History of Jalebi
According to an old dictionary, the word jalebi or jilebi is a corruption of the Arabic or Persian word zalabia. If it is, then, both the word and the mouth-watering, sweet, syrupy article of food that it connotes, must have entered India quite early. Babur, the first Mughal, who established the Mughal Empire in India, is thought to have brought jalebis to India. jalebi are found in North Africa too, in same orange version soaked in honey or syrup. Jalebis are common in the Middle East too.
A Jain book written some time in the 15th century mentions a feast which included the Jalebi. A book on the science of cooking written in 17th century describes its preparation in exactly the same way as at present.
A poem in Kannada dated 1600AD, mentions the Jalebi as an item of food served at a religious ritual. The Bhojana - Kuntala written by Raghunatha in the 17th century, also describes its method of preparation. Essentially, Jalebi is a flat spiral of fermented batter about eight centimetres in diameter. It is fried and soaked, when still hot, in a thin syrup of sugar, and then taken out.
The ingredients of Jalebi can be quite varied to make the batter, which is then piped into hot ghee or refined oil. White flour (maida) and a little besan (chana dal flour) is used in North India. The dough is slightly fermented by employing curd. The finished product is golden, irregularly wound and crisp.
A similar confection called Imrati or Jahangiri is prepared by piping out a batter of ground urad dal in regular loops, giving it the appearance of a flower.
Jalebi is soft and oozy, and a deep orange colour is imparted to it by using saffron or food colouring. In Bengal, either wheatflour or a mixture of chana dal and khoa(milk solid) are employed for makng Imratis. The spirals are shaped by hand before frying and it is dipped in syrup
Reciepe of Jalebi
Ingredients for Jalebi are as follows -
Maida - 100gm
Besan - 20gm
Curd - 20gm
Sugar - 200gm
Rose essence - few drops
Refined Oil - for frying
Method for making Jalebi is as follows -
1. Mix the above ingredients (except sugar) together with water to form a thick batter. Set it aside for 24 hours.
2. Make a sugar syrup of one string consistency
3. Heat oil in a flat fry pan "jalebi-kara".
4. Pour batter through a coconut shell with one hole or through a cloth bag with a hole, to form jallebi in round pattern
5. Fry till crisp (do not brown)
6. Put into prepared syrup (syrup must be cooled frst)
7. Steep in sugar syrup. Remove ans arrange in plates
For better presentation arrange the Jalebis in a plate, drop few drops of honey, cover with silver paer and finist with sprinkling pistachio nuts.
Your Jalebis are ready to eat.