Sweets are a necessity for every occasion, regardless of the day. But there are plenty of lesser-known sweet dishes that have the potential to surpass the well-known ones.
India is a place where different cultures come together and blend together from all over the world. Due to this India now has a thriving and diverse food scene. The Indian subcontinent has seen the emergence of numerous cuisines from various cultures and geographical regions, each with its own version. As a result, a number of savoury and sweet dishes have gained a special place in Indian culture.
When discussing sweet items, it's impossible to overlook the abundance of options found in India. Indians have been enthralled with sweets such as Gulab Jamun, Rasgulla, Sondesh, Jalebhi, Imarti, and many more.
Sweets are a necessity for every occasion, regardless of the day. But there are plenty of lesser-known sweet dishes that have the potential to surpass the well-known ones. Here are some unusual Indian desserts that you really should try at least once in your life!
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1. Chenna Poda
The name of this Orissan dessert literally translates to "burnt cheese." Cottage cheese, also known as chhena, is baked until it turns golden brown after being kneaded with sugar and dry fruits. Chhena Poda has a texture that is both soft and gooey inside and crisp on the outside.
When Bengali desserts are mentioned, what comes to mind? Sandesh or rasgulla, right! But there are many other delicious deserts like the shorbhaja. This sweet dish, a gem from Kolkata, West Bengal, is becoming increasingly rare. During Durga Puja, it is still available in a few shops in Kolkata. Condensed milk is the only ingredient used to make shorbhaja, which is deep-fried to give it a golden-brown crust. If you want to taste heaven, this is a must-try sweet. Every bite is just heavenly!
3. Sel Roti
It's a classic Nepalese homemade sweet ring-shaped rice bread or doughnut. In Sikkim and Darjeeling, it is primarily made during the widely observed festivals of Dashain and Tihar.
This sweet dish, which comes from West Bengal, is another bundle of happiness. It has two layers and with every bite you can feel the sheer joy. There are tiny rasgullas on the inside and soft khoya on the outside. The three main ingredients of the sweet are poppy seeds, chhena, and khoya.
5. Lauki Ki Kheer
Many people enjoy this specific sweet dish, even those who detest "lauki-ki-sabzi." This dish, which is made with bottle gourd, sugar, milk, and dry fruits, erases all negative memories of the ordinary "sabzi" that is made with the same vegetable.
6. Parwal Mithai
A unique delicacy, Parwal Mithai is found and enjoyed widely in Bihar. Parwal, or pointed gourds, are used to make it and inside you will get a mixture of dry fruits and khoya. It tastes just as amazing as it looks!
Very few people know about this Maharashtrian dessert, it is made with cow's colostrum milk and jaggery. It is blended with saffron and regular milk. After that, the mixture is pressure-cooked, steamed like rice, and cardamom is added for flavour.
8. Singhare Ki Barfi
This is a sweet dish made with sugar and singhare ka aata, or water chestnut flour. It has a flavour that is absolutely incomparable. It has a gummy texture, and to give it some crunch, dry fruits like almonds and pistachios are frequently added.
Adhirasam can be compared to doughnuts in India. Various names for it exist throughout South India. For instance, in Maharashtra, it is referred to as anarasa, and in Chhattisgarh, sirsa. It is flavoured with saffron or elaichi and made of rice, ghee, and jaggery. We know you will fall in love with this dessert as soon as you try it!
10. Mawa Bati
We are all very familiar with the renowned Rajasthani batis. However, did you know that there is also a sweeter variety of them? Mawa Bati is worth trying because it resembles our favourite gulab jamuns quite a bit. The dough for these sweet treats is made from mawa, which is then filled with nuts and additional mawa. After deep-frying, they are covered in sugar syrup.
A classic Goan dish. This is made by steaming the ingredients. Jaggery, coconut, and cardamom in stuffed in sweetened turmeric leaf and rice warps.
12. Kali Gajar Ka Halwa
This is a classic Indian dessert made with black carrots, milk, sugar, and ghee. The halwa's base is made creamy and sweet with milk and sugar, and the halwa's distinctive and rich flavour comes from the black carrots. You can garnish it with nuts and serve it warm during special occasions like Christmas and other parties.
Malaiyyo is a classic dessert from Banaras. It's a seasonal product, only available in the winter. To soak up the goodness of dew, the milk is first boiled and then left outside overnight. The milk is mixed with cardamom, pistachios, cream, and saffron the following morning. The foam that emerges from churning this mixture is then separated from the mixture. The foam is known as Malaiyyo. In the past, the churning process required hours of labour when done by hand. Even though machines have now made it easier, the technique is still very important. You might be curious about what Malaiyyo is when it is served to you because it resembles clouds in a cup. You could drink ten cups of it at once because it is so fluffy and light.