Thursday, September 13, 2007

YES to Jalaibi...NO to War!

Jalaibi is a sweet meat from Pakistan and India. Made from flour, sugar syrup, and deep fried in oil. Great when it is pipping hot and dripping in its sugary syrup! The crusty surface, and the mushy syrupy innards makes it a delicious treat for any occasion!

Jalaibi goes well with a hot cup of Pakistani mixed-tea, or Chai. Don't forget to throw in a couple Aloo (Potato) samosa's...thus maintaining a health pH balance, between sweet and savory.

On September 13/14 Muslims from around the world will fast in honour of the Holy Month of Ramadan (Ramzan). You may be wondering why I say, September 13/14 - the answer lies in the fact there are two groups of Muslims, on the most part they are Sunni. One group is following a "fixed lunar calendar" concocted up by ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) and heavily skewed towards the Wahibist of Saudi Arabia. The other group are those who follow a somewhat more traditional calendar, based upon real time lunar observations. (see Hilal Sighting Committee).

For the next four weeks, Muslim's will refrain from eating and drinking, and as many Islamist scholars like to emphasize, refrain from sexual relations, from Dawn to Dusk.

So back to Jalaibi ! A delicious sweet...soak it in milk, or have it with dates, mix-tea, and samosas. Jalaibi and Ramzan go hand in hand. Without Jailabi, Ramzan is incomplete.

Following is a recipe for making Jalaibi:

1 cup maida
½ cup rice flour
2 cup water
2½ cup sugar
1 tsp. soda
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
6 green cardamom (Chhoti Ilaichi)
2 tsp. Rose water
Saffron (Zafran)
Yellow/orange food colour
Oil/ghee for frying

Mix maida, rice flour, soda and water and keep the mixture overnight in warm place.

Mix sugar, water, ilaichi saffron cream of tartar and cook to make it into thick syrup.

Deep fry the mixture in the curls using a nozzle like the one used for icing of cakes. Fry till light brown and pour into the syrup. DO NOT OVER SOAK.
Remove and let the excess syrup drain out.

Serving: 10 to 12 persons

Eat your Jailabi, sweeten your soul from the harshness of the sweltering conflicts in the world. Conflicts, which could so easily have been avoided. From the Oil Wars to the wars between religious sects. All appear pointless after a pipping hot, sweet Jalaibi!

Wake up citizens of the world, wake up and taste the sweatiness of the Jalaibi. A sweetness that resides within us. A sweetness that is eternal, it is a sweet power that will wash over the harshness of the world. Bringing about order and serenity to chaos.

Wake up and taste the Jalaibi !

Copyright C. Abdulrahman Rafiq

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