If you have a sweet tooth, Indian desserts will satiate you fully. It is not just India’s rich cultural tradition and heritage that makes it immensely popular worldwide; it is its diverse cuisines too that is unbeatable when it comes to varieties. Most Indian desserts have milk as a primary ingredient; however, they even contain ingredients ranging from fruits and vegetables to grains and legumes. Every region of India has its own regional mithai (sweet) or a dessert.
Let’s have a look at the list of scrumptious desserts that are way too delicious to miss out on.
1. Gulab Jamun
A milk-solid-based sweet, Gulab Jamun, is possibly the most popular dessert in India. It is sticky, spongy and alluringly irresistible. The spongy balls are made of flour and milk powder or condensed milk. They are fried and then soaked in sweetened syrup. Gulab Jamun is often flavored with cardamom and rose, which justifies its name, meaning “rose berry” in Hindi.
Halwa is another prevalent dessert that Indians prefer having after their meals occasionally. The most common in the form is gajar ka halwa (Carrot halwa). It originated in Mughal kitchens, but it is now very popular in north India and usually enjoyed during winters. It is made of grated carrots, milk, and sugar in ghee and now a part of traditional Indian food.
While north Indians savored gajar ka halwa, south India came up with its native Rava Kesari (Kesari halwa), prepared using the same method. Rava (semolina) is roasted in ghee, and then sugar and water are added along with the pinch of Saffron (Kesar), which makes it Rava Kesri.
3. Rice pudding (Kheer and Phirni)
Rice puddings in India go by the name of kheer or phirni. Usage of ground rice in recipes gives it a smoother and creamier texture. It is usually flavored with cardamom and Saffron and topped with dried fruits and nuts. The only difference between kheer and phirni is that kheer can be served warm, whereas phirni is always served chilled. The south Indian version of kheer is known as Payasam. Frequently served during festivals, especially during the Onam festival in Kerala’s Onasadhya feast. Try this delicious dessert at Vancouver Indian restaurants and satiate your sweet tooth with one of a kind delicacy.
Jalebi is an Indian and Arabic sweet snack, which also goes by different names like Zulbia, Jilapi, Mushabak and Zalabia. It is essentially deep-fried coils of dough of refined flour, soaked in saffron sugar syrup. The origin of Jalebi can be traced back to the Middle East, and it is also believed to have been brought by Persian invaders to India. However, India has unequivocally adopted the sweet and is easily found freshly sizzling at street food stalls across the country.
Laddoo is a ubiquitous ball-shaped festive sweet that comes in many different varieties. In fact, every region in India has its own specialty of Laddoo. The very popular kind is made from gram/chickpea flour, ground coconut or semolina. Prepared by adding other ingredients like ghee, milk, sugar and dried fruits.
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6. Mysore Pak
As the name itself suggests, Mysore Pak originates from the city of Mysore, Karnataka. This decadent, soft, buttery fudge dessert is said to have been invented in the kitchen of royal Mysore Palace. It is prepared from chickpea flour, sugar syrup and a generous amount of ghee.
Barfi is another renowned Indian fudge dessert; it gets its name from the Persian word meaning “snow.” Barfi comes in many different varieties, out of which Kaju (Cashew) barfi and pista (pistachios) barfi are the most common, and the main ingredient is always milk. The silver foil over the barfis is used as a decoration and is edible.
8. Rasgulla (Rosogolla)
Rasgullas are balls made from semolina, cottage cheese and sugar syrup. This dessert is widely popular in West Bengal and Odisha, and Odisha even holds a Rosogolla Dibasa festival in July to celebrate the sweet. It tastes soft and creamy and, at times, even rubbery.
9. Soan Papdi
Soan papdi is a light and flaky north Indian dessert that melts in the mouth like cotton candy but has a different texture. It is a must-have sweet during Diwali festival celebrations in India. The sweets’ primary ingredients are a mixture of gram and refined flour, ghee, milk, and sugar syrup. Nuts and cardamoms are optional, usually added to enhance taste and appearance. The sweet is quite tricky to prepare as it requires an intensive process to give it its fluffy texture.
Satiate your taste buds by indulging in these exotic Indian desserts. Find them around you in any restaurant serving Indian cuisine in Vancouver.