Jalebi: Jalebi Recipe & Cultural Significance

What is Jalebi

Jablei is a famous dessert in India and some other parts of Asia. It has a crispy texture and spiral shape. Jalebi is a favorite dish of both children and adults.

Usually, Jalebi is served during festivals, marriages, parties, gatherings, or other special occasions. Other names that are used for Jalebi include:

  • Zulbia
  • Zalabia
  • Mushabak
  • Zulabiya
  • Jilapi

It is prepared by deep frying a batter of yogurt and wheat flour which is then soaked in sugar syrup for aesthetic look and flavor.

In this article, we will look through the history, ingredients, preparation, and cultural significance of jalebi.

Jalebi recipe,

History of Jalebi

Jalebi originated from the northern area of India, where people called it Jilawii or Jilapi. Jalebi is derived from the Arabic word Zulabiya which refers to a sweet dish that was very popular in the Middle East.

Over time, Jalebi became a popular dessert in India and it is enjoyed in various forms across India.

In some regions of India, it is served as a street food while in other parts it is a famous dessert for weddings and other traditional festivals.

 Besides India, Jalebi has gained popularity in other parts of the world, especially in the Middle East and South Asia. It is now considered a wedding dessert dish in these parts of the world.

Recipes for Jalebi

Jalebi Ingredients

The ingredients of Jalebi are divided into two groups Basic ingredients and optional ingredients:

Basic ingredients

Here is a list of basic ingredients.

  1. Flour (wheat flour or all-purpose flour)
  2. Yogurt
  3. Sugar
  4. Water
  5. Baking soda
  6. Oil or Ghee for frying
  7. Flavoring agents such as Cardamom or saffron

Optional ingredients

Here is a list of optional ingredients which are used for aesthetic look and taste purposes.

  • Semolina
  • Cornflour
  • Rose water
  • orange blossom water  

Note: The types of ingredients and their quantity may vary depending on the region and recipe. But these are the basic ingredient that is used in the preparation of Jalebi.

How make Jalebi

Follow the following tips to make Jalebi:


  1. Wheat flour or all-purpose flour = 1 cup 
  2. Yogurt = 1/2 cup 
  3. Water = 1/2 cup 
  4. Sugar = 1 cup 
  5. Cardamom powder = 1/2 teaspoon
  6. A few strands of saffron
  7. Oil for frying


Follow these instructions before making Jalebi:

First prepare the batter

The batter can be prepared in three steps:

  1. Add flour, yogurt, and water to a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix all these ingredients until the batter becomes smooth and free from lumps. 
  3. Now cover the bowl with a cotton cloth or plastic cover and let the batter ferment. It usually takes 6-8 hours but some types of Jalebi take a whole night to ferment

Now prepare the sugar syrup

  1. Add 1 cup of sugar to ½ cup of water in a saucepan
  2. Now boil the mixture at a moderate temperature. Stir the mixture constantly to thoroughly dissolve sugar in the syrup. 
  3. Add saffron and cardamom accordingly and boil the syrup continuously until the syrup becomes thick and sticky.
  4. Now turn off the heat and keep the syrup warm aside.

The final step (Fry the Jalebi)

  • Heat ghee or oil in a frying pan
  • Fill a piping bag or squeeze bottle with fermented batter.
  • Now squeeze the batter into the hot oil in a spiral motion, and keep the spirals small and even.
  • Fry the Jalebi until their color turns golden brown and crispy.
  • Through a slotted spoon, remove the Jalebi from the hot oil and immediately transfer them into a warm sugar syrup.
  • Keep the Jalebi for a few minutes in warm sugar syrup to soak and then remove and place them on a plate.

Cultural significance of Jalebi

Jalebi is not just a sweet dish in India but it has huge cultural importance in the country. Here are a few traditional significances of Jalebi.

Festival events

Jalebi is a famous dessert in various festivals in India such as Holi, Diwali, Eid, and Raksha Bandhan. It is thought that eating Jalebi during these festivals brings prosperity, unity, and loyalty.

Wedding and engagement ceremonies

Jalebi is a commonly served dish in wedding and engagement ceremonies in India. Jalebi is considered a symbol of celebration and happiness.

Jalebi is served as a sweet dish to welcome newlyweds into their new life. In some parts of India Jalebi is served first to the guests. So it is a sign of hearty welcome. 

 Religious importance

Jalebi has lots of importance in some religious ceremonies in India. People usually offer Jalebi to deities during Puja or other auspicious rituals. People believed that offering Jalebi to deities during puja brings blessings from the deities.

 Regional importance

Jalebi shows lots of regional importance. For instance, in North India, it is served as a breakfast food with samosas and is known as Jalebi with Rabri.

In Rajasthan, it is known as Imarti and people serve them on special occasions.

Social significance

Jalebi has great importance in a social gatherings. Usually, family members and friends share Jalebi during gathering and enjoying the situation.

It brings together families and friends to enjoy and celebrate each other’s company.

Medicinal value

In the Ayurvedic medical system, Jalebi has medicinal properties. According to ayurvedic practitioners, Jalebi is good for digestion, acid reflux, and other stomach ailments.

Symbol of affection and love

In India, it is considered a symbol of love and affection because on special occasions such as Eid, Valentine’s day, weddings, and engagements people gift Jalebi to loved ones.

Art and craft

In some parts of India Jalebi is considered an art because it requires a certain level of skill and physical dexterity. It is a form of culinary art that is passed from generation to generation.

Significance in tourism

In India Jalebi is known for its taste and crispy texture. Due to this property, Jalebi attracts tourists to India. It is the most famous Indian street food that most tourist buy.

Frequent innovation

Due to different types and tastes, Jalebi has undergone several innovations in recent years. Expert Chefs did various experiments on different shapes, textures, and flavors and have given them a modern twist but still, it has traditional essence.

In conclusion, Jalebi holds significant cultural importance in India, and it is more than just a dessert. It is a symbol of happiness, celebration, and togetherness, and it plays a vital role in various festivals, weddings, and other social and religious ceremonies.

Jalebi in English

Jalebi is known as Funnel cake or Rounded sweet in English.


Jalebi is a famous dessert in all parts of India. People of all ages are enjoying it on all occasions.

The ingredients of Jalebi include Flour, sugar, water, baking soda, oil or ghee, saffron, cardamom, and other flavoring agents. Its recipe is simple and anybody can prepare it either in commercial places or at home.

It has several cultural significance such as people use in Holi, Diwali, and Eid.

Jalebi has medicinal properties and it plays important role in Ayurveda.


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