Freshly prepared at home during festivals, these Sindhi sweets are irresistibly yummy
The idea of making sweets at home during the festive season is common in many Indian cultures. The Gujaratis, for instance, ring in the festivities with their crunchy homemade farsan. Meanwhile, making mithais at home is a significant part of Diwali celebrations in Sindhi households. Ingredients like khoya or mawa are at the heart of most of these sweets, with a touch of savoury.
From laddoos to barfis, there’s hardly anything that the Sindhis cannot make with their star ingredient, khoya. The idea of pairing the sweet elements with something salty like sev or puffed rice is what makes Sindhi mithais stand apart from the crowd.
Another essential component of most of these regional sweets is dry fruits. Moreover, there are certain sweets that are specifically made for guests and married daughters of the house. For instance, you’d find atta laddoos, laee, and nankhatai (biscuits filled with cashew nuts) being packed for daughters since these last longer.
Here are some quintessential Sindhi mithais, the aroma of which fill up the house during every Diwali.
1. Majoon Barfi
Also known as khoraak, this cube-shaped barfi is a delightful treat during the festival of lights. A Sindhi specialty loaded with khoya and dry fruits, the majoon barfi also has poppy seeds, dry gond and coconut filled in it. These barfis are not just ideal for Diwali but also a perfect warm bite during the onset of winter season.
2. Phulan Ji Laee
This is a Sindhi term used for chikki or brittle. A classic winter fare, laee is of utmost importance during Diwali. The sweet is made with a combination of puffed rice, sev, and channa. Caramelised sugar binds all of it together to give us delicious bars of laee. This is served during Lakshmi Puja and the bites are also packed for married daughters since they have a long shelf-life.
3. Singhar Jhi Mithai
This is a sweet cum savoury barfi from the Sindhi kitchen that is specially prepared during Diwali. A combination of sweet khoya and namkeen sev, the mithai is loaded with pistachios and almonds. Not just that, the barfi is also flavoured with rose essence and has a tinge of yellow colour too. Made in milk and khoya, this rich barfi is quite filling.
A Sindhi cousin of kheer, it is quite similar to the North Indian milk pudding in taste and texture. The kheerni is made in a variety of ways for the Diwali meal. One is the typical vermicelli style while there are others that have sabudana and makhana in them too. This creamy dessert is then set to be chilled and topped with sliced nuts like cashews, almonds and more.
5. Mawa Pista Halwa
Since mawa is utilised in abundance during Diwali in Sindhi homes, even halwas are made with it. The sweet and soft texture of mawa, continuously stirred in ghee and sugar, lends a decadent taste and aroma to the halwa. Flavour it with your favourite nuts like pista and top it with chopped pieces to add to the richness of the mithai.