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 10 Indian Sweets to Brighten the Festive Spirit

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10 Indian Sweets to Brighten the Festive Spirit

The festive season is upon us. From August to January, there is a long line of festivals queued up for us in India, and that means it is time to take out the recipe books, handwritten by momma, passed down by grandma, and her momma, and on and on. In India, celebration is incomplete without sweets. So used are we to having sweets that we often have them without any reason at all! For the people of many Indian communities, a full-fledged meal is not complete without serving a sweet or two.

From sweets like Atta Ka Sheera, which take just a few minutes to prepare, to more elaborate ones like Gulab Jamun, we have such a large repertoire of Indian mithai to choose from, and there is always a right one for every occasion. While sweets made for religious occasions use ingredients like coconut, Jaggery and til, there are others like Carrot Halwa and Rabri, which are usually made with sugar and associated with celebrations. A cup of hot Carrot Halwa at the end of a meal is awesome, almost heavenly. When you are feeling more adventurous, top it with a scoop of Rich Vanilla Ice-cream!

Malpuas is an evergreen hit in the northern parts of the country. Whether it is Holi, a wedding or a party, the dessert counter would be incomplete without these warm, deep-fried and syrup-coated flour discs. Serve the Malpuas with Rabri for a grander treat! Badam ka Halwa is equally popular, if not more. This rich and delicious treat is an all-time favourite winter recipe. Grandmas unfailingly advice their grandchildren to have a spoonful of this wholesome halwa, each morning, all through the winter.

Some recipes like Basundi are popular all over the country, although there might be mild variations in the preparation, garnishing and serving methods. Gujarati Basundi is a rich and delicious dessert of thickened milk, very similar to the North Indian Rabri. It is usually served with Puris and Undhiyu. Besan Laddoo is another mithai that is made all over India. It tastes awesome and is quite satiating too. Prepared the right way, it can be stored at room temperature for around 15 days. So, you can make a batch and keep it handy, to snack on occasionally or to serve to kids when they are back from school. Fresh hot syrupy Instant Jalebis is another versatile and evergreen sweet, which fits any occasion – it is a hot-seller on roadside shops, and is as popular at weddings and chaat parties. Basically, any time is Jalebis time!

Luckily for us, the process of sweet-making has also evolved over the years. In the past, making mithai meant that the women slogged in the kitchen for long hours, constantly stirring the ingredients till they got the right consistency. Now, there are easy methods to make any sweet. Halwas, sheeras and burfis can be made in minutes by cooking the ingredients in the microwave oven. Even jalebis can be made instantly without requiring long hours of fermentation, by smartly using ingredients like yeast.

Modern equipment and innovative techniques have taken the sweat and strain out of sweet making. All that’s left is pure, untainted joy! So, what are you waiting for? Put on your mithaiwallah hats, take your pick from our recipes, and get set go...

