Sweets Of India By Drishti Choudhury
Sweets are some of the most important things in life to an Indian – apart from engineering/medical school, politics, Bollywood films, and cricket matches, that is. They can be eaten on any occasion. Not that an occasion is needed to devour sweets on a regular basis. Anything and everything can be celebrated with a box full of sweets – weddings, births, festivals. Any occasion, important or not, can be celebrated with a platter full of sweets.
Original Sweetshops KOLKATA, WEST BENGAL • Bhim Nag • Famous for sandesh • Home to highly important clientele (ie. Dr. B.C. Roy, J.C. Bose, etc.) • Invented ledikeni in honor of Lady Canning (wife of Governer-General of Calcutta in 19th century) • K.C. Das • Nobin Chandra Das (father to K.C. Das) introduced rasgulla to Calcutta • Also improved already existing sandesh (from coarse to smooth paste) • K.C. Das & Sharadacharan (son of K.C. Das) opened shop together • Sharadacharan invented rasmalai (rasgulla in milky syrup) • Dwarika Ghosh • Claimed to have largest shop in all of Bengal • Ganguram • Famous for mishti doi; quality unmatched
Halwa • Various types • Distinguished by region and ingredients from which it is prepared • Most common are soojihalwa(semolina), aate ka halwa(wheat), moongdal ka halwa(moong bean), gajarhalwa (carrot), chanadalhalwa(chickpea), Satyanarayanhalwa(variation of soojihalwa, with traces of banana), kajuhalwa(cashew), and many others • Tirunelveli City in Tamil Nadu referred to as “Halwa City” for it’s famous halwa • Prepared in countries all over eastern Europe, South Asia, the Middle East, and parts of Africa and South America, as well • Pronounced very similarly around the world (ie. halawa, helava, aluva, chalwa, halewah, helwa, etc.) • Comes from the Arabic “halwa”, meaning “sweet”
Mishti Doi - Sweet yogurt dish - Common in West Bengal and Bangladesh, as well as Orissa • Made with milk and sugar, along with yogurt and curd • Sweetened with either gur (brown sugar) or khajuri gur (date molasses), and fermented over-night • Occasionally seasoned with cardamoms for fragrance
Modak • A sweet dumpling • Popular in Western and South India • Sweet filling consists of fresh coconut and jaggery (sugar) • Shell formed from rice flour • Has importance in the worship of elephant god, Ganesh • Known as his favorite food • Known as “modak” in Marathi, “modhaka” in Kannada, “modagam” or “kozhakkattai” in Tamil, and “kudumu” in Telegu.
Kheer - Sweet rice-based dish - Traditional South Indian dish - Made by boiling rice (or broken wheat) with milk and sugar - Flavored with cardamom, raisins, saffron, pistachios, or almonds • Certain ingredients substituted in different regions, resulting in different tastes and consistencies • Known as “kheer” in Northern India, Pakistan, and Nepal; called “payasa” or “payasam” in South India, referred to as “payesh” in the Bengal region. • Also considered auspicious • Associated with annaprashana (rice ceremony) and birthday celebrations in Bengali households
Laddoo • Sweet dish served on festive occasions • Made from gram flour (besan), semolina, wheat flakes, and/or other types of flour • Shaped into small balls • Often prepared on festivals or significant house-hold events, such as weddings and births • Given as prasad at Hindu temples • Vary in size
SakaraiPongal - Sweet rice- based dish - Native to South India - Contains ingredients such as rice, jaggery (sugar), and coconut pieces. - Jaggery sometimes subsituted with candy sugar • Jaggery-based pongal creates dark-brown coloring, while sugar-based pongal turns a shade of white • Generally prepared in temples as prasad (offerings to god) • Also prepared during festival of Pongal in Southern India (MakarSankranti), a festival celebrating the harvest • Other types of pongal include venpongal, a popular breakfast dish in South India, and melagupongal, a spicier version, cooked with pepper and rice.
