The Legendary Cuisine of Persia
In his book, The Land of the Lion and Sun, Dr Wills, an English doctor resident in Iran in the 19th century, described these syrupy threads as ‘a curious form of eatable’ which are prepared during the fasting month of Ramadan. And he noted that they were ‘delicate-looking and rather appetising’.
Today, zoloobiyâ are considered far too ‘appetising’ to eat during only one month in the year, and they are frequently served on special occasions. A very similar sweetmeat is popular in India, where it is known as jelebi.
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First prepare the syrup. Dissolve the sugar in the water by bringing it to the boil. Immediately add the lemon juice and boil for five minutes. Remove from heat, add rosewater and leave to cool completely.
Heat oil for deep-frying the fingers to 350°F/180°C.
Blend the water, flour, arrowroot and the lemon juice into a smooth thin batter. (This can be mixed in a food processor if wished.)
Pipe the mixture through a 6 mm/⅛ in nozzle* straight into the hot oil in rose or pretzel shapes.
Turn over in the oil and remove with a slotted spoon when evenly golden. Drop immediately in the cold syrup. Turn until well coated, remove from the syrup and leave to cool on a cake rack over a plate to catch the excess syrup. When cool, arrange on a plate and serve with tea.