“Sachin has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years. It’s only fair we carry him now” -Virat Kohli
This weekend was a celebration for Indian’s worldwide. On April 2, 2011 after twenty eight years, the Indian Cricket Team brought home the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup in Mumbai, India. HD and I woke up at 4am to get ready to watch the match. Our friends had all decided that we would meet at 5am to watch the match together – after all it’s so much more fun rooting with fellow fans!
Cricket while not mainstream in the United States, is the second most popular sport in the world. It is played in over 130 countries. The reason for this widespread popularity is in part due to the fact the British took the sport all over the world with them and introduced it to the people they met along the way. One of the most famous cricket players in the history of the sport is India’s very own Sachin Tendulkar. According to Wikipedia: “Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar; (born 24 April 1973) is an Indian cricketer widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket. He is the leading run-scorer and century maker in Test and one-day international cricket. He is the only male player to score a double century in the history of ODI cricket.”
Sachin Tendulkar has chased the dream of winning the ICC Cricket Word Cup for the last twenty one years and finally, this Saturday him and his team accomplished this dream for him and his fans around the world in his home town of Mumbai, India.
Prior to getting married, I never really followed the game of Cricket. Of course, everyone has patriotism for where they are from, but it takes deep understanding and heart to follow a sport such a cricket. After marrying HD, my FIL (father in law) would always tell me about the Cricket matches that were on TV. I had no idea what the scores represented or what the terms meant but the passion in his voice for the sport urged me to learn more and understand what the game was all about. Every Sunday after our morning chai, we have our weekly chat with HD’s parents in Mumbai. It usually starts with the weekly happenings, house updates, what I cooked/ what’s for lunch, which is followed by cricket happenings. My FIL always fills me in with the cricket score for the last match, and information about upcoming matches.
India’s win was an emotional one for everyone that has followed the Indian Cricket Team. As we called my FIL after the win, a wave of emotions swept over me, happy, sad, I couldn’t make up how I felt. Happy of course that India won and slightly sad that I was not there to watch the match with the man who taught me the passion for the sport, my father in law. After the match we all headed for lunch to celebrate. The streets were filled with Indian Flags, green/white/orange balloons, and dhol players. It was beautiful to see such pride and patriotism. On Sunday, I decided to celebrate by making something sweet for the win and what’s sweeter then hot, crispy, juicy jalebis!?
Jalebis are like mini funnel cakes that are dipped in a sugary syrup while they are hot. The end result is a sweet, hot, crispy, mini funnel cake like dessert. These sweet treats are an Indian favorite on any special occasion. These are also both my dads and FIL’s favorite desserts.
These Jalebis and hearty congratulations are for my dads, India, a nation that has watched Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar grow up as a teenager from when he first entered the India Cricket team, to the mothers with high aspirations that named their children after famous Cricketers, for the families that prayed and followed the India team with pride and patriotism, and lastly for the billions of Indian’s around the world who believed that India could and would bring home the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon gram flour
1/2 cup plain yogurt, beaten
1/2 cup water
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups oil
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon of crushed cardamon powder
5-6 strands of saffron
1 tablespoon rose water
For the Jalebis: Combine the flour and gram flour in a mixing bowl. Add yogurt and water. Mix well, using a spoon, ensuring that no lumps remain. Once mixture is mixed and smooth add baking soda. Let mixture sit 1-2 hours to ferment. Once fermented put the mixture in a jalebi bottle, if you don’t have a jalebi bottle, you can use an empty, clean, ketchup or mustard bottle (an icing bag can also be used). Heat oil on medium flame in a frying pan. Spoon the batter in the bottle/icing bag. Drop the batter by squeezing the bottle/icing bag, into the hot oil, in a circular motion to make the jalebis. Lightly brown on each side. Repeat until all the batter is used up. Drain excess oil. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
For the Sugar Syrup: Boil water on medium heat and add sugar. Mix well until all sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat to low and add saffron and crushed cardamon powder. Let sit for 10 minutes and add rose water. Once excess oil has been drained from jalebis immerse them into hot sugar syrup for 2-3 minutes. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes. Garnish with crushed pistachios if desired.