Saturday, January 22, 2011
Food Diary: Sweets
Ah, one of the special joys of India is wonder the streets and trying all the different desert snacks at the copious sweet shop. Getting lost was always pleasurable with a barfi in hand. The general name for a sweet in India is Mithai. I tried many sweets, but most seemed to be made from highly condensed milk. A barfi is a bar sweet, mostly milk, sugar and flour, with many variations. Often they have a thin layer of real silver on top, which was a neat touch. My favorite was vegetable barfi, a fudgelike carrot and other veggie sweet.
The other sweets are often various flavored balls. Ladoo are very common, typically a simple mix of flour, milk and sugar again. The most popularly exported sweet is gulab jamun, the fried milk balls that are everywhere, floating in either sugar water or honey water.
One of my favorites was jalebi, a deepfried, syrupy, batter in swirls, looking like a crispy funnel cake. Every bite oozes the gooey, honey/sugar filling. Many traveler didn't seem to like it though. The best way is to just point and eat.