a deep vessel.
- Boil the milk on the medium flame for around 15-20 minutes until the milk reduces to ⅓.
- In a small bowl take lemon juice along with ½ Cup water and mix.
- Reduce the flame and Start adding lemon water to the milk and mix with a ladle.
- After sometimes milk will curdle and green colored water will be seen along with the curdled milk.
- Switch off the flame and strain the Chana using a strainer.
- Now take a Muslin cloth and place entire Chana over the cloth and tie a knot with opposite edges of the cloth.
- Place the Chana covered with cloth in a flat surface and place some weight over the Chana for around 30 minutes to separate water from the Chana.
- Take 4 Tbsp. of Warm milk in a bowl and add Semolina and mix those properly.
- Now take the Chana in a plate and start kneading with your hand to make a smooth lump-free paste.
- Then add Cardamom Powder, Saffron Strands, Milk- Semolina mixture, All Purpose Flour and Baking Powder to the Chana and start kneading again till your hand felt oily while touching.
- Divide the mixture into 15 Ping-Pong ball sized portion.
- Now take one Chana ball and using your hand start rolling the ball into a 5-6 inch ling Cylindrical thread of equal dimension.
- Now make a knot by twisting both the edge of the thread. If you found any crack while making the knot then just softly press that portion to cover the crack.
- Following the same process prepare rest of the Jilapis.
- We need a sugar syrup of a consistency of between 1 and 2 string.
- To prepare the syrup, take Sugar along with Water, Whole Green Cardamom and Saffron strands in a deep vessel.
- Boil it on the medium flame for around 8-10 minutes.
- When the syrup is almost done start heating the mixture of Oil and Ghee in a Pan on medium flame.
- Start frying Jilapies on medium flame till those turn deep reddish brown in color.
- Transfer fried Jilapies immediately to the Sugar syrup and keep them soaked in Sugar syrup for around 2 hours.
- Chanar Jilapies can be served after two hours of soaking in sugar syrup. I personally prefer to serve Hot Jilapies instead of refrigerated one.
Don’t fry Chanar Jilapi in high flame.
Don’t over fry the Jilapies.
The Pictures of Chanar Jilapi updated in 2017!