Jilebi is a golden-coloured, spiral, tubular sweetmeat made of a batter of wheat or rice flour, gram flour and curd fried in oil and soaked in a thick sugar syrup while still hot whereupon it absorbs the sugar which forms a sweet liquid inside while crystallizing on the surface. Although a well known Hindustani sweetmeat, Jilebi probably has its origins in the zalābiya of the Arabs among whom it has been known for centuries. For instance in the Tale of Dalilah the Crafty and her daughter Zaynab occurring in the Thousand and One Nights we come across a reference to these honey-fritters (zalābiya bi asal) being consumed in Baghdad.

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