When it comes to Indian cuisine, it’s fair to say that the UK is slightly curry-obsessed. From kormas to vindaloos and from fine dining restaurants to Friday night takeaways, we simply can’t get enough of curry.
But, amidst all the spicy savoury dishes, what about India’s sweets? Unbeknownst to some, India is famed for its selection of desserts and sweet snacks. In fact, in no other country will you find such a diverse range of sweet dishes. Each and every region boasts its own sweet specialities; nevertheless, there are a few Indian desserts you simply must try. Here’s a list of them:
Apple + rice pudding = a match made in heaven. To make this scrumptious pud, cooked apples are combined with kheer, which is essentially an Indian rice pudding. The crumbly pudding is given flavour by the addition of tasty ingredients, including raisins, saffron, pistachios and cardamom.
A favourite Gujarati sweet, Ghari takes the form of balls which are stuffed full of flavoursome ingredients. Puri batter, sugar, ghee and mawa (milk) are all combined together before being rolled into round shapes. The sweet filling varies, but the most popular flavours are pistachio and mawa.
Although it’s not one of the healthiest desserts, you will be getting one of your five a day if you tuck in to Pazham Pori. This tasty dessert is popular in southern regions of India and consists of bananas that are deep-fried in a crispy batter. The end result is a crisp outer shell with a soft, sweet filling. Perfect as a tea-time snack.
The best dumplings are sweet dumplings; and Modak is no exception. This super-sweet dessert is stuffed with jaggery, coconut, nutmeg and saffron. The dumpling is either steamed and served with a generous helping of ghee, or it can be fried.
Any Indian dessert list would be incomplete without mentioning Kulfi. Kulfi is a rich, frozen dessert and although it is regularly compared to ice cream, it is in fact far creamier and more indulgent. Kulfi is available in a number of different flavours, with the favourites being mango, rose, cardamom and pistachio. Although it is eaten year-round in India, Kulfi is best enjoyed during the summer.
The people of North India are huge fans of GajarKaHalwa; a warm dessert and a wintertime favourite. This dish is made by boiling grated carrot with milk and sugar. Nuts – such as almonds and pistachios – are added to the dessert to give it texture and boost its flavour.
The above dishes go to show that any sweet tooth would be in food heaven if they took a trip to India. But, if you feel like you need to satisfy your sweet craving, you really needn’t travel half way around the world. There are a handful of fine-dining Indian restaurants in London which serve-up authentic, mouth-watering Indian desserts. The chefs use traditional cooking techniques and by only using the very best ingredients for each dish,the chefs ensure that your sweet tooth is well and truly satisfied.