The History of Mava and Jalebi

South Asia is known for its very rich history and culture, and this includes diverse food across the region. From Pakistan to India to Bangladesh, there are similarities in food, but also their own unique flavours and preparation. The food in this region is diverse in nature such as the mava and jalebi. What are they and where do they originate from? Read on to find out!

What is Mava and where does it come from?

Mava is known by different names – khoa, khoya, or khowa. Khoya or khoa quite literally translates to curd in English. Mava is made of dried whole milk or thickened milk made by heating up in a pan, creating some kind of dried evaporated milk solids. Mava originates from the Indian subcontinent of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. It is a widely used dairy across this region, especially in sweets across this region.

The milk solids of mava are very low in water content and are often dry in texture. It has a rich, nutty flavour with a slight oily and granular texture. There are many other ways to make mava at home today and it only takes a few ingredients.

And Jalebi?

Jalebi is a popular desi sweet treat, and it is common to see across the Indian subcontinent from Pakistan to India. Jalebi is a spiral-shaped crisp & juicy sweet made with a fermented batter that is fried and then immersed in sugar syrup. This sweet sugary goodness, though popular in this region, was said to be brought to the Indian subcontinent by Persian traders and artisans during the medieval period. Then it was called zulbiya.

Jalebi was first referenced in Indian text during the 1450 CE by Priyamkarnrpakatha, a Jain text composed by Jinasura. The text mentioned that jalebi was served by an Indian merchant as part of a dinner menu. This delicious sweet treat did not take long to spread across Indian cuisine. By the 15th century, jalebi became a part of festivities across the Indian subcontinent such as weddings and other celebrations.

Jalebi today can be found in different variants across India. In Southern India, it is pronounced as jilebi while in Bengali, jilapi. While pronunciations vary, the way it is made can also vary. Jaleba, found in the night markets of Indore, is a giant version of the jalebi, while Chanar Jilipi from Bengal is made with fresh cottage cheese of cow’s milk mixed with semolina and flour. Another variation, mava jalebi from Madhya Pradesh, is made by adding mava to the ingredients.

Get the Mava Jalebi at Rollz

Here at Rollz, we offer the Mava Jalebi Kulfi rolled ice cream flavour. This delicious treat elevates the already decadent sweet jalebi into a mouth-watering rolled ice cream treat!

Looking for desi-inspired desserts in the Greater Toronto Area? Look no further and drop by any Rollz Ice Cream store locations. We offer a variety of desi-inspired rolled ice cream flavours and other desserts that are sure to leave you wanting more this fall season! What are you waiting for? Visit us today!

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