Rasgulla (Rosogolla) • Cheese-based, syrupy dish • Originated in temple-town of Puri in Orissa • Art of rasgulla-making eventually caught up in Kolkata • Made from balls of chenna (Indian cottage cheese) & semolina dough (coarse grain used in pasta, breakfast cereal, etc.), then cooked in sugary syrup. • In city of Puri, Orissa, rasgulla used as offerings to goddess Lakshmi • Several varieties • Rajbhog, Kamalabhog • Predecessor to sweets such as chennajhilli, rasmalai, chennagaja, raskadam, chamcham, pantua, malai chop, kheersagar, and sandesh
Mysore Pak -Sweet dish, normally served as a dessert - Originated in Karnataka -Made from large amounts of ghee, sugar, and chick peas. -Was originally known as Masoor Pak, and was made from Masoor dal flour(besan). • People say the dish was first created in the Mysore Palace by a palace cook named Kakasura Madappa
Peda • Thick, semi-soft sweets • Originated in Uttar Pradesh • Main ingredients are khoa (milk food), and sugar • Flavored with cardamom seeds, pistachio nuts, and saffron • Color varies from a creamy white to caramel brown • Sometimes used as a prasad in religious Hindu services and festivities
Jalebi - Sweet, deep-fried dish - Was most likely introduced during Muslim rule of India - Made from deep-fried batter (consisting of maida flour) in a pretzel-shape, and soaked in syrup • Can be served warm or cold, and has a slightly chewy texture • Similar sweet, reddish-orange in color and slightly sweeter in taste, known as imarti made in Northern India • Served as “Celebration Sweet of India”, especially during national holidays (Independence Day, Republic Day, etc.) • One of the most popular sweets in Pakistan • Boiled in milk and left to stand before consumption as a remedy for headaches • In Northern India, sweet dipped in milk and eaten
Malpua • Sweet, pancake-like dessert • Very popular in Bangladesh, West Bengal, and Maharashtra • Prepared in most areas by crushing ripened bananas or coconuts, and adding flour, water, and milk • Occasionally seasoned with cardamoms • Deep fried in oil, and served while hot • Bihar version of dish has sugar added prior to frying, while common method in Orissa dips fritters in syrup afted frying • Other types of malpua substitute ripe bananas with pineapples or mangos • In Bengal, dish is made with only thickened milk and flour • Popular sweet to make on Holi
GulabJamun - Dough-based dish - Popular dessert in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh - Made from dough consisting of milk solids and flour • Flavored with cardamom seeds and rosewater or saffron • Originated from Arabic dessert, Luqmat Al-Qadi(Arabic for “the judge’s bite) • Common dish at weddings and other festive occasions • Also known as “waffle balls” • Several other varieties • Ledikeni, pantua, langcha, kalojam, and others
Sandesh • Sweet, milk-based snack • Originated and remains popular in Bengali regions • Created with milk and sugar • Rasmalai is modified version of dish • Sandesh is dry; rasmalai is served in a milky syrup • People of Dhaka call dish “pranahara” (“heart-stealer”) • Softer kind of sandesh, made with mawa and curd • Special type of sandesh prepared during winter months • Made with nalengur/notungur (molasses/jaggery)
QUESTION I: Which sweet is traditionally prepared during the South Indian holiday, Pongal? (answer: sakarai pongal) QUESTION II: Which dish usually contains crushed ripe bananas? (answer: malpua) QUESTION III: Which dessert is thought to be the favorite of the elephant-god, Ganesh? (answer: modak) QUESTION IV: Mishti doi is a ________dish. (fill in the blank) (answer: yogurt) QUESTION V: Which sweet is given as an offering to the goddess, Lakshmi? (answer: rasgulla) QUESTION VI: Which dish is represented in the picture? (→) (answer: gulab jamun) QUESTION VII: What do you call a Bengalee who doesn’t enjoy sweets? (answer: an oxymoron) QUIZ TIME! (only 7 easy questions; don’t worry!)
HAPPY BELATEDGANESH CHATHURTHI! HAPPY BELATED EID!
THANK YOU! All Information Gained From The Following Sites: www.wikipedia.org, http://www.enotes.com/food-encyclopedia/hindu-festivalsand http://indianfood.indianetzone.com/1/history_indian_sweets.htm