The sweet people of Gujarat add sugar and jaggery to a variety of eatables. Gujaratis love their sweets and are quite proud of the same. Over the centuries they have mastered the art of sweet crafting.
Would you like to try some great sweets of Gujarat? We are sure you would love them. These sweets are delicately prepared and have a certain royal character:
The very first sight of this delightful dessert would take you back through history. It has that quaint historic look deepened further by its thick syrupy texture and perfected by its matured appearance. You are absolutely right. Shrikhand is an ancient Indian sweet. Its history seeps deep into time. Its recipe was invented as early as 400 BCE. At that time it was known as “Skhikhrini” in Sanskrit terminology.
The dessert also finds a respectable place in mythology. According to great Indian epic Mahabharata, it is said that the recipe of Shrikhand was invented by a Pandava, named “Bheemsen” for Lord Shri Krishna.
Using traditional recipe, the yoghurt is tied skillfully in a muslin cloth and hung on the wall till entire water content is drained off leaving back only the thick cream of yoghurt. In the local language, it is known as “Chakka”. Its texture should look similar to cheese spread. Then sugar and saffron mixed milk are added to the Chakka.
It is the seasoned, sour taste of yoghurt married perfectly to succulent milk and aromatized by cardamom that gives the sweet a fine royal character. Its versatile sweet and sour taste makes it equally suitable to be relished as a savoury dessert or eaten during the main course with Gujarati fried bread called Puri.
Just looking at this soft yellow coloured Gujarati sweet delicacy, one is instantly captivated by “food romance”. The delicate, fine and subtle aroma that is smoothly released by Basundi further spells a kind of magic on your taste buds. In aesthetic terms, it can be called the non-glamorous simple, natural beauty that effortlessly attracts you.
The recipe of this sweet is as simple as its appearance. Using traditional Indian cauldrons of the perfectly thick base, the milk is thickened to attain a required consistency. It can take considerably long time and the recipe needs constant monitoring. According to the need, the milk can be stirred intermittently. Once it attains the required consistency the balanced amount of sugar, saffron and cardamom are added.
It is a bit heavy on the stomach and can be enjoyed as breakfast. Depending on one’s inclination a fair amount of green pistachios, cashew nuts or almonds can be added to the sweet.
Halwasan is distinctly different from the above-mentioned sweets. As opposed to soft, velvety texture of Basundi or thick, deep and moist content of Shrikhand, the strength of Halwasan lies in its grainy texture and solid, nutty flavour that is more pronounced yet equally pleasant.
After making the traditional Indian cottage cheese using milk and curd the grounded, roasted wheat is added to it. The mixture is then sweetened and thickened on low flame to give it a consistency of dough. Nutmeg and cardamom powder is added to it and the dough is given beautiful spherical shapes.
It is the moist, grainy texture of the Halwasan that gives a wholesome character to the sweet. The clarified butter adds a shiny hue to the edges of the sweet and also enriches the taste. Add to it the pleasantly strong flavour of nutmeg powder and you would start literally be immersed in the “ocean of rich taste”.
Mung Dal Na Sheera
Sheera is a type of sweet that is semi-solid in texture and contains different types of grounded flours and lentils with their flavour smoothened by the use of milk and sugar. There are different types of Sheera. One of the most prominent types is Moong Dal sheera that is widely consumed in Gujarat.
The traditionally grounded moong dal paste in cooked using pure clarified butter till it turns shiny brown. Its flavour is then smoothened using the sweet and aromatic ingredients like milk, saffron, sugar, cardamom and other condiments. The natural hearty flavour of Mung Dal is enriched with tender milky flavour.
Unlike many other lentils, Mung dal has a more subtle taste that can easily be intertwined with milk. The use of saffron and cardamom further adds a regal scent to the overall flavour and has a very soothing effect on taste buds.
The height of experience is achieved when the intense flavour of cardamom is balanced by the subtle and suffusing flavour of saffron. In the similar yet more pronounced manner the organic, humble flavour of Mung Dal offers a perfect base for the sweet relishing taste of milk.
Mahabharata: An Indian Epic depicting battle between mighty group of cousins: Pandavas and Kauravas. It basically tells the virtues of righteousness.
Bheemsen: A Pandava
Lord Shri Krishna: A form of God who is worshiped widely in India