Indian Sweet Recipes

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Halwa Dessert Empanada Recipe (International Desserts) Recipe

My father-in-law loves Indian sweets, so we make gajar halwa (carrot Indian sweets) very often at home. There was still leftover by the end of the day, and you know my motto: "waste not, want not!". I've made a carrot cheesecake recently using halwa. This time, I was inspired by the pistachio galettes des Rois I made earlier this year. I addded ground pistachios and kewra to keep the Indian-themed ingredients and folded the halwa mixture as if I was making a tarte amandine, using a different type of nut cream. I finally wrapped the carrot cream in puff pastry, empanada-style and  can be served with powdered sugar or drizzled with kewra syrup.

These little puff pastries pair perfectly with hot mint tea. Next time you have friends over for tea, this is the perfect treats that are both so unique and reminiscent of oriental sweets. Enjoy!

Dessert Empanada Recipe with Picture
Set of dough presses.


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Indian Dinner Party Menu Recipe

Indian Dinner Party Menu

05.24.10 by Jackie
We hosted an Indian classical music party over the weekend. The artist was Kankana Banerjee. If like me, you know nothing about Indian classical music, Ms. Banerjee is "one of the leading exponents of classical music in India". She is the recipient of the Kala Saraswati, Andhra Ratna Award which is one of the most prestigious awards from the Government of Andhra Pradesh (from smashits.com). My father-in-law admires her music very much, and we had the honor of listening to her perform. As I mentioned, I haven’t heard any Indian classical music before, so this was quite an experience for me. My little munchkin (my 5-year-old sister-in-law) on the other hand is an old pro; she is very fond of it and has been singing with her Daddy every evening in anticipation of the concert. I do however know food, and I thought it would be fun to share with you all the dishes that were served. You may not be hosting a music party at your home any time soon, but that doesn’t mean that these dishes can’t make a guest appearance at your dinner table!


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Gulab Jamun (Indian Sweets) Recipe

Gulab Jamun (Indian Sweets)

03.26.10 by Jackie

Gulab jamun is my husband Lulu's favorite Indian dessert. The sweets are deep-fried balls of dough, bathed in rose (gulab) and cardamom syrup. The texture resembles the liquor syrup-saturated French cake Baba au Rhum.

I've just experienced making my own for the first time and it tasted pretty similar to the ones I've had in the past. I added a few saffron threads to impart a brighter yellow color to the syrup and I didn't add finely crushed pistachios as Lulu's great-aunt does, because of my little sister-in-law's nut allergy.

You can eat them cold, but our favorite way to enjoy gulab jamun is to warm them a bit before serving. It adds another dimension to the dish. Gulab jamun is a bit too rich to eat on a regular basis, but it's perfect for special occasions when you want something more exotic than cake.


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Chana Milk Halwa (Besan Burfi) Recipe

Chana Milk Halwa (Besan Burfi)

02.23.10 by Jackie

If you're familiar with French pâtes de fruit or fudge, you'll want to try the Indian / Middle Eastern equivalent,  called halwa. Halwa literally means "sweet" in Arabic. It can be made with different ingredients such as carrots, pumpkin, yams, beets, semolina and many types of beans, lentils or nuts.

Daddy (my father-in-law) had a craving for some chana dal halwa, so my mother-in-law made several batches this weekend. To the chana dal, she added roasted cashew nuts (Kaju in Urdu) for flavor and texture. This particular recipe also calls for a large quantity of clarified butter, or gheeGhee is popular in Indian cuisine and can be found at almost any Indian grocery store. This dessert is definitely not low fat or low calorie, but the taste and texture are extraordinary. Store-bought halwa cannot compare.

We made a huge batch and stored them in tins in the refrigerator. The girls placed the sweet candy in cellophane gift bags and tied a pretty bow around them to give away to their friends and teachers. Whether  or not you decide to share the dessert with others, you should definitely find time to make some. Your efforts will definitely be rewarded.


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