Coz let’s face it – Indian desserts are not made for everyday consumption and soon they’ll disappear until next year.
I have to say, when it comes to unreasonably sweet desserts, Indian desserts easily take the cake (or should I say ladoo?). Not only are some of them merely caramelised sugar with colouring, some are further drenched in sugar syrup. Now, I can say this and get away with it but readers, most of you can’t 😉
However, according to researchers, most Indian desserts are intentionally made sweet due to the sugar’s effect as a preservative. As these confections are mostly made of perishable milk and pre-date refrigeration, sugar kept them from falling apart. Another theory corroborates the former, bringing into attention the active lifestyle led by the farming Indian community back when these sweets were introduced, which allowed them to eat such copious amount of sugar while staying . Besides, these desserts were also kept for special occasions, to mark a certain sweet event in their lives.
This Deepavali, expect to come across a wide array of colourful Indian confection either in the stores or TV advertisements and here to give you an idea of what those sweets are is this list!
Halwa are made by simmering something (usually fruit, grated vegetables, or flour), with milk, sugar, and ghee. They’re usually gelatinous and feature cashew nut or carrot varieties. You’ll mostly see them garnished with nuts.
Laddus are made of flour, ghee or butter or oil and sugar, with other ingredients that vary by recipe, like chopped nuts or dried raisins. Common flours used for laddu include gram flour (chickpea flour), wheat semolina and ground coconut. These are combined with sugar and other flavourings, cooked in ghee and moulded into a ball shape. Nuts such as pistachios and almonds are commonly stuffed into laddus.
Jelebi are deep-fried, spiral, funnel-cake like confections made from either wheat or lentil flour. Once fried, they’re soaked in a warm sugar syrup that’s usually flavoured with cardamom and saffron. They’re crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, and ooze sticky syrup with every bite. The dish traces its roots to west Asia, and likely made its way to the subcontinent in the 14th or 15th century via trade.
This sweet that is known as palkova in Tamil and barfi in Hindi is a dense milk based confectionary. The main ingredients of plain barfis include condensed milk and sugar. The ingredients are cooked in a vessel until the mixture solidifies.
Adhirasam is a type of Indian sweet originating from Chettinad Tamil Cuisine.It is traditionally made of rice flour, jaggery, butter and deep-fried over cooking oil. It is traditionally associated with religious offerings and festival delicacies in Tamil Nadu.
Have a personal favourite? Let us know!