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Monday, March 16, 2009

Mystery Food: Soleil au miel

This dessert-like food is a complete mystery to me. I know the name it goes by in both French and in Arabic in the Tunisian couscous restaurant around the corner: "soleil au miel" and "zelebaia." But I still don't know what they are! When I did a google search for both of those terms, the only results were found on the restaurant's (Saladin City) website.


I had tried the brighter yellow piece once before in Paris, but failed to ask what it was. Today, I had one of the brighter yellow pieces for dessert after couscous, and asked what it was, but knowing the name only confirmed the single thing I knew about it...it contains honey. But let me warn you: this is not a dessert for those shy of sweetness. I could only finish about half of this little morsel (and I have a serious sweet tooth). It looks as if it's made like a funnel cake, but not with batter. The outside is a crisp sweet shell that holds a dripping honey syrup. The darker version is more cakelike, but also crispy and filled with the same honey syrup.

I'd love to know exactly what this is...so if you know, please share!

18 comments:

Hedonistin March 16, 2009 at 5:49 PM  

Looks similar to the Indian Jelebi ... try to google for "zlabia" or "zlebia".

Chef E March 16, 2009 at 7:04 PM  

Hello stranger! It is in the Indian culture too, but I will have to investigate for sure now, and have tasted and your right really sweet!

blog had problems and people were dropped from our lists, so glad you are back, and I plan on catching up!

Anonymous,  March 17, 2009 at 12:12 AM  

hi!! These are called Zalabia. They are very similar to doughnut; the deep fried part. They have a lighter batter though. After they are fried, they get crunchy and crispy, they are drenched with sugar syrup that is boiled down with saffron to turn it yellow, or red sometimes. Very tasty.

Dimply,  March 17, 2009 at 3:00 AM  

These are called Jalebis in India. A very popular sweet over here. The flour batter is deep fried in oil and then the rings are soaked in sugar syrup.e

Akriti,  March 17, 2009 at 4:03 AM  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jalebi take a look at the web link above.
this is an extreamly popular sweet in india. served in all weddings and other big occasions.

http://festivals.iloveindia.com/diwali/jalebi.html : u will get the recipe here.

If you want to know more you can simply google "jalebi" and read more about it :)

Mindy March 17, 2009 at 8:04 AM  

Thanks, everyone! It's funny that the spelling that the guy gave us was just different enough to not come up on a google search. I'm surprised to find that honey is not actually an ingredient despite the French name!

Mindy March 17, 2009 at 8:05 AM  

And ChefE, I was wondering where you had gotten to! Welcome back!

Anonymous,  March 17, 2009 at 8:11 AM  

hi
this is an Iranian dessert. I love that very much.Iranian eat them in Ramadan month.Here is a link for the recipe:http://www.iranmania.com/travel/eating/zoolbia.asp
I hope you will make that and enjoy.
fatima

Lori March 17, 2009 at 10:41 AM  

Very interesting! I've learned so much just from the comments. :)

Sarah Herman March 17, 2009 at 12:45 PM  

hmmm, interesting I can honestly say i've never had this. It intrigues me!

Mindy March 18, 2009 at 10:24 AM  

Thanks for all of the links to the recipes! I'll have to try it when I get back to Kentucky and don't have easy access to them...

Jude March 21, 2009 at 6:40 PM  

I've had something really similar and they were Indian desserts as someone previously mentioned. You're right, they're way to see for me but good in small doses.

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