After writing and reading up about all the Indian sweets for this entry, I think my poor blog is now suffering from the ultimate Sugar High! I started my last post talking about the savoury part of my Sunday, here's the sweet and toothaching part.
Besides serving savoury dishes, Lotus Family Restaurants also have a wide variety of Indian/Punjabi sweets and crispies like muruku and etc. I have tried to identify these sweets based on some websites and from discussions with the people from Lotus. I hope I got it right as I am no expert on Indian sweets but if not, do drop me a comment and I will amend the posting if it's wrong. The sweet counter display is right in front of the shop so you're lured to these jewel like sweets from the main road of Jalan Gasing. Usually these sweets are for festivals but occasionally people buy them for snacks or dessert.
This stack consists of glistening bright orange Jalebi. These sweet crispy round whirls are made from maida (Indian for plain flour), besan (Indian for gram flour) and water. The batter is deep fried in ghee (Indian for clarified butter) then dipped in a sticky sugary syrup. You can either infuse the syrup with some saffron threads to get a subtle colour. If you want to achieve this brilliant orange, you will need to add a few drops of red and yellow colouring.
These powdery light brown balls are known as Ghee Balls. It's usually made from finely grinded roasted cashewnuts, flour, ghee and sugar. Pop one ball into your mouth for that melt in the mouth sensation. The Malays have a similar dessert that is usually served during their Hari Raya celebrations called Kuih Makmur that is made from roasted peanuts.
This balls are known as Gulab Jamun, another popular Indian dessert. Made from milk and flour, these balls are fried in ghee and served with a syrup flavoured with cardamon seeds and saffron.
The next dessert is laddu that is usually made from gram flour, rice flour, sugar, ghee and cashewnuts. It's a popular dessert for Deepavalli when sweets are usually served in the hope that the year ahead will be sweet and happy. Traditionally the Indians will start making the sweets for the festive season after the Navarathiri, a nine-day fasting, which takes place exactly twenty eight days before the festival. Usually they will start on the tenth day as it is an auspicious time to start making the sweets.
According to Lotus, this is Paalgova/Paal kova which is made from evaporated milk and sugar. This milk is slowly boiled until it is thickens then poured into a mould. Once cooled, you can cut them into shapes. The texture is crumbly and totally melt in the mouth.
This is Halwa made with bits of almond, cardamon, sugar and milk. Ghee is also added into it and you can colour it with saffron or orange colouring.
There are different varieties of halwa, this one uses dark brown sugar and cashew nuts.
The plastic containers on the left is Khoya Barfi, a fudge like dessert made from khoya. Khoya is usually made at home by boiling and reducing the milk to a solid state. The biscuits on the right are made of sugee or semolina flour. I usually get the Khoya Barfi, one of my favourites and surprisingly my cat, Kits loves them! Guess it's not strange since it is made from milk and cats are supposed to love milk.
This is Lotus' coconut candy, all pretty in pink. These candies are usually made from evaporated milk, condensed milk and freshly grated coconut. You can add different colourings and flavourings when making your own at home. Usually they make pink, green, plain vanilla or chocolate ones.
These are all the different kinds of Barfi they serve at Lotus. You can make them out of any ingredients including vegetables! The one below is just a plain milk one. Sometimes for festivals, they will decorate them with silver foil.
This barfi is made from cocoa powder and chocolate bits inside it.
This is barfi studded with some dried fruits. Don't they look pretty with those red and green bits peeking out from that creamy fudge like dessert.
I love the way they stack up these sweets, reminds me of building Lego! This is plain barfi dusted with crunchy caster sugar.
I am not sure what's the Indian name for this but Lotus told me that this doughnut like sweet is made from brown sugar.
Besides sweets, Lotus also sells a variety of Muruku and crispies. Will probably blog about that another day once I get someone to explain to me the different varieties.