Top 10 Indian Sweets

Mouth-watering Atta Sheera, with a fabulous colour, texture and flavour, ready in just five minutes! If you are wondering how that magic is possible, well, just trust your microwave to do it for you. Flavoured with cardamom and garnished with slivers of almond, this is one irresistible dessert that is sure to win you many praises.
A delicacy rooted in Indian tradition, Badam Halwa is indispensable for celebrations of any kind. It is good to have on normal days too! Infact, grandmas unfailingly advice their grandchildren to have a spoonful of this wholesome halwa every morning, all through the winter. This is one delicious morning ritual nobody would want to skip! This all-time favourite winter recipe is, of course, a bit rich, so you cannot have more than a few spoons at a time. Worry not, you can stash this safely into the freezer and have some everyday, especially in the winters. In this particular recipe, we have added a bit of whole wheat flour to get a crunchy effect and also prevent the formation of ghee on top of the halwa, so don’t forget to add it.
basundi | gujarati basundi | how to make basundi Gujarati basundi is a rich and delicious Gujarati mishtan of thickened milk, very similar to the North Indian rabdi, it is basically just boiling the milk in a thick bottomed pan till the milk is reduced. Almonds and pistachios add crunch to this rich , creamy basundi. Remember to keep scraping the sides of the vessel when cooking, as that will make the basundi thick and impart a real creamy texture. Use a flat spoon to scrape the vessel as it is more convenient than a round spoon. gujarati basundi can be served warm or chilled and tastes amazing with piping hot, deep-fried puris and Undhiyu. Come festivals like Raksha Bandhan, Janmashtami or Navratri, my father would start reducing the milk since 5 am for making basundi, so that the gas range would be free before my mother gets up and starts cooking the meal. Twist the authentic Basundi sweet recipe and make innovative Pineapple Basundi with fruity flavor. To fasten the cooking process, you can even make basundi with condensed milk that will get ready quickly. Aside from basundi, see our Gujarati sweet recipes like Golpapdi, Kopra Pak, Mohanthal. See our basundi | gujarati basundi | how to make basundi
Besan Laddoo is one of the most popular mithai in Indian cuisine. It might be known by various names, but this delicious laddoos of spiced and sweetened besan is famous all over the country. When making this, remember that the rich flavour of the laddoo depends on how well you cook the besan. Under-cooking it will leave behind a raw taste, which will ruin the whole recipe. So, make sure you cook it well. The proportion of ghee and besan is also important as you might end up with a dry or very soft laddoo if it is not done right. Once you have the mix ready, take some in your palm, shape it into a round and keep rolling it in your hand till you get a smooth, lustrous, ghee-tinted texture on the surface. It will look so irresistible at this stage that you would just want to pop it into your mouth! That’s when the laddoo is ready. If you liked this, you are sure to also enjoy other Traditional Indian Mithai recipes made from besan like Mysore Pak , Sweet Boondi and Mohanthal. Enjoy how to make Besan Laddoo recipe with detailed step by step photos.
Like Rasgulla in Bengal and Mysore Pak in the South , Malpua is an evergreen hit in the northern parts of the country. Whether it is Holi , a wedding or a party, the dessert counter would be incomplete without these warm, deep-fried and syrup-coated flour discs, which are best had with a topping of rich and spicy rabadi . We have modified the traditional recipe ever so slightly here, to prepare it with minimal oil in a tava instead of deep-frying it; and you will be surprised to note that they are as soft and succulent as the original!
A cup of hot Carrot Halwa served at the end of a meal is so heavenly that it makes you forget the meal itself. Its unique texture and rich flavour linger in your palate and memory for a long time thereafter, overshadowing the glory of even the best Main Course ! Here we share a smart move with you. We show you how to use a wise combination of ingredients in the right proportions, to make this delicious dessert within minutes using the Microwave oven. You no longer need to sweat in the kitchen for a long time, to make your favourite mithai...
There are umpteen ready mixes available in the market for making Gulab Jamun, but none can beat the traditional recipe made with homemade khoya. Authentic Gulab Jamun made with hariyali mava has a very rich mouth-feel that gels well with festivity. In a bygone era, when everything was made at home, khoya would be made in winter and used in summer, by which time it would have acquired a mild green colour (hence the name hariyali) and grainy texture perfect for making Gulab Jamun! If you are not unable to achieve this feat, you can buy some soft khoya and get started.
Rabdi is a perfectly proportioned combination of milk and sugar, thickened in a broad-bottomed vessel. When making rabdi, it is very important to keep scraping the sides of the pan at all times, otherwise the sides will burn. Moreover, if you forget to scrape the sides, the rabdi will also not become thick as the scraping of sides is what thickens the rabdi. In this book, I have used rabdi to make carrot crêpes with rabdi and other such delights.
Richness personified, the Anjeer Halwa is a really striking dessert made of puréed figs, powdered almonds and milk powdered, cooked with ghee and a little bit of sugar to add to the natural sweetness of figs. The almonds and figs complement each other beautifully in flavour and texture, while the milk powder and ghee give a very luxuriant mouth-feel and flavour to this halwa. Every spoonful of this luscious dessert will be truly memorable.
Who can resist the temptation of fresh, deep-fried jalebis garnished with aromatic saffron strands? for all of you jalebi fans, here is a quick and tasty version that can be prepared without long hours of fermentation. For breakfast the combo of Jalebi with Ganthias and Masala Chai Or Masala Tea and for dessert the combo of Jalebi with Rabdi is irresistible.


10 Indian Sweets to Brighten the Festive Spirit
 on 16 Jun 17 04:03 AM

Tarla Dalal
16 Jun 17 09:34 AM
   Hi Geeta, thanks for the feedback.
10 Indian Sweets to Brighten the Festive Spirit
 on 08 Jun 17 07:31 PM

Tarla Dalal
09 Jun 17 10:05 AM
   Hi Sisca , we are delighted you loved the Indian Sweet article. Please keep posting your thoughts and feedback and review the articles you have loved. Happy Cooking.
10 Indian Sweets to Brighten the Festive Spirit
 on 24 Dec 16 02:04 PM

Love you collection of Indian sweets and am particularly fond of Jalebi and Rabri.