Desserts Which Make Us Alive
Shining lights, bursting crackers and the colourful Rangoli, but admit it the main attraction of Diwali or any festival for that matter, is the food. If you are one of those with a sweet tooth, then Diwali is probably a festival you wait for, just for the desserts. But instead of gorging on the usual barfis, laddoos, and jalebis this Diwali, try these lesser-known desserts from different parts of India and give your taste buds a never before experience.
Made primarily with jaggery and colostrum of the cow or buffalo. One of the lesser known dishes from Maharashtra, it is flavoured with cardamom and saffron. Since the dessert is steamed, it is also a healthier option, rather than the deep-fried desserts that we usually consume on Diwali.
Wondering what to do with the same old dry fruit dabbas that make an appearance every Diwali? Try making Shufta with it. A luxurious dessert straight from exquisite valleys of Kashmir, this one literally loaded with dry fruits. The inclusion of other ingredients like paneer, cardamom, and pepper give this sweet dish a taste that I bet you have never experienced before.
Shor Bhaja (West Bengal)
It would probably be a sacrilege to talk about sweets and not include Bengal in the list. However, move over the Rasgullas, Sandeshs and give Shor Bhaja a try. Coming from the Nadia district of West Bengal. Once you delve into sweet layers of Shor Bhaja it is difficult to stop eating. Packing in the goodness of milk and cream, this is one of the most under-rated Bengali sweets that rest of India deserves to know about.
Mawa Baati (Madhya Pradesh)
Madhya Pradesh is probably not the first place that comes to your when talking about desserts. But, the heartland of India has much more to offer than you think. Mava Bati might look like a distant cousin of Gulab Jamun, but it has its own individual taste, that is delectable. Packing just the right amount of sweet and a perfect texture, these deep-fried mawa dough balls, loaded with sugar, might replace gulab jamun on Diwali and you won’t be disappointed.
Khamen Athoomba Ashinba (Manipur)
The mainland India’s ignorance is appalling. In this ignorance, we are also missing out on a treasure trove that is North East Indian cuisine. Correct this mistake ASAP and start with this Manipuri delicacy. Ripened tomato fried and soaked in a syrup flavoured with cardamom and kalonji, this will give your taste bud a brand new sensation. The name might be a mouthful but so is the delicacy.
Originating from Kendrapara district of Odisha, this sweet dish is one of the Chhappan Bhog that is offered to Lord Jagannath Dev. Flattened patties of chhena soaked in rabdi, this dish is decadent, to say the least. Also, if it is good enough for Jagannath Dev, make no mistake, you will surely be blown away by it.
Chhangban Leh Kurtai (Mizoram)
A popular snack in Mizoram, this goes to show that simplest things are often the tastiest. A steamed pudding-like dessert made with rice flour, raw sugar and jaggery, the simple, clean yet delicious flavour would surely make you come back for more. It is one of those desserts which comes under the category of comfort food and might soon occupy a place in your daily sweet cravings.
What if I tell you that stale chapatis are not just sad, chewy leftovers that often ends up in your trash can actually be transformed into a gorgeous and delicious dessert. An under-rated delicacy from the state of Telangana, it is made with chapatis mixed with jaggery, dry fruits, and a generous amount ghee and rolled into laddus. Apart from being super tasty, it will also make sure stale chapatis don’t end up in your trash can ever again.
Parippu Payasam (Kerala)
Bored with the usual Moong Dal Halwa? Give it a Keralian makeover with this simple yet kickass sweet dish. A Kheer-like dish, this delicacy is made with moong dal, coconut milk, and jaggery and is one of the stars of the Kerala cuisine. The flavours are homey, clean but oh-so-delicious. Try it to believe it.
Ever thought of desserts that include leaves? No? Goans did and after tasting this dessert you will thank god that they did. For this delicacy rice, jaggery and coconut are mixed and steamed in turmeric leaves. The end result is a sumptuous Goan dessert that India should have discovered long back.
So this Diwali, with new clothes and home decors make sure you treat yourself to these delicacies and give a tribute to the wonderful diversity of Indian cuisine and engage in a new and sweet gastronomic expedition.