It is said that no country has a wider selection of exotic, yummy sweets than India. Our rich heritage and culture allows us to celebrate a number of festivals throughout the year, and since sweets are one of the most important dishes offered to the deities, it is but natural that our range of sweets is large and distinct.
Indian sweets are of two kinds. One kind is milk-based like rabri, peda and barfi, etc., while the other is flour-based, like laddoo, halwa and pua, etc. Indian sweets rely heavily on sugar, milk, condensed milk and flour, and vary by region. In the eastern part of India, for example, milk is a staple and most sweets from this region are based on milk products.
Here is a list of our favourite Indian sweets. Do try making them at home! They’re easy!
1. Gulab Jamun
The good ol’ delight is made with khoya, then fried till golden brown, and finally dipped in saffron induced sugar syrup. Oh so yummy!
2. Gajar ka Halwa
A Pakistani style halwa with grated carrot, condensed milk, nuts and golden varq, Gajar ka Halwa is sure to delight even the pickiest of dessert eaters! A favourite in the winter season!
Bengal's favourite sweet made with cottage cheese, cardamom and saffron, Sandesh is the easiest way to please the sweet tooth! A melt-in-the-mouth delicacy!
4. Kaju ki Barfi
Usually exchanged as a sweet gift on special occasions, Kaju ki Barfi is made with cashew nuts and milk, topped with silver varq. A childhood favourite of many!
The South Indian version of kheer, Payasam is deliciously creamy, rice and milk pudding with cashews and raisins. Few ingredients, great flavour!
Usually prepared on special occasions, Rasmalai is actually a rasgulla soaked in rich saffron-flavoured creamy milk. Also described as “a rich cheesecake without a crust”!
From nostalgic favorites to modern avatars, sweets are a very important part of our rich heritage. A sumptuous meal is incomplete without a sweet at the end, and we relish that part of the meal the most. Tell us what your favourite Indian sweets are!