Cook's Hideout: Madhya Pradesh -- Indori Poha with Jalebi

April 15, 2014

Madhya Pradesh -- Indori Poha with Jalebi

Blogging Marathon# 39 - Indian States: Day 15
State: Madhya Pradesh
Dish: Indori Poha with Jalebi
We are exploring Madhya Pradesh today. Madhya Pradesh is in Central India and the name literally means 'Central Province'. It is nicknamed 'Heart of India' because of its geographical location in India and it is the second largest state in the country by area. Madhya Pradesh is home to a large tribal population, who have been cut-off from the main stream development.

Cuisine: Like any other state the cuisine of Madhya Pradesh varies regionally. Wheat and meat are common in the North and West while South and East are dominated by rice and fish. Bhopal is known for meat and fish dishes. From what I've read, Indore is foodie's paradise and therefore it's now on my bucket list :-) Street food of Indore is renowned with eateries that have been active for generations.
Specialties: Dal bafla (consisting of a steamed and grilled wheat cake dunked in rich ghee which is eaten with daal and ladoos), Poha and Jalebi.

Today's Dish(es): When I read that the most famous breakfast item in Indore is Poha (flattened rice) with jalebi, I knew I had to make it. Jalebis are made all over India, but the combination of poha with jalebi is something that is very unique to Indore.
Indori Poha with Jalebi

Jalebi is something that I've had 0% success rate thus far, so I wanted to give it a try one final time. Jalebi has a very special place in my heart -- it was my dad's favorite and he used to buy it very frequently. I think of jalebis when I think of my dad and not able to make them well has been bugging me for quite some time now. So finally I was able to make some decent looking jalebis and I wish my dad was here to taste them.
I made poha with onion and potato, but most of the Indori poha recipes I've seen only had onion (kanda). Poha is garnished with sev, pomegranate seeds and then served with hot jalebis. This sure was a very interesting combo for breakfast, but I thoroughly enjoyed this Indori breakfast feast. Found this post that explains about being married to an Indori -- quite funny.

Recipe adapted from Valli.
All purpose flour - ¾cup~150gms
Corn Starch - ¼cup~45gms 
Yogurt - 1cup, whisked
Food color - optional
Oil - 2tbsp, hot
Saffron Color - a pinch (optional)
Lemon juice - 1tsp

Sugar Syrup:
Sugar - 1½cups
Water - ½cup

  • Combine all the ingredients for the jalebis to form a smooth batter. Cover and set it aside for 12~24 hours to ferment. I left it out for more than 24 hours since it was cold and the batter took longer than expected to ferment -- it should be foamy with bubbles and smell fermented when done.
  • Mix the batter really well to make it more workable.
  • Make the Sugar Syrup: Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until it reaches single string consistency -- when you take a drop of the syrup between 2 fingers and stretch, it should stretch in 1 single thread. Keep the syrup warm and ready.
  • Make Jalebis: Pour the batter into a ketchup bottle with small hole or pour into a ziplock bag and make a tiny hole in the corner.
  • Heat oil for deep frying. Carefully pipe the batter as circles into the oil. Cook till the jalebis are crisp. Remove from the oil and place them in the syrup for 2~3 minutes, turning them around to coat completely.
  • Remove and place them on a wire rack to cool. Enjoy them hot, warm or at room temperature. Stored in a airtight container, they keep well for up to 2~3 days.
Indori Poha with Jalebi
Indori Poha: Fennel seeds are a mandatory addition to this poha. They give a slight anise flavor that is quite interesting.
Recipe adapted from Desi Soccer Mom:
Thick poha (flattened rice) - 2cups
Onion - 1 medium, chopped
Potato - 1 medium, chopped
Mustard seeds - 1tsp
Fennel seeds - 1tsp
Green chilies - 2, slit
Curry leaves - 8~10
Turmeric - ½tsp
Red chili powder - ½tsp
Salt - to taste
Cilantro - 2tbsp, chopped
For garnish (pick 1 or 2 or all) - Namkeen/ Sev, Pomegranate seeds, Grated coconut (fresh or dry), Chopped onion, Lemon wedges

  • Wash poha 2~3 times, drain and set aside until ready to use. There should be just a little bit of water left in the poha but not a lot. I mix in required amount of salt and red chili powder to the poha itself, so they absorb some of the flavors.
  • Heat 2tsp oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and once they start to splutter add fennel seeds, onions, green chilies and curry leaves. Cook until onions turn translucent, about 3~4 minutes.
  • Next add turmeric, potatoes and cook covered until potatoes are tender. Alternately potatoes can be microwaved until tender beforehand and can be added here to save time.
  • Add the poha and mix well. Cover and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. 
  • Serve immediately with the garnishes of your choice.
Indori Poha with Jalebi

Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 39.



  1. Turmeric powder will do for jalebi colour, Pavani. I used an old squeeze type ketch up bottle for making jalebis. They came out fine, my mistake was keeping the batter out for a long time. It started spreading out. The Tarla Dalal video was a great help.

    Anyway, your jalebis look yum and so does the poha. I loved those little pomegranate pearls for the topping. Bright and nice!

  2. Cant resist to that bowl of poha jalebi, just inviting me.. am literally drooling here even after having my breakfast..

  3. loved the pomegranate in there!! looks so elegant and the poha is looking awesome..

  4. your jalebis look beautiful and the poha is served in such inviting bowl, i can eat the entire meal and yet not be satisfied

  5. Dad is dad!..we Daddy's girls always have a special corner for them...Jalebi might not be a perfect spiral but it looks gooey and juicy and crunchy!..and perfectly made poha, adorned with rubies..simply gorgeous.

  6. Jalebi's drove me nuts too. But your have turned out really nice. Love the sev on the poha, not so sure about jalebi's with poha. :)

  7. Both poha and jalebis look so tempting. I love that juicy jalebi you are holding...

  8. jalebis look tempting.. superb breakfast combo

  9. Good choices Pavani. When I made jilebis the first time I also didn't get the shape right. But does that matter when they are crispy and juicy? No if you ask me :)

  10. So nice to know you have created new memories to share with your kids here Pavani...I guess Jalebis are ones that beat the best of us..and so glad you got them right how sinful your jalebis are looking!

  11. Fantastic Platter!! Amazing colors of yellow, red and greens!! Love it and will try poha with jelabi next time..

  12. I love the second to last photo and glad you were able to get the jalebis right

  13. Dads are dad Pavani we girls love them a lot. I love the pics. and your jelabis look nice and yum. Try the gits pack of jalebis first then preserve it its greatway to make them. Love the poha too.

  14. Even I found it interesting that poha is served with jalebi. I didn't jalebi were done for ICC. Eventually nailed the jalebis. You picked a nice combo for the state.

  15. The jalebi's look really good! That is a very wild combo of dishes to be eaten together :)

  16. I am seeing a lot of poha-jalebi posts for MP state. I don't know how the combo works but individually both the dishes are yummy.

  17. We girls always have soft corner for our dads na .. Very tempting combo and perfect breakfast .. poha and jalebis looks very delicious and you have attained a very well made jalebis i must say :)

  18. Indori Poha with jalebi ...seriously killing me to try now!


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