When you visit an Indian restaurant do you finish your meal with ice-cream or some other dessert you can get at any restaurant? There are so many delicious Indian desserts, so it would be a real shame not to try a traditional dessert the next time you visit your local Indian restaurant. Here are five desserts worth looking out for:
Gajar Ka Halwa
This carrot-based dessert is a popular North Indian dish originating in the Punjab region. It's often served during Diwali, but it's also a firm favourite in Indian homes year-round. Shredded carrots are cooked in butter or ghee over a low heat until caramelised. Milk, cardamom powder and sugar are then added to the pan and the mixture is cooked until the liquid evaporates. The carrot halwa is served warm with cashew nuts. It's a rich dessert that's a real treat during the winter months.
This dessert is made with condensed milk that's cooked until it is thick enough to be rolled into balls. The milk can be flavoured with saffron or cardamom powder. Cashew nuts, raisins or crushed pistachios can be pressed into the centre of the pedas before serving. They are chewy, creamy and slightly dense, which makes them perfect as an accompaniment to fresh coffee.
This South Indian dish consists of soaked rice, banana, coconut, jaggery, and ghee. Jaggery is an unrefined sugar that's made by evaporating the sap of palm trees. It has a deep caramel flavour and is usually sold in blocks that you must grind yourself. The ingredients for this dish are ground into a paste and small balls of the paste are fried until golden brown. Enjoy this dessert with a cup of tea.
Kaaju burfi is made with ground cashew nuts, milk and sugar. Dried fruit such as mango is sometimes included to enhance the flavour of this dessert. The mixture is cooked until it begins to harden, and is then spread out in a shallow dish to cool before being sliced into small pieces. The pieces are often coated with edible silver foil before being served. Kaaju burfi has a smooth texture and is enjoyed year-round in India.
This popular dessert consists of small dumplings fried in ghee and soaked in rose flavoured syrup. It's a fantastically sweet, fragrant dish that's often served at weddings and parties. Gulab jamun is best eaten warm and can be garnished with dried fruit or nuts.
Next time you visit your favourite Indian restaurant (such as Royal India Restaurant) be on the lookout for these desserts or ask your server for their recommendation.