Jalebis as served in South Asia
|Alternative name(s)||Jal-vallika, Kundalika (Ancient India); Jilebi, Jilawii; zoolbia (Middle East); jeri (Nepal)|
|Region or state||Middle East, South Asia|
|Main ingredient(s)||Maida flour, saffron, ghee, sugar|
|Variations||Jaangiri or Imarti|
Jalebi, or Jilawii (and sometimes Jalibi) (Hindi: जलेबी;Bengali: জিলিপি jilipi; Kannada: ಜಿಲೇಬಿ ; Nepali जिल्फी/जेरी; Urdu: جلیبی; Malayalam:ജിലേബി; Sindhi: جلیبی; Marathi: जिलेबी/जिलबी; Sinhala: පැණි වළලු; Punjabi: ਜਲੇਬੀ/جلیبی jalebī; Tamil: ஜிலேபி; Pashto: ځلوبۍ źəlobəi; Persian: زولبیا zulbia; Arabic:,زلابية zalabiyah in Egypt المشبك moshabbak) is a sweet popular in countries of the Indian Subcontinent such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh as well as many other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, like Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. It is made by deep-frying a wheat-flour (Maida flour) batter in pretzel or circular shapes, which are then soaked in sugar syrup.
The sweets are served warm or cold. They have a somewhat chewy texture with a crystallized sugary exterior coating. Citric acid or lime juice is sometimes added to the syrup, as well as rosewater or other flavours such as kewra water.
Similar sweets are imarti(Bengali: অমৃতি omriti), which is red-orange tangerine in color and sweeter in taste, and angoor aana which is grape-green in color; unlike jalebi, these are made from the batter of urad lentil. They are made in North Indian states including Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. A variant chhena jalebi (Bengali: ছানার জিলিপি omrimiti), made with chhena, is popular in parts of West Bengal, Rajasthan,, and Orissa, though the form can differ significantly from place to place.
In India, Jalebi is served as the Celebration Sweet of India, popular during national holidays like Independence Day and Republic Day, on which it is supplied in government offices, defence facilities, and other organisations. Similarly, Jalebi is one of the most popular sweets in Pakistan. It is used as a remedy for headaches in some parts of Pakistan, where it is placed in boiling milk and left to stand before eating.
Origins of Jalebi can be traced back to ancient India, where it was called Kundalika or Jal-vallika (being full of syrup, which is watery; hence the name). In later dialects of Sanskrit, Jal-vallika became Jalebi which likely arrived in the middle east during the period of Muslim rule, through cultural diffusion and trade from the Indian subcontinent, and its local name Jalebi became Zalebi as Z is more common in middle-eastern languages.
The earliest written references to the sweet are found in a 13th-century cookbook by Muhammad bin Hasan al-Baghdadi. In Iran, where it is known as Zulbia, the sweet was traditionally given to the poor during Ramadan. In the early 1900s, Jalebi was used to hold ice cream. This idea was made by Ernest A Hamwi. Jalebi was also a treat for an American family, until the invention of cones.
One of the earliest known Indian references for the sweet exists in a Jain work — Priyamkarnrpakatha — by Jinasura, apparently composed in AD 1450. This work was subsequently cited in cookery books published in later centuries including the 17th-century classic Bhojan-kutuhala by Raghunatha.
Geographic distribution 
In ancient India, it was called Kundalika or Jal-vallika.
The word for Jalebi is zoolbia (زولبیا) in Persian, and in Pashto źəlobəi (ځلوبۍ). In Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, it is known as "zalabia" (زلابية) (sometimes spelt as "zalabiya"). In the Maldives, it is known by the name "zilēbi."
Zlebia (Maghreb) 
Natural ingredients include flour, yeast, yoghurt, and sugar. This is then mixed with water and commonly two seeds of cardamom (oil for the crackling).
This sweet was cherished by the Jewish population of Algeria.
Zalābiya are fried dough foods including types similar to straight doughnuts in and around the Middle Eastern countries including Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Morocco and Algeria. They are made by a zalbāni. Zalābiya are made from a batter composed of eggs, flour and milk, and then cooked in oil.
Zalābiya mushabbaka are latticed fritters made in discs, balls, and squares. They are dipped in clarified honey perfumed with rose water, musk, and camphor. A recipe from a caliph's kitchen suggests milk clarified butter, sugar and pepper be added.[this quote needs a citation]
Zalabiya funiyya is a "sponge cake" version cooked in a special round pot on a trivet and cooked in a tannur. They are often stick shaped. They are eaten year-round, including in expatriate communities such as France, where they are especially popular during Ramadan celebrations.
In popular culture 
- Mallika Sherawat played item song a Jalebi bai in the Hindi movie Double Dhamaal.
- Dhara Ghee used Jalebi in advertisement.
See also 
Further reading 
- Epicure's Delectable Desserts of the World By Asha Khatau ISBN 81-7991-119-5
|Wikibooks Cookbook has a recipe/module on|
- Festival Feasts
- "Newsletter Article". Icescreamers.com. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- Journey of the jalebi
- Recipe for Zalabiya
- Jalebi khani
- Maya Shatzmiller Labour in the medieval Islamic world page 110
- "Food of Morocco: Authentic Recipes from the North African Coast - Fatema Hal - Google Boeken". Books.google.com. 2002-05-15. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
- Translated by Nawal Nasrallah Annals of the caliphs' kitchens: Ibn Sayyār al-Warrāq's tenth-century Baghdadi cookbook Volume 70 of Islamic history and civilization Edition illustrated 2007 ISBN 90-04-15867-7, ISBN 978-90-04-15867-2 867 pages BRILL page 413-417
- Hadi Yahmid French Ramadan About Solidarity IslamOnline