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South Asian Sweets

South Asian Sweets are a unique type of confectionery in Indian, Pakistani and other South Asian cuisines. The Hindi-Urdu word used to refer to sweets and confectionary is mithai. South Asian sweets are made with sugar, milk and condensed milk, and cooked by frying. The bases of the sweets and other ingredients vary by region. In the Eastern part of India, for example milk is a staple, and most sweets from this region are based on milk products. Mithai are commonly served during an auspicious occasion such as the birth of a child or the acquisition of a new job.

Varieties of South Asian sweets

Name Image Description
Anarsa A Maharashtrian sweet made from rice flour, ghee, jaggery and poppy seeds.
Barfi Barfi.JPG Barfi, sometimes called burfi or burfee or borfee ( Hindi: बर्फ़ी, Urdu: برفی, Bengali: বরফি ), is a sweet confectionery from the Indian subcontinent. Plain barfi is made from condensed milk, cooked with sugar until it solidifies.

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Chena Murki A sweet made from milk and sugar available in Indian province of Orissa. Milk is boiled and condensed. Sugar is added and the sweet is given a round shape. It is also known by Bangladeshi and Guyanese people as pera.
Chikki A simple sweet made out of peanuts,cashew nuts and molasses.
Gulab Jamun Gulab Jamun.jpg A popular dessert in countries of the Indian Subcontinent such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.

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Jalebi   A popular sweet all over Indian subcontinent is made by deep-frying flour in a circular (coil-like) shape and then dipping in sugar syrup. Imarti is a variant of Jalebi, with a different flour mixture and has tighter coils. Typically Jalebi is brown or yellow, while Imarti is reddish in colour. Often taken with milk, tea, yoghurt or Lassi.
Khaja A sweet food of India. Refined wheat flour, sugar and oils are the chief ingredients of khaja.
Kulfi Kulfi Kulfi has similarities to ice cream in appearance and taste, but is denser and creamier. It comes in various flavours, including cream (malai), raspberry, rose, mango, cardamom (elaichi), saffron (kesar or zafran), and pistachio.

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Kheer A pudding, usually made from milk and one of these ingredients – vermicelli rice, Bulgar wheat, semolina, tapioca, dried dates, and shredded white gourd. It is also known as “Payas” (see below).
Laddu   Is made of varieties of flour and/or semolina and other ingredients cooked in sugar formed into balls. The popularity of Laddu is due to its ease of preparation.
Malpoa One of the most ancient home made sweets of India. It is a form of pancake (made of wheat or rice flour) deep fried and sugar syrup. Several variations exist in different parts of India, especially popular in Bengal and Orissa.
Motichoor Ka Ladoo A sweet food of the central Bihar made from grilled gram flour flakes which are sweetened, mixed with almonds, pressed into balls and fried in ghee.
Narkel Naru A dessert from Bengal. They are ball-shaped and made from khoa/condensed milk and coconut, a traditional food during Pujas such as the Lakshmi Puja, consumed throughout India.
Parwal Ki Mithai A dry sweet made of parwal. The outer covering is made of parwal, and the filling is made of milk products. It is rather popular in Bihar, but also found in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
Pathishapta A Bengali dessert. The final dish is a rolled pancake that is stuffed with a filling often made of coconut, milk, cream, and jaggery from the date palm. These desserts are consumed in Thailand as well.
Payas or Kheer   A sweet rice pudding, payas has been a cultural dish throughout the history of India, being usually found at ceremonies, feasts and celebrations. In many parts of India, ancient traditions maintain that a wedding is not fully blessed if payas (or payasam as known in South India) is not served at the feast during traditional ceremonies like marriage, child birth, annaprasan (first solid feed to child) etc.
Rasgulla A popular sweet relished in India and Pakistan. Originally a dessert in Orissa for centuries, this dish made its way to West Bengal when the Oriya cooks started migrating to West Bengal in search of jobs, bringing along the recipe. It was only then that Nobin Chandra Das of Kolkata modified its recipe to give it its current form. This dish is made by boiling small balls of casein in sugar syrup. This sweet dessert can be found in many east Indian households.
Sandesh   A sweet made from fine cheese made from cow’s milk kneaded with fine ground sugar or molasses. This is a sweet from West Bengal and Orissa. Revered for its delicate making, and appreciated by the connoiseur, this represents sweet making at its finest. Sandesh comes in two varieties, “Norom Pak” (the softer version) and “Koda Pak” (the harder version).
Shrikhand   A creamy dessert made out of strained yoghurt, from which water is drained off completely. Dry fruits, mango puree, saffron or cardamom and sugar are added to the thick yoghurt to get the desired flavour and taste. It is served chilled. It is a West Indian traditional dish.

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