(Last Updated on : 26/02/2013)
Indian sweets, locally known as Mithai, are a form of confectionery, usually made with milk
, cottage cheese and other ingredients. The use of ingredients differs from one region to the other. Indian sweets are plentiful in number and nature and are most delicious dessert item. In fact, Indian cuisine is known throughout the world as a sweet cuisine because almost half of its dishes are either sweets or desserts. Sweets and Mithais are sumptuous in taste as, they are mostly made from pure ghee. There is long and rich history of Indian sweet
. Many popular Indian sweets are common throughout South Asia while others are specific to a certain region and are typical to only an ethnic group in India. Indian sweets consist of milk, sugar, coconut and flour based confectioneries originating from the Indian sub-continent. Every Indian sweet has a particular taste and takes a long time to prepare. Sweets of India come in various flavours, shapes, colours and sizes. Sweets are also significant in Indian culture. Sweets are generally presented during festive occasions and ceremonies and also signify good omen, happiness and prosperity. In India every happy occasion is marked with the distribution of sweets.
Types of India Sweets
There are various types of Indian Sweets. One of the types is the traditional Indian sweets
including the milk-based sweets, such as, Rabri, Pedha
etc. The second category consists of flour based sweets, such as, Malpua, Mohan Thal
and so on. Most Indian sweets are also made of Khoa or Mava that is milk boiled to remove moisture. Adding butter, sugar and many other ingredients to enhance flavour, these are made into various kinds of sweets. Sweets of India are garnished with Raisins, Almond, Pistachio and the likes. Common Indian sweets are Rassagolla
, Gulab jamun
and Son Papdi
, Dry fruit sweets and so forth. Each region i.e. South, North, East and West Indian sweet recipes are matchless according to their taste. Other types of Indian sweets include, Khaja, Chena Murki, Imarti, Kheer
, Chikki, Shrikhand
, Pathishapta, Ras malai, Motichoor
, Parwal Ki Mithai, Narkel Naru etc.
Besides this classification Indian sweets can be said to have another division which is ethnic and traditional Indian dessert. Traditional Indian sweets are those which were made in Indian households since long back. These sweets have their reference in the historical records and in certain epics as well. They are made in households even today during festivals and functions.
Significance of Indian Sweets
The festivals and other traditional celebrations are incomplete without the alluring taste of Indian sweets. The essential sweet dishes that are dished out during Diwali
include Royal Vermicilli Kheer, Rice Kheer, Carrot Halwa
, Besan Ka Ladoo and Chilled Curd Idlis. Holi
and Durga Puja
are other Hindu festivals where sweets play a major role. The mouth-watering dessert of India has not only enthralled the Hindu society, it has also been making other religious and social festivals such as Id (Id ul Zuha
and Id ul Fitr
), marriage ceremonies or rice ceremonies (annaprasan) appealing.
Indian Sweets like Pedhas, Barfis, Gulab Jamuns, Rassagollas, Jalebi, Halwa and a host of other sweets are in great demand today not only in India but also in foreign countries. When one plans to visit friends or relatives a packet of sweet is the easiest and unanimous choice. Mithai has been associated with Indian tradition and custom and has become an integral part of any occasion or festival. Indian Sweets
have become increasingly popular and are found in almost all corners of the world. Hence, one can see that Indian sweet makers are experimenting with new and improved delicacies and serving it to the sweet lovers.