It’s that time of the year again! There is a slight nip in the air and the smells of autumn fill up mornings. We have all just ended a hectic season of teen patti and poker and gearing up for the onset of the Wedding season, Christmas and much more.
Diwali has just gone by but that really hasn’t put a stop to all the festivities. The largest Hindu festival of lights brings with it a time to binge – the desserts, mithais and all things good. The atmosphere is abuzz with festivity and there is a general feeling of celebration, brightness and euphoria among people.
Among all the other rituals, Diwali brings an array of Mithais, which ought not to be missed. It is now, when many just about feel like ditching the more European desserts for that big sumptuous laddo.
As the whole North India gears up for the start of winter, sweet shops, bakers and vendors have their hands full even after Diwali is over.
Here’s a low down on 10 of the most popular Diwali sweets and the best places where you could bite on them.
A common and a versatile dessert. Chocolate brownies make for an ideal gifting bag as well. A unique flavor of brownies can be found at ‘Love Bites’. It tastes more like a fudge in the first bite till the taste grows on you. Prerna, at Love Bites, insists on naming them Chocolate Bownies, which instantly melt in your mouth.
2. Dry fruits burfi- laden with walnuts, figs and almonds- and of course a dollop of ghee – this mouth watering treat is found in most of the popular sweet shops. (Bikanerwaala at Sector-29 in Gurgaon)
3. Kaju Katli – almost everyone’s favorite! This simple preparation of cashew nuts melts as soon as it goes into your mouth. Kaju Katli at Nathu Sweets outlets, across Delhi & Gurgaon, is by far the best that is on offer.
4. Besan Barfi- A relatively easy recipe – but only of you get the besan cooked to the right consistency. Sugar Syrup or Chashni is added to the cooked besan and made into a bar. You can cut it into pieces or just bite your way through it. Suman Modi, from ModiNagar, makes the best besan Barfi. She operates out of home and orders have to be placed over the phone.
5. Shahi Tukda- a simple dessert which can be easily made at home. Deep friend portions of home bread – soaked in sugar syrup and topped with a generous helping of malai and nuts. The best Shahi Tukda can be found at the stalls near Jama Masjid, owing to its Mughal era roots. However, for a more accessible adventure try Haldiram’s, Ambience Mall (all outlets across the city)
6. Sohan Halwa, at Ghantewaala Halwai in Chandni Chow in Delhi (& OM Sweets in Gurgaon) Unarguably the oldest sweet shop in Delhi, it was established in 1790 and has catered to Mughal emperors, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as well as his Grandson Rajiv Gandhi. The Sohan halwa has patrons from as far away as the Gulf. Pista Burfi and the Kalakand are some of the other specialties.
7. Mysore Pak- This is a typical south Indian dessert but made simply using besan and sugar syrup. As with most besan or chick peas flour recipes, the trick is to get the besan cooked to the right consistency. One of Rajnikanth’s favorite desserts, the best Mysore Pak can be found at Naivedyam at Sector 27, Sushant Lok Phase 1, Gurgaon.
8. Gulab Jamun- these sinful little fried rounds are best found at Shiv Mishthan Bhandar, at the corner of Kuchcha Hasiram and Chandni Chowk, Fathepuri. For more accessible indulgence, you could also visit Bikarnerwala again at Sector 29, Gurgaon.
10. Boondi Ke Laddoo- One can’t think of a special occasion in India where these laddoos are not on the menu! These laddoos get their name from drop or droplets (boond in Hindi). Thaggu ke Laddoo in Kapur are the most famous. But when in Delhi – try the Chaina Ram Sindhi Confectioners in Chandni Chowk, Delhi.
(Contributed by Megha A Luthra from Foodies Compass)