Now we all love to have a bit of tasty jalebis during our festivities. But have you wondered how this dessert came into being. Let’s share a simple sweet story of the twisted Jalebis – The Ultimate Wonder Sweet.
Jalebi, one of the most popular Indian sweet dishes has its origin to West Asia. The Persian invaders at first introduced Jalebi to India in the medieval era. This sweetmeat was then called ‘Kundalika’, and ‘Jalavallika’ in India in the 15th century. The poor were offered platefuls of Jalebi during Ramadan in Iran. It is called ‘Zalabia’ in the Arabian countries, ‘Zilebi’ in the Maldives, ‘Zlebia’ in Tunisia, Libya and Algeria, and ‘Jeri’ in Nepal. References to the Indian version of Jalebi are found in “Priyamkarnrpakatha” by Jinasura, a Jain author of the mid-15th century.
Later on it became one of the most loved sweets in India. In India, as in West Asia, it is known by various names: jilbi, jilipi, jilapi, zelapi, jilapir pak, imrati, jahangiri and so forth. The ingredients too vary from region to region. In some parts of the country, the batter consists of urad dal and rice flour with a little besan and wheat flour; in some others it also includes semolina and baking powder. Or it might consist, as in Bengal, of chhena and khoa.
Thus, with substantiating evidence of its presence in the Indian subcontinent for around 500 years, this delightful sweet has captured every Indian’s heart and taste buds and rightly fills in pleasure to our palate.