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Sweets and Desserts in Indian Cooking
Indian food has been popular across the world because of its diversity and uniqueness. Particularly, Indian sweets and desserts are becoming increasingly popular because of their tempting taste. Mithai are part of the life of the Indians and play an important role in their cooking.
An Indian meal is always incomplete without sweet dish like gulab jamun or kulfi or jalebi. These sweets, which are also known as mithai in India, are created from various ingredients ranging from fruits to vegetables, from milk to grain. Below are some of the mouth watering Indian sweets and desserts that you must try out.
Parwal Ki Mithai is an Indian dry sweet that is an all time favorite in the region of Bihar. Its outer covering is parwal (a popular vegetable in Indian) while its inside is made up of sweets mixed with milk products. Khaja is another sweet popular in Bihar. It dates back from 2000 years ago and is also a dry sweet stuffed with liquid sweets inside. This delightful sweet easily melts in the mouth.
Another Indian sweet, probably the most well known is the rasagolla, or cheeseball in sugar syrup. This mithai can be found everywhere in India and is considered to be a national sweet. This syrupy dessert is most abundant in Orissa situated in the east coast of India, the place where the recipe for this sweet originated. Rosogolla is made from cottage cheese boiled in sugar syrup and set to dry.
Apart from the sweets mentioned above, there are a whole lot more sweets that are famous in India and all over the world. The next set of Indian sweets that we will be mentioning are those made from milk and dairy products, something that is special in the Indian cooking.
First in the list is the Ras Malai, a delicacy that is usually served chilled and soaked in thickened milk flavored with spices such as pistachio, almond, saffron strands and cardamom. This Bengali mithai resembles a dumpling made from cottage cheese and is a highly popular sweet among all Diwali sweets and also one of the easiest to make. Another dumpling like sweet is the Gulab Jamoon regarded as the king of all Indian sweets often eaten at festivals or major celebrations, such as marriages and Eid and most often eaten after dinner. It is made of a dough consisting mainly of thickened milk and glazed in a sugary syrup flavored with cardamom and, depending on the recipe, rosewater or saffron. This very sweet and rich dessert got its name from the word Gulab meaning rose from the rose flavored sugar syrup and Jamun meaning blueberry from the dark color when it s cooked. Unlike the Ras Malai, this sweet is served at room temperature or warmand is sometimes eaten with ice cream. For best result, immerse the gulab jamuns in syrup overnight. Chum Chum, on the other hand, are sweets intended for loved ones and are also called Pleasure Boats.
Mentioned above are just some of the hundreds of sweet varieties that could be found in India. There are many more to discover and try. A list of other traditional sweets are Chiroti, Paal poori, Peni, Basundi, Puran Poli, Karanjia, Boondi and Dal Seera. Other sweets served occasionally or during special days are burfis, halwas and ladoos. Burfis include Mysore Pak, Kaju(Cashewnut) Burfi, Besan Burfi and Milk and Coconut Burfi. Halwas and Laddus include Gajar ka Halwa, Besan Laddoo, Coconut Ladoo, Chickoo Halwa, and Dryfruits halwa.
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