One thing that has taught me patience, gratitude and forgiveness, is making my own sourdough starter and taking care of it. With millets and other gluten-free flours, it is a different ball game altogether.
This year, during Diwali, I decided to bake gluten-free sourdough bread for some of my students who missed their festive treats made with gluten. I believe food gifts are the best gifts. This year, after baking 12 big-size boules, I was left with a lot of sourdough discard. First it was gluten-free crackers, and then I decided to make something sweet — my daughter’s favourite jalebis. The good thing is, jalebis were gluten-free, deep fried in A2 ghee sourced from a local farmer, and the sugar syrup was made with organic rock sugar (mishri) instead of refined white sugar.
I know any sugar is, after all, sugar, but I took pride in making something that was not processed or unhealthy. If you are not diabetic, some festival treats should be enjoyed just the way they are.
Today, I am happy to share the recipe for this gluten-free delight made with millets. Refer to the video attached that will show you a glimpse of my kitchen, the millet shelf and some of my favourite spices and homemade flours.
GLUTEN-FREE JALEBIS WITH GLUTEN-FREE DISCARD
Ingredients (makes 25-30 mini jalebis)
For the batter:
· 1 cup gluten-free sourdough discard
· 2 tbsp tapioca starch powder
· A pinch of turmeric (for the colour)
· A2 Ghee to deep fry
· Clean and dry squeezy bottle
For sugar syrup:
· 1 cup rock sugar powder
· ½ cup water
· A few strands of saffron
· ½ tsp cardamom powder
· A few drops of lemon juice
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1. To make the batter, mix all ingredients and check the consistency. If the consistency is too thick, add a few drops of hot water. If the consistency is too runny, balance it out with some extra millet flour. Make sure you leave the batter for at least 30 minutes to get that unique fermented flavour. Fill it up in a squeezy bottle.
2. In the meantime, you can make the sugar syrup. Mix rock sugar powder and water. Allow it to come to a boil, add cardamom, saffron strands and check consistency. It should be a one-string consistency.
3. In a cast iron flat bottom pan, pour some ghee, just to help you fry the coiled jalebis. Start making jalebis (refer to the video attached).
4. Fry the jalebis and flip continuously to allow them to be crisp from all sides. Dip them in the freshly made sugar syrup. Soak them for a good one minute.
5. Transfer them onto a wire rack or a plate by draining excess sugar syrup.
6. Garnish with more saffron strands.
7. Serve hot.
Like all fermented foods, sourdough promotes general gut health and creates a favourable environment for maximum nutrient metabolism. A healthy gut directly contributes to maintaining a healthy immune system, digestive system, and overall body health.
During sourdough fermentation, beneficial bacteria and yeast give our gut a jump-start and ‘pre-digest’ a lot of compounds, making them more bioavailable to our bodies. Sourdough discard has several health benefits, particularly for digestion. It is rich in vitamin B, omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics.
(Shalini Rajani is a millet coach and founder of Crazy Kadchi. She holds innovative Millets Cooking Workshops for all age groups.)