The round and crispy layers entangled together in a loop is what best describes the Indian dessert, jalebi
While Indian cuisine is known for their curry and breads, there is another thing that is very popular from our fare, the Indian mithai. The word mithai comes from the Hindi word, meetha which means sweet. If you take a look at the dessert section of the country, you’ll be amazed at the large variety they have to offer. From barfis to ladoos and pedas, Indian mithai comes in various shapes and sizes. It is believed that the origin of sweets began in India around 500 BCE. With the production of raw and refined sugar, there were a range of confections that started. The earliest sweet in India is said to kheer or payesh. Made with milk and vermicelli, the milky pudding can be served both hot and cold. With the invasion of Persian settlers in the country and an increase in the Mughal influence, novel desserts started coming up.
The diverse historical experiences of India are clearly reflected in the way it has shaped its food. Desserts like jalebi which are so popular today, were once a part of the foreign land. Crispy and hot, the circular crispy dessert is made from a batter of flour which is deep-fried in hot oil. This heavenly dessert was introduced to us by the Persian travelers who came to India in the 10th century. Historical records like the Kitaab-al-Tabeekh finds mention of something called Zalabiya. Gradually, when it entered India, the name jalebi was given. It was also served as prasadam in Indian temples during that time.The Indian preparation also differed, made from flour and dipped in sugar syrup while the former involved the use of rose water and honey syrup. This dessert was popular during festive occasions like Ramadan, Eid and New Year.
Known by plenty of names like Jilipi, Zalabiya, Zulbia etc., the essence of jalebi has always remained the same. However, to shake things up a bit and give it a fruity twist, Slurrp Community member @tadka_mar_ke brings a delicious apple jalebi recipe for us. Made with sliced apples dipped in sugar syrup, you would be left wanting more. Want to try some? Here’s the full recipe.