Thursday, March 17, 2011


The Imarti is a sweet very commonly found in most sweet shops in India. Native to Uttar Pradesh, this recipe is so named because of the layers you have to build on it. Imarat means building; thus the name Imarti meaning 'like a building.'

I think it is named aptly also because while it is being made in the kitchen, your family is busy building expectations outside. I don't know why I even attempted this recipe in this hot, hot and super-humid weather. I was melting as quickly as the ghee in my frying pan!

Alright on we go to the ingredients:

2 cups urad dal soaked overnight with a whole lot of  water
500 g ghee for frying
250 g sugar for syrup
saffron orange food coloring (optional)
1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Proceed at your own risk :-P

First make the syrup. Take the sugar, and cardamom powder with just enough water to soak it a bit, and boil it. It should be of one thread consistency. This means that when you rub a little syrup in between your thumb and index finger and then pull them apart, the syrup should form a single strand.

Assuming that you have soaked the urad dal overnight, grind it in a blender till it is a smooth puree with as little water as possible. Touch a little bit of the batter and test it between your thumb and index finger to make sure that you feel no granules. Add water only very little at a time. I added a little more than required and my Imartis just wouldn't hold their form.

Once this step has been done, add the food color and then beat the batter well with a beater. If your mother has been kind enough to gift you an electric blender like mine, then you are really blessed. I do remember, as a kid, my mother would spend hours mixing cake batter in a large plate with her bare hands. She would use the flat of the hand to beat the egg. Her hand would smell all egg-ish for a long time afterward. Old timers really had great stamina, hadn't they?

Beat your mixture till it is very light and very fluffy. If you have the jalebi maker, nothing like it. I used my icing bag for squeezing out the mixture.

Heat ghee in a flat frying pan. Now comes the part where you will need to summon all your culinary skills. Pipe out the mixture to form two rings, the inner one should be about 2 inches in diameter, and the outer one just touching the inner one. Now form small ringlets on top of these two circles. HA! This is so much easier said than done!

I remember seeing one sweet maker in action, and he made it look so easy! More than half the imartis are of "whatyoumaycallit" shape. Make the jalebis. I know that presentation is important, but don't kill yourself if your shape isn't exactly... ideal!

Fry your "whatever" shapes till they are crispy on both the sides. The heat should be maintained at medium. Too little heat, and your imartis will become just one big disc (like some of mine), and too much of heat will make them look like a jalebi asked by a police inspector to do "Hands Up!"

Once they are done, remove them and drain them on kitchen towels. Now dip them in the syrup for some time. Taste best when hot.

Look at my attempt at the Imarti. :-(

You may want to search elsewhere on the net for better made Imartis so that you know what the shape should be like.

The taste however was soooooooooooooo good! They are crisp on the outside and when you bite them, gooey viscous syrup flows from it.

This is however not for the diet conscious. It is obscenely rich in fat content. On the other hand, if you are someone like me who loves good food without counting calories, well....

Happy Cooking!


  1. Shape or no shape! (either Imartis or the eater!) The dish being seen in this picture may not be the exact shape. But what matters at the end of the day, it tasted slurp-fect!

  2. ooooh! variant jalebi!! :D yummmm!!

  3. My God, hats off to you girl!!! I am going to self invite myself to your home for dinner and lunch when I come to India!!! :P
    Shucks, my granma used to make it, and i have faint memories of Mum making them too. its back breaking stuff man!!!

  4. Jayu you know you are always welcome! :-) Try this recipe, it tastes really really good!