India has a wide range of very delectable, finger licking and luscious Indian desserts. Indian sweets are commonly known as ‘Mithai’ in Hindi, they are a type of confectionery that relies heavily on milk, sugar, flour, condensed milk, cardamom powder for flavoring. The bases of the sweets vary from region to region.
Every state has its own traditional signature sweet dish that is prepared during festivities or religious rituals. A marriage, get-together or just a simple party ends with a yummy and mouth melting sweet. Indian sweet dishes are an important part of not only Indian cuisine but Indian culture as well.
1. Gulab Jamun:
Gulab Jamun is among India’s most popular desserts! This delicious dessert consists of soft, melt-in-your-mouth, fried dumplings traditionally made of thickened or reduced milk, soaked in rose flavored sugar syrup. It gets its name from two words: Gulab which means rose and Jamun which is a kind of deep purple colored Indian berry. The rose flavored syrup lends the dessert a beautiful fragrance and makes it feel both decadent and very special.
2. Gaajar Ka Halwa:
This delicious, rich pudding loaded with nuts and dried fruits is well-known all over the world. It is definitely not a diet food! Normally eaten warm, Gaajar Ka Halwa tastes really good combined with vanilla ice cream.
Sweet flour dumplings stuffed with coconut, jaggery, nutmeg and saffron. Steamed to perfection. A famous Indian dessert prepared during the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi.
The Rabdi of course, is a labor of love as it is essentially sweetened, thickened milk. Thickening milk takes time and much patient stirring. Actually, you can be crafty and shorten the cooking time on this step too! Just use evaporated milk to make the Rabdi!
Kulfi is the Indian version of deliciously rich and creamy ice cream. It is made with milk and flavored with pistachio or saffron. The milk is cooked on low flame till it thickens and then kept to cool. Kulfi is enjoyed cold and now comes in various flavors.
Jalebi is a hot favorite on any special occasion be it a birthday, wedding or festival. Jalebi’s though mostly eaten by themselves, can also be soaked in warm milk.
Soft, spongy balls of cottage cheese soaked in chilled sugar syrup… Nicely made Rasgulla melts in your mouth and leaves you wanting more…always! The Bengali’s sure know their sweet making.
This creamy rice pudding is delicately flavored with cardamom and full of nuts. It’s a great dessert for any time of the year. In south and east India versions of it are made for certain festivals. In the South, Kheer is called Payasam and in the east, it is known as Payesh.
9. Sohan Papdi:
Originating in Uttar Pradesh, Sohan papdi is made of sugar, flour, ghee, and cardamom. It is light and flaky and is usually available at street shops.
10. Kaju Katli:
In India, Kajoo Katli is often presented to guests on auspicious occasions like the birth of a child, weddings, a promotion at work, at the passing of an important exam etc. It is fairly easy to make!