Discover The Sweetness in the Twisted History of People’s Favorite Jalebi

The most popular sweet in Persia and Indian Subcontinent, the tempting and mouth – watering Jalebi is also known as Zulbia. It is believed that savoring Jalebi holds its roots in a similar dish of West Asia. According to Hobson – Jobson, the Jalebi word got its derivation from Arabic and Persian area. The similar dish of West Asia has its name zulabiya in Arabic and zolbiya in Persian.

The Christian Communities of Western Asia serves it on the Feast of Theophany (Epiphany) with dry sugar and cinnamon or confectioners’ sugar. Zolbiya was traditionally given to poor during Ramadan. A cookbook from 10th century provides various recipes of zulubiya. 13th century provides several recipes of the sweet. The most accepted recipe is mentioned in the cookbook by Muhammad bin Hasan-al-Baghdadi.

Persian speaking Turkic invaders brought the dish to Medieval India. India during 15th century called jalebi as Kundalika or Jalavallika. A work done by Jain author Jinasura known as Priyamkarnrpakatha which was composed around 1450 CE mentioned jalebi as the dinner done by rich merchant. The ingredients and recipe used to make modern jalebi resembles Gunyagunabodhini, another Sanskrit work dating before 1600 CE.

By: Bhavna Sharma



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