When put together, the two Gujarati treats that make up Fafda Jalebi form a traditional and iconic mix of tastes and textures. While Jalebi is a sweet and syrupy delicacy made from deep-fried batter, Fafda is a savory snack prepared from gram flour.
The ingredients for fafda are gram flour, turmeric, black pepper, and carom seeds. Deep-frying the mixture until it is brown and crispy requires first kneading it into a firm dough, then rolling it out into thin strips. Green chutney or tamarind chutney, both sweet and sour, are common accompaniments to these crispy strips.
The batter for jalebi, on the other hand, is made with all-purpose flour and then fermented for a few hours to give it a little sour taste. Golden spirals are made by piping batter into a piping bag and then deep-frying the dough. The sweetness of the sugar syrup is absorbed by the fried spirals, giving them a soft, syrupy consistency.
The crispiness of the Fafda pairs well with the sweet and somewhat chewy Jalebi, making for an interesting contrast in tastes and textures. In Gujarat, this mix is eaten for breakfast or as a snack and is especially appreciated during celebrations.
Fafda Jalebi is a quintessential example of Gujarati cuisine since it exemplifies the region’s fondness for blending disparate flavors to great effect.