|Alternative names||see names|
|Place of origin||Western Asia (Zalabiyeh or Luqmat al qadi)
|Region or state||South Asia, West Asia|
|Serving temperature||Hot or cold|
|Main ingredients||Maida flour, saffron, ghee, sugar|
|Variations||Jahangiri or Imarti|
Jalebi, also known as zulbia, jilapi and zalabia, is an Indian sweet popular all over South Asia and the Middle East. 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. They are particularly popular in the Indian subcontinent and Iran.
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).
Names for the dish include
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 Indian word jalebi is derived from the Arabic word zulabiya or the Persian zolbiya, another name for luqmat al qadi.This recipe was brought to Medieval India by Persian-speaking Turkic invaders. In 15th century India, jalebi was known as Kundalika or Jalavallika.:262 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.:37 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, It was in India that the Indian jalebi got its distinct form - crispness, colour and the sticky sweetness.
In the Indian subcontinent, it is known as "Jalebi" in Hindustani and served with sweetened condensed milk dish, rabri or eaten with kachori and vegetable curry in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. This sweet is called "jeri" in Nepal, a word derived from Jangiri and the Mughal Emperor Jahangir.
In the Maldives, it is known by the name "zilēbi".
It's 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 Nowruz (Persian New Year) and Ramadan month.
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).
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.
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?]