Jalebi…where did you come from!

Jalebi…Love of Foodies. It is not invented in India but it is delicious. Today we will tell about the origin of jalebi and how it traveled to India!

Many people believe that jalebi is based on Lokmat-al-qadi made in Arab countries. But if we note the difference between the two, then jalebi is made by whisking flour whereas, for Lokmat-al-qadi the flour needs to be kneaded. The round balls are made of the dough and then fried in oil. There is no doubt, the jalebi was born in west Asia.

In 13th century, turkey’s Mohammed bin hasan-al-Baghdadi collected all the dishes and created a book “keetab ul tabeekh” that means a cookbook. In which he mentioned zalabiya, which is jalebi.

When the muslim traders, artists, and rulers travelled to India, they brought the delicacy jalebi with them. Along with their other delicacies it spread all over India. The urdu speaking population pronounced Zalabiya or Zalibiya soon came to be known as jalebi in Hindi. If we start to count from that time then the history of jalebi is more than 500 years old.

In India, jalebi was first mentioned in 1450 AD. According to “Priyam karnapa Katha” amongst all the items in the veneration of god included the jalebi, too. Since then jalebi found a place for itself in festivals, veneration and other joyous occasions.

In the 17th century, during the reign of Deepabai of Tanjore, There was a writer named ‘ Raghunath’ who wrote a cookbook called Bhojana kutuhalathe, book describes the food habits of people in the southern region. The recipes for making Jalebi mentioned in the book is still being used in India. Its not wrong to call the Jalebi the most democratic sweet of all.  Everyone just loves it. The provenance or religious identity didn’t matter.

In addition 🙂

Jalebi is not invented India…but India gave something very important to the world. That is sugar.

In Hindi Sugar is known as ‘Chinee’. Even its Hindi name has an interesting story! A guest from china came to north India to learn the process of making sugar (As north India is considered suitable for cultivation of sugar cane from ancient times). Then he went back to his country and produced sugar in large scale and started exporting it to India. It is believed that due to its high quality and large-scale production in china it got its name ‘Chinee’.

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