Food

Jilipi – Sweet of the Nation

Earned the Fame as the “Sweet of the Poor”, Jilipi are reasonably priced and is a South Asian sweet dish, has its roots deeply rooted in Western Asia.

 

I love Jalebis so much that almost 4 out of 7 days in a week, I have it for breakfast. I just can’t imagine having breakfast without them. This is the local shop from where I purchase Jalebis. They make mouth-watering Jalebis early in the morning.

The main ingredients for making this delicious sweet dish consists of all purpose flour (maida), saffron, ghee, sugar, baking soda, curd and water.

Jalebi, also known as Jilipi – a South Asian sweet dish, has its roots deeply rooted in Western Asia. The cuisine was brought to Medieval India by Persian speaking Turkish invaders. The main feature of this dish is that it is crisp on the exterior whereas soft, chewing texture on the inside. These are reasonably priced and earned the Fame as the “Sweet of the Poor”.

Jalebi or Jilipi is known by different names in different geographic regions. This sweet dish is popular across the globe.

Sometimes, when I am walking down the road and see that small shops are making fresh Jalebis, I tend to stand by it. Taste at least 2 – 3 Jalebis, before leaving. That is the extent that I love eating Jalebi.

There’s huge difference between eating from a big, branded shop and a local shops on the streets.

Jalebis are available across popular sweet shops across the Kolkata. There are many small shops in my locality and around. Some of the recommended shops where the Jalebi lovers can taste them are;

  • Mithai, opposite Quest Mall
  • Balaram Mullick and Radharam Mullick, Broad Street
  • New Sri Gopal Misthanna Bhandar, Bondel Road
  • Maharaja, Sarat Bose Road
  • Tasty Corner, near ITI Gariahat

I like it the most when the syrup rolls and falls from it while eating. It can also be taken with dal puris or kachoris as they make up the best combo.

The taste feels special when Jalebis are made from pure ghee and served hot.

You will be surprised to know that Jalebis is a good cure for headaches and cold. Really, it worked for me!!!

So, the next time, when you catch cold or suffer from headaches, just go and grab some mouth watering Jalebis for yourself.

Jalebi is considered as the National sweet of India and is distributed in government offices, local clubs during celebrations like that of Republic Day (26th January) and Independence Day (15th August). It is even preferred in weddings and other festivals too.

So, how are Jalebis made?

Jalebi making is not an easy task. It is an art that one needs to master. Amateur workers will not be able to make perfect concentric circles.

  • Batter is made using all-purpose flour, baking soda in required proportion.
  • Curd and water is added to mix it well.
  • Saffron is used for colour and rose water for essence.
  • Better to keep the batter overnight for fermentation.
  • The oil needs to be heated in a deep bottomed pan.
  • The batter is then put inside a muslin cloth and a hole is made in the cloth.
  • On pressing the cloth firmly, the batter drops on the oil smoothly.
  • The Jalebis are fried till it becomes crispy and golden in colour.
  • Finally the Jalebis are soaked in sugar syrup.

I would like to share a small experience with you. Once I was in Delhi, there I experienced Jalebis made from pure ghee. It’s in Chandni Chowk, a renowned place for exotic Jalebis. It costs Rs. 50 just for 1 piece.

The sticks are thick that you can’t even imagine. So, if you are in Delhi, don’t forget to taste it once.

One Last thing about Jalebis

Even in rural parts of India, since the options of the varieties of sweets are limited, the population in inclined towards the production of Jalebis. At the same time, it is very easy to make and also takes very less time to prepare.

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