Friday, December 25, 2009

Sizzling snacks : Elo Jhelo

Like in so many fields, making Elo Jhelo are a dying art. Which is a pity, seeing that they being basically junk food, ought to take the fancy of the younger generations. My mother-in-law who excels in all things related to Bengalee cooking (and European style soups!) makes it as special treats for us whenever we come to visit her. This is her recipe.
They are to me beautiful as pieces of art and worth preserving. Packed in even plactic containers they make lovely gifts too!

2 cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
3 Tablespoon white oil as shortening
1/2 cup milk

Sugar syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Boil the two until you have sticky syrup

Enough oil for frying. About 2 cups.

In a pan boil the sugar and water to make the syrup. The syrup should coat the back of a spoon. Let it cool.
Add the 2 cups of flour into a large bowl. Add the salt and baking powder and mix them thoroughly. Add the shortening and rub it in. Warm the milk until it is lukewarm. Add the milk until the dough comes together. It should not be sticky. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes.
Make small balls out of it, about one and half centimtre in radius. Roll out the balls into a pancake shape. The thickness should not be less than 1 mm. Otherwise it will be too fragile. With a knife cut slits into the pancake. Keep a gap of about 1 cm from the edge. From the edge of the pancake with two fingers roll in. Heat the oil until a cube of breadcrumb fries golden immediately. Drop the rolled Elo jhelo and lower the heat to a shimmer. Fry it. Make sure that it remains white and doesn't become brown. Heat the oil up again before dropping in the other elo jhelo rolls.
Drain the oil and drop it into the sugar syrup while it is still warm. It should not remain in the sugar syrup for more than half a minute. Just coat the ele jhelo in the syrup and drain. Let cool before packing.

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