Desserts

Desserts

By
Cyrus Todiwala
Contains
5 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781742706337
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

Desserts and sweets are a vital part of the Indian diet, be they good or bad for you. Most of what we eat such as gulab jamuns, rusgullas, jalaebis, rasmalai etc. are sweets and not necessarily desserts. However, Indian cuisine does produce desserts too, and Bombay is quite the place for some old-time classics, many of these British-influenced, too.

There used to be a place that just made desserts and ice creams when we were young. It was called jai Hind which simply translated as ‘Long Live India’, and if you had a bit of change clinking about you could go in and buy jelly and custard, caramel pudding, fruit trifle, baked cabinet pudding, baked bread pudding as well as bread and butter pudding and various ice creams and sundaes. It lost its charm eventually and closed was down by greedy builders who wanted their prime location. Besides jai Hind, there lies in Bombay a legacy that still exists of some old-time favourites and modern adaptations to please an ever-growing foodie population.

Most Indian desserts are milk-based and often very high in sugar and all the wrong things we are often told to avoid. But the average Indian is still a die-hard sugar freak and will seek out his favourites as we did when we were young, travelling across town in the dead of the night simply to eat at an ice cream parlour that was famous for something like custard apple ice cream.

The legendary Britannia Restaurant in Ballard Pier is to us the best place for great caramel custard (their signature dessert) and rest assured, they can give the best a very, very good run for their money.

Indian desserts have been influenced by the British classics, and dishes like rice pudding, coconut pudding and semolina pudding have all been adapted for Indian palates, spiced and flavoured, giving them their own special twist.

In a typical South Indian restaurant a sweet wheat pudding is served at breakfast known as Cheers which can be part semolina, part wholewheat flour or all semolina.

If ever in Bombay, be sure to explore the many sweet shops, and our so-called dairies that serve snacks and milk products and banish those health fears for a few moments of over-indulgent and lipsmacking adventures. You could well be lost forever!

Every part of Bombay specialises in something different and you need to know locally where the best gajjar ka halwa is, or the best aflatoon, or the best mawa khaaja (a delicious flaky pastry sweet which is Bombay’s mille feuille where reduced sweetened milk is interlayered with puff pastry and baked). You need to be tough to refuse and strong of constitution to digest it all.

Recipes in this Chapter

    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again