Desserts are a great way to end a satisfying meal in almost every culture in the world. It’s the cherry on top to follow any meal, not quite literally. There are cultures who have a weakness for sweets more than others, including Mexico and India, bringing people together through gatherings and celebrations and even places of worship.
In India, desserts and sweet even take part in sacred offerings to and from the gods, and the many festivals that take place every month of the year. Although you can go western and get cake delivery in Mumbai for all your special events, the traditional desserts will always have a place in Indian hearts, and even many non-Indian hearts.
Below are five popular Indian desserts loved by many including my non-Indian heart:
Kheer is the Indian version of rice pudding but more exotic. It contains spices like cardamom and saffron, and other ingredients like coconut, raisins and nuts. This dessert is very comforting and it tastes great warm and cold! Here is my recipe for it.
Kulfi is a frozen dairy dessert which could be described as the traditional ice cream in India. Not quite your old-fashioned ice cream or gelato, kulfi has a slightly chewy, creamy texture that many Indians grew up loving. Due to it’s denser texture, it takes longer to melt than western ice cream. It has a distinctive taste due to the caramelization of the milk sugars during the process of slow cooking. Traditional flavours include malai (cream), rose, pistachio, mango, saffron, and cardamom.
Ras Malai is an interesting and delicious dessert consisting of cheese or milk curd patties submerged in a creamy, sweet, milky clotted cream sauce and flavoured with cardamom and sometimes other ingredients like saffron and pistachios. You just gotta try this delight for yourself.
Gajar Ka Halwa
I would describe this as a carrot cake-like indian dessert. Probably because the main ingredient is carrots prepared in a delicious way, grated and cooked with condensed milk, and as typical in Indian desserts includes cardamom and nuts too. Butter or ghee and sugar are also components of this tasty carrot “dense pudding”. You would be surprised how tasty this is.
Kaju ki Barfi
This may be one of my all time favourite Indian sweets/desserts. Kaju Barfi or sometimes called kaju katli, is a fudge-like sweet made with cashew nuts and milk, often topped with silver vark, edible silver paper. This one also makes a good gift during festival season.
Which one of these would you want to try first? Or which is your favourite Indian dessert?