Jalebi – sweet Pretzels: Food in Nepal

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ September 13th, 2012. Published in: Travel blog » Food around the world » Nepali food.
Jalebi from Nepal

Jalebi from Nepal but originating in Iran!

Jalebi – Nepals version of a sweet pretzel

Every wonder what all those brightly colored orange swirly things are on the side of the road? Well, they are called Jalebi! Super sweet candy that are popular all over the Indian sub-content.

This is where I have to break away into a little history. Quite often I get an email or comment saying “this is not from Nepal, this is from India!!” Or vice versa. So let’s dive into the history to solve things.

History of Jalebi

The first known origins of Jalebi come from Iraq(between 3100 BC and 539 BC) where it’s called Kundalika. The first written reference is from Iran (13th century) where it’s known as Zubia. The first Indian reference came about in the 1450’s.  From there it made its way north to Nepal. It’s also a hugely popular sweet in Pakistan.

What’s Jalebi made from?

What flour that’s been deep-fried and then covered in a sugar syrup. It’s often served cold from the streets. But is especially good if eaten hot and fresh.

What does Jalebi taste like?

Sweeeeet. Very sweet. It’s not got anything super special about it. If fresh you get a hint of flour and sugar. If cold it’s mainly like eating sugar candy.

The next time you see trays of these orange pretzel like things along a street don’t be afraid to go over and try one!

This is an additional post featuring Nepalese food

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8 Great responses to Jalebi – sweet Pretzels: Food in Nepal

  1. Mandy says:

    Ooh, first glance at it made my teeth go achy ;) Often seen in Malaysia sold by the Indian but never have the courage to try it.

  2. BB Travels says:

    Looks fantastic! Can’t wait to try it. Like you wrote it’s probably one of those things I’d see on the street but never dare to try until seeing it here.

  3. Stuart says:

    You’re right, they do look like pretzels. I wonder if that’s where the shape originally came from?

  4. Rajesh says:

    There is a mistake in history of jalebi. As per wikipedia “Origins of Jalebi can be traced back to ancient India, where it was called Kundalika or Jal-vallika. In later dialects of Sanskrit, Jal-vallika became Jalebi which likely arrived in the middle east during the period of Muslim rule, through cultural diffusion and trade from the Indian subcontinent ” hence origin of jalebi is not from iran but from India.

    • Wikipedia … Anyway even according to Wikipedia you can read that the first written origins were in Iran where it’s known as Zulbia. However as with most things in this region India lays claim to the origins of just about everything.