Monday, 28 February 2005

Indian Sweets

I have a lot of Indian colleagues at work. Through them I discovered a lot about Indian culture, geography, customs, and of course food. I was fortunate enough to visit India (New Delhi in particular) and experienced and tasted first hand the great variety of yummy Indian food.

When my colleagues celebrate a milestone - wedding, a new child born, Diwali festival, or just arriving from a holiday in India; they always bring back boxes of sweets. And I never fail to taste test all of them. :LOL: Among my favourites are these two:

Soan Papdi is made of sugar, ghee (clarified butter), wheat flour, gram flour, cardamom. Then it has spinklings of pistachio, cucumber seeds, and crushed almonds on top. I'd like to see how they make this because although as you can see above that it's in blocks, it is actually made up of tiny thread like strands that are then compacted to shape into squares. It melts in your mouth the moment it touches your tongue. Lovely! The texture is exquisite and oh so very buttery with the sprinkled nuts lending the right crunch for this confection. The closest I can think of similar is the dragon's beard of the Chinese.

The Kaju Roll on the other hand satisfies my craving for nuts. Made mainly of ground cashews (notice the phonetic transliteration of the word), sugar, milk, and flavoured with saffron. Actually the right generic name would be Kaju sweets. If shaped like a log (as above picture shows) then it is 'Kaju Roll', if square then it's called 'Kaju Squares' and so on. The latter are usually decorated with edible silver foil. While the 'roll' usually have some saffron or cardamom flavoured ground nuts stuffed in the middle. It is quite chewy, obviously very nutty, and not too sweet. Both the kaju and soan papdi are very addictive. Once I sat with either in front of me I can't stop eating!

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