Mithais or sweet treats are an integral part of Indian cuisine. While enjoying a hearty meal, sweets and desserts also play a central role in Indian festivals. Some of them, like Laddu, came from ancient India, but many of them were brought into the country by the Mughal rulers of Persia. Here are some of the most delicious Indian desserts you should try
GulabJamun arrived in the land of ancient Persia (Iran) when Muslim leaders came to India and founded their dynasties here. These candies are made from khoya, a spherical milk powder. The khoyas are fried and soaked in a syrup containing sugar, which is usually flavored with saffron and rose water.
There are many milk-based puddings in India, and Kheer is one of the most popular of them. It is made by cooking rice with milk and sugar and then garnished with saffron, cardamom, dried fruit and nuts. Kheer, Phirni and Payasam are different variations of Indian milk pudding. In southern India, rice is replaced by vermicelli and the dish is called Seviyan.
Gajarkahalwa is a dessert made from grated carrots, which are first cooked in milk and cardamom. The mixture is then fried in ghee (clarified butter) and sugar. Finally, the dish is garnished with dried fruit. The dessert became popular in Mughal times and is now served at Hindu and Muslim festivals in India, including Diwali and Eid al-Fitr.
Bengal is known for its love of sweets and Sandesh is one of the most popular specialties of West Bengal. Sandesh is traditionally made from chenné, a remnant of sour milk. Some believe that the dessert was inspired by the cheese dishes that the first European traders brought to Calcutta.
Like Sandesh, Rasgulla is made from Chenna. These spherical dumplings are cooked in a sweet syrup until the juice enters the dough. This candy is so popular that two Indian states, West Bengal and Odisha, have discussed it for years, each claiming that the rasgulla is from their respective region.
Another famous Bengali sweet dish is RasMalai. Ras means juice and Malai means cream, and this dessert consists essentially of a creamy dough made from Indian cottage cheese dipped in thick sweet condensed milk. Krishna Chandra Das of Kolkata, a well-known Bengali confectioner, is often attributed to the invention of the dish, but there are no official documents to support this claim.
Jalebi is a favorite among the Indians. It is a ripe candy made from frying flour then dipped in a syrup containing sugar. Different versions of Jalebi are also available in Iran and Turkey. The recipe for this humble dessert can be found in many old 15th century Indian cookbooks. Jalebis tastes better when served hot.
Kulfi is the Indian version of an ice cream. Like many Indian desserts, Kulfi was borrowed from Persian cuisine. It was popularized when the Mughals settled in India and the dessert was also mentioned in the literature of the time. The taste of kulfis is often enhanced by pistachios and saffron.
Sweets and desserts are an integral part of Indian cuisine. There’s a wide variety of Indian desserts to choose from at The Twisted Indian.