Chanar Jilipi is a very popular Bengali sweet. There are many recipes floating around for this Bengali sweet called Chanar Jilipi or Chanar Jilapi. Some recipes use milk powder, whereas some use different amounts of the basic ingredients. The recipe that I use is my family’s recipe, passed on to me by my mother in law. You will get around eight to ten Chanar Jilipis out of 1 l milk. Each of my Chanar Jilipis weighs around 36 g before cooking. I prefer keeping a thin sugar syrup, as the Chanar Jilipis absorb sugar better in this way and are very juicy and soft at the end. The amount of ingredients used to make the Bengali Chanar Jilipi is very important. This is the reason why I always prefer to weigh out the ingredients for making Chanar Jilipi.
The Trick to Soft Chanar Jilipi
Many cooks get intimidated by this complex-looking sweet, but in reality, making Chanar Jilipi isn’t difficult at all. For making this Bengali sweet, there are some pointers which will ensure soft and juicy Chenna Jalebis:
- First of all, use best-quality cow milk to make the chana. Never make the chana too dry. If it is too dry, then the Chanar Jilipi will be crumbly and it will be very difficult to mould it into pretzel shapes.
- The dough should feel little oily and very smooth. For making it oily, we add little ghee in the recipe. And for the smoothness, you have to knead the dough really well with the palm of your hand, just like we do in Rosogolla.
- Measure the amount of Chana (chenna/cottage cheese) after it is hung for 2 hours. The amount of all-purpose flour should be 1/4th the amount of Chana. Semolina should be just half the amount of the all-purpose flour. This is the secret to a good Chanar Jilipi!
- Let the Chanar Jilipi rest in the syrup for a few hours. Just like Gulab Jamun, these Channa Jalebis do take time to absorb the sugar syrup to become soft! I keep them in sugar syrpu or Chashni for almost five hours.
- You can refrigerate the Chanar Jilipi. But whenever you want to serve it, just warm it a bit in the microwave to make it soft again.
Milk and curd feature prominently in my family’s meals, as I always believe that food should be nutritious apart from being flavourful. I have been making a lot of different kinds of sweets thesedays, since all my family members are at home in this lockdown. Recently, I shared Mishti Doi on my Insta stories, which grabbed a lot of appreciation. The other day, I made Bhapa Doi with the Sarda Farms Dahi, and it turned out to be the best Bhapa Doi ever. As I told you in a previous post too, I love Sarda Farms Dahi as it is light and just like homemade Dahi.
It is really incredible to see that Bengalis make so many sweets using just a few basic ingredients. Milk plays an important role here. Good-quality cow milk is essential, which is why I only trust reputed milk brands, such as the Sarda Farms milk. The milk comes from healthy Holstein Freisian cows. So I am assured that each drop of milk is antibiotic-free and hormone-free. Most importantly, the milk is never touched by human hand, so there is no chance of contamination. The Cold-Chain Delivery process of Sarda Farms further ensures that there is no harmful bacteria in their fresh milk delivered to their clients’ doorstep!
Ingredients for the Cottage Cheese or Chana:
- 1 L Cow Milk (I used Sarda Farms Homogenized and Pasteurized Milk)
- 2 tsp Vinegar
- 4 tbsp Water
Ingredients for the Sugar Syrup (Chashni):
- 1.5 cups Sugar
- 4 cups Water
- 4 Green cardamoms
Ingredients to make Chanar Jilipi:
- 192 g Cottage cheese or Chana/Chenna
- 48 g All-purpose flour (Maida)
- 24 g Fine semolina (Suji)
- 3 pinches Baking soda
- ¾ tsp Ghee (I used Sarda Farms Cow Ghee)
- 2 tsp Milk (Amount of milk may vary according to the wetness of the dough.)
- White oil or ghee for deep-frying
Method to Make Chana/Chenna/Cottage Cheese:
- Boil milk and reduce the flame. Stir and boil for 5 min. Add half of the mixture of Vinegar and water and stir. Keep adding the remaining vinegar-water solution spoon-by-spoon, until whey separates. Immediately switch off the flame and remove the pan from the gas stove.
- After 5 min, using a muslin cloth, filter the whey out. Wash the Chana twice with cold water. Tie the cloth and hang it for 2 hours so that most of the whey is removed. The Chenna should be still a bit wet after 2 hours: otherwise the Chanar Jilipi would break.
Method for the Sugar Syrup (Chashni)
- Boil sugar, water and green cardamoms. Once this comes to a rolling boil, switch off the flame. (The syrup should be hot when the fried Chanar Jilipis go in the syrup.)
Method to make Chanar Jilipi
- Now that the Chana is ready, we can proceed to make Chanar Jilipi.
- Add the all-purpose flour, milk, semolina, baking soda and ghee to the chana. Mash the chana with the palm of your hand for 15 min.
- Following the steps shown in the collage, make the Jilipi. It should look like pretzels. Don’t press too much to seal the ends.
- Heat the oil/ghee. Simmer and introduce the jilipis carefully and in batches.
- When the Jilipis become golden brown, flip them carefully. These should be golden brown on both sides, but not deep brown, otherwise these won’t be soft. The flame should be on low while frying, otherwise the inside remains raw, while the outside gets well-browned.
- Once each Jilipi gets the desired colour, dunk it in the hot sugar syrup. Flip the Jilipis after every half an hour. Eat after 5 hours for best results.
If you love the recipe of Chanar Jilipi, please leave a review and comment below. I’d also love a tag on Instagram or Facebook @purabinaha. Sending you lots of well wishes!