When and how did Jalebi start?
Jalebi is usually made plain. But people also eat paneer or khoya jalebi with great gusto. Eating Jalebi in rainy and winter days has its own fun. The history of Jalebi is about 500 years old from today. In Iran, jalebi is known as julabiya or julubiya. Jalebi reached India with the Turkish invaders. After this, the name of Jalebi, the method of preparation and its taste kept on changing. By the 15th century in India, Jalebi had become a special dish used in every festival. Even it was being given as Prasad in the temples. The word Jalebi is derived from the Arabic word ‘jalabiya’ or the Persian word ‘jalibiya’. The medieval book ‘Kitab-al-Tabiq’ describes a sweet called ‘Jalabiya’. Which is a word derived from West Asia.
Jalebi is available in different names in the country
In North India it is known as Jalebi, while in South India it is known as ‘Jilebi’. In Bengal this name is changed to ‘Jilpi’. It is also a tradition in Gujarat to eat Jalebi with Fafda on Dussehra and other festivals. Many varieties of Jalebi are famous in different states. Bade Jaleba from the night markets of Indore, Chanar Jilpi in Bengal, Mawa Jambi or Khowa Jalebi of Madhya Pradesh, Imarti or Jhangiri of Andhra Pradesh, named after the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. Jaleba weighing 300 grams is available in Indore city. Paneer Jalebi is made by adding grated paneer to the mixture of Jalebi, while ‘chanar jilpi’ is prepared by adding milk and mawa to the mixture of Jalebi. Jalebi is eaten not only in India but also in many other countries. In Lebanon, ‘Jellabiya’ is a long pastry. In Iran it is known as Julubiya, in Tunisia Jalabiya, and in Arabia Jalebi is known as Jalabiya.
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