|Alternative names||see names|
|Place of origin||India , Bangladesh (Jilapi)
|Region or state||South Asia, West Asia, North Africa|
|Serving temperature||Hot or cold|
|Main ingredients||Maida flour, saffron, ghee, sugar|
|Similar dishes||Imarti, Shahi jilapi, Chhena jalebi|
Jalebi, also known as jilapi, jilebi, jilipi, zulbia, jerry, mushabak, and zalabia, is a popular sweet snack. It is made by deep-frying maida flour (plain flour or all-purpose flour) batter in pretzel or circular shapes, which are then soaked in sugar syrup.
This dessert can be 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 rose water. Jalebi is eaten with curd or rabri (North India) along with optional other flavours such as kewra (scented water).
Zalabia or zlabia
Zlabia is known to be a speciality of the city of Beja, Tunisia. According to the Indian ambassador Nagma Malik, it might have started life in Turkey and then arrived in Tunisia long ago before coming its way to India. Others claim that it was created by Abdourrahman Ibnou Nafaâ Ziriab, an Iraqi musician who was travelling from Baghdad to Andalusia and who decided to stop over in Tunisia in order to create a cake. The history and the spread of zlabia so remain mysterious and unexplained.
In Iran, where it is known as zolbiya, the sweet was traditionally given to the poor during Ramadan. A 10th century cookbook gives several recipes for zulubiya. There are several 13th century recipes of the sweet, the most accepted being mentioned in a cookbook by Muhammad bin Hasan al-Baghdadi. It was also mentioned in a tenth century Arabic cookbook by Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq, that was later translated by Nawal Nasrallah.
According to Hobson-Jobson, the word jalebi is derived from the Arabic word zulabiya or the Persian zolbiya, another name for luqmat al qadi. In 15th century sarthak , jalebi was known as Kundalika or Jalavallika. Priyamkarnrpakatha, a work by the Jain author Jinasura, composed around 1450 CE, mentions jalebi in the context of a dinner held by a rich merchant. Gunyagunabodhini, another Sanskrit work dating before 1600 CE, lists the ingredients and recipe of the dish; these are identical to the ones used to prepare the modern jalebi. The western Asian dish of Zalabia used a different batter and a syrup of honey and rose water.
In the Indian subcontinent, it is known as Jalebi in Hindi and served with sweetened condensed milk dish, rabri or eaten with kachori and vegetable curry in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent.
In Pakistan, jalebis are a popular dessert that are commonly consumed in households and in public events such as weddings or festivals. In Bangladesh, this sweet is called Jilapi in Standard Bengali or Zilafi in some places in eastern Bangladesh such as Sylhet and Chittagong, and it is broadly consumed as an essential iftar item or as a snack.
In Nepal, it is known as Jerry, a word derived from Jangiri and the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. People ususally eat Jerry with Swari, a very thin fried bread like Puri (food). It is often eaten in morning with Nepali Masala chiya.
In the Maldives, it is known by the name zilēbi.
It is known as zoolbia (زولبیا) in Iran, although when translated into English, the spelling has alternatives and can include zolbiya, zulbiā, zulbia, zolbia, and others. In addition to being sweetened with honey and sugar, zoolbias in Iran is also flavoured with saffron or rose water. Often in Iran, zoolbia is served with Persian-style black tea alongside a similar dessert with a different "egg" shape, bamiyeh. These deserts are commonly served during Ramadan month as one of the main elements eaten after fasting.
Zulbiya or zilviya is one of the unique sweets of Ganja, one of the ancient cities of Azerbaijan. In the past, Zilviya was considered one of the main attributes of the Novruz in Ganja. Zilviya was usually cooked a few days before Novruz and served on the eve of the holiday. Just as each of the sweets and cookies placed on the table on the eve of holiday has a certain meaning in connection with Novruz, the round-shaped zilviyas, mostly baked in yellow and red, symbolized the equality of night and day on March 21.
North Africa and the Middle East
Zlebia or zlabia is a type of pastry eaten in parts of Northwest Africa, such as Algeria, Tunisia and Libya as well as Morocco. Natural ingredients include flour, yeast, yoghurt, and sugar or honey. This is then mixed with water and commonly two seeds of cardamom (oil for the crackling).
Middle East and Comoros
These are found in the Levant and other Middle Eastern countries, including the Arab countries of Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Comoros. Zalābiya or zalabia, zalabiya (زلابية) (Maghrebi Arabic: زلابية) are fried dough foods, including types similar to straight doughnuts. Zalābiya are made from a batter composed of eggs, flour and milk, and then cooked in oil. They are made by a zalbāni. Unlike jalebi, zalabia may have a different shape, more like a free-form doughnut or a ball (but this is depending on the exact region and culture), and it may contain cinnamon, lemon, and powdered sugar.
Variations of the recipe
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 to be added.[This quote needs a citation]
Zalābiya 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 in France, although they are especially popular during Ramadan celebrations.[unreliable source?]
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