India is a country that mesmerizes you with the sheer vibrancy and diversity of its landscape and culture. The richness of the country’s heritage also reflects in the sweetness of its desserts. India offers a lip smacking range of desserts across the length and breadth of the country.
My travels in India have taken me across the length and breadth of the country, to its modern cities, its small towns and remote villages and wherever I have gone, chances are I have found one unique signature sweet dish which the place claims as its own!
Dear readers I have already introduced you to the ecstasy of Indian desserts through my earlier post – Authentic Indian Sweets – An ecstasy for the tongue
The overflowing plate of dessert arrives and you look at it greedily, your exocrine glands release a flood of saliva which you quickly gulp. You wait impatiently for the others at the table to begin and then you dig in and place a generous scoop in your mouth.
Here are 5 Indian desserts selected from over 170 varieties that are guaranteed to arouse and seduce your palate.
Gajar Ka Halwa
This dessert can be called as a ‘Saffron Seducer’ owing to its saffron color and richness of taste. It is a pudding made from grated carrots, milk, sugar and clarified butter. The origins of this dessert may be traced to the Mughal Period in India somewhere in the region of Punjab, Northern India.
The dessert is prepared in the kitchens of millions of homes of Northern and other parts of India during festivals and other celebratory occasions.
This dessert can be called a ‘Yellow Temptress’. It lures you with its aroma and enthralls you with its rich and creamy sweetness. The name literally translates into ‘Juice of Cream’. It consists of round and flattened cheese soaked in cream and sugar and flavored with cardamom. The sweet originates from the eastern Indian state of Bengal, which is also the birth place of many of India’s mouth watering desserts including the illustrious Rosogolla.
This dessert can be called as the ‘Cashew Charmer’. It is a dessert that simply melts in your mouth, setting off a million sensory explosions of ecstasy. The name can be literally translated as Cashew Sweet. This dessert is prepared by soaking cashew nuts overnight in water and then grinding into paste. The cashew paste is then mixed with boiled sugar syrup and marinated butter. This mix is quickly spread and flattened in a greased plate or shallow vessel, to be cut into thin diamond shaped slices once the mix cools down. The dessert is also covered with thin and edible silver foil to give it a regal appearance.
This one is the ‘Cool Dude’ of Indian Desserts. It may be called as the traditional ice- cream in India. The flavor and taste of this ice-cream is as unique as India itself. The origins of this dessert can be traced to the Mughal Period as well as Persian influences as the word ‘Kulfi’ is Persian for a ‘covered cup’. The Kulfi is prepared by boiling milk mixed with sugar and desired flavors till it condenses and then freezing the condensed milk in tight sealed containers or moulds. The density of Kulfi is more than normal ice-creams and hence it takes longer to melt. The Kulfi is available in numerous mouthwatering flavors like Mango, Cream, Pistachio, Saffron and Cardamom among numerous others.
The ‘Gorgeous One’ or the queen of Indian desserts is Gulab Jamun. This dessert is prepared in homes across India and available in eateries spanning the length and breadth of the country. The origins of this dessert can be traced to Medieval India. Myth has it that it was prepared by the personal chef of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, by a sweet accident! The word Gulab refers to the rose flavor that goes into the making of this dessert and the word Jamun refers to an Indian fruit which the dessert resembles in shape and color. The Gulab Jamun is prepared by making a dough of solidified milk mixed with a pinch of flour which is then shaped into small circular balls which are then deep fried till they are golden brown. The fried dough balls are then soaked in sugar syrup flavored with rose essence.
The Desserts listed here are just the tip of the “ice-cream’! The wide range of Indian food and its desserts promise the taste of heaven right here on earth.
Have you tasted heaven right here on earth? Do let us know what your favorite Indian Dessert is; through our comments section.
After all this rich sweetness in case you are having a sweet rush, you can relish some spicy snacks by checking out one of our other posts :