Jalebi with pistachio ice cream
Jalebi is a popular Indian dessert that is fried and served in a sweet syrup. You will need a squeezy bottle for the frying.
For the pistachio milk
- 200g/7oz raw shelled pistachios
- 150g/5½oz raw shelled green Iranian pistachio nuts (see tip)
- ½ vanilla pod, halved and seeds scraped
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
For the pistachio ice cream
- 600ml/20fl oz pistachio milk (as above)
- 1 large avocado, stoned and chopped
- 200g/7oz raw shelled green Iranian pistachio nuts (see tip), half chopped
- 100ml/3½fl oz organic maple syrup
For the jalebi
For the pistachio milk, place the nuts in a large bowl and cover with 800ml/1½ pints of hot water. Leave overnight at room temperature.
Drain the nuts, rinse and transfer to a blender or food processor. Cover with 800ml/1½ pints of hot water again and add the vanilla seeds, salt and cardamom. Blitz until a smooth paste is formed.
Pour the paste into a muslin-lined sieve and squeeze through all the milk into a bowl below. Place the milk in the fridge to chill, you will use some for the ice cream below.
For the pistachio ice cream, combine the milk, avocado, whole pistachios and maple syrup in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a freezerproof plastic container or individual moulds and top with the chopped pistachios. Freeze overnight.
When ready to serve, remove from the freezer and leave to thaw for 10–15 minutes, or until soft enough to scoop.
For the jalebi, soak the urid dal in hot water for 2 hours, or until well softened. Drain and place in a food processor or blender and blitz to a smooth paste.
Place the flour, baking powder and 1 pinch saffron in a mixing bowl. Add enough water to make a thick batter (about the same consistency of a drop scone batter). Add the blended dal to the mixture and adjust with flour or water to achieve the same consistency as before. Place the batter in a squeezy bottle.
Place 250ml/9fl oz water and the sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. As soon as it boils, add the cardamom and remaining saffron and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Heat the oil to 165C in a large, deep saucepan or a deep-fat fryer. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.) Squeeze coils of batter into the hot oil (CAUTION: the oil may spit so take care to protect yourself from splashes. Wear oven gloves.). When the batter turns crispy and golden brown, remove using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Place the jalebi in serving bowls and spoon over the cardamom syrup. Serve immediately with scoops of the ice cream and a little golden syrup, if desired.
Iranian green pistachios are bright green and used to give an attractive colour to the dish. You can use regular pistachios, but the colour will be softer.