The World On A Plate


Indian Sweets


Indian sweets are a ‘love it or hate it’ kind of thing. For a lot of people they’re a bit sugary and fatty. And most of them are made by boiling milk to a paste and adding sugar and cardamom so they can have slightly sour milk overtones.

 I was lucky to have the kind of parent who made the idea of Indian sweets incredibly exciting for me from a young age, so I think they have a kind of magic about them – all those bright colours and silver paper and crispy towers of orange jalebi.


My favourites are gulab jamun which is like a reverse doughnut. It’s a deep fried dough ball soaked in syrup so the oozy sweet stuff is on the outside. Also jalebi (or jelebi) which is crispy coils of batter deep fried and then soaked in a bright orange rose-flavoured syrup.

The rest of the barfi range is more like milky fudge with moderately different colours, and if you’re lucky, the odd bit of silver leaf.

 Kolkatta (Calcutta) is the place to go for sweets, although Delhi also has an amazing big sweet shop on Connaught place which will wrap them up beautifully. There is such a difference between the fresh and stale sweets that it’s really worth seeking out a shop which makes them daily. About a quarter pound of sweets costs about $1.

posted under India

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