Indian Sweets to Try This Holiday Season

The holiday season is when your sweet tooth is at its more active. Everyone, diet conscious or not, looks forward to splurge into amazing Christmas treats. Family dinners with a table full of tarts, cakes, cookies, puddings and more is what everybody looks forward to.

However, for an experimental soul, the same old Christmas celebrations clubbed with traditional sweet dishes can get boring. What if we say you can spruce it up with indulgent Indian desserts instead?

Here is a list of Indian sweets that can replace classic holiday desserts. Note that what makes these recipes even more exciting is that these are 100% vegetarian.

1. Gulab Jamun over Cake Pops

Christmas is the ultimate season for cakes. Although, in modern times, cake pops have become extremely popular instead of bigger cakes. The main reason is that these can be eaten more conveniently and don’t required to be cut like traditional cakes. They are also better to look at as each individual piece can be decorated separately using icing or whipped cream.

If you wish to replace cake pops with something unique, try gulab jamun. This famous indian sweet consists of a dough made by mixing milk solids or Khoya with flour, cardamom powder and baking soda. This dough is then kneaded using warm milk, made balls out of and fried in ghee or oil. The balls are then kept dipped in room temperature sugar syrup, prepared by boiling sugar and water, and served that way.

2. Kheer over Christmas Pudding

Christmas is never complete without a delicious pudding. This sticky and sweet concoction is a delight and is available in a wide range of flavours.

Nevertheless, if you are looking for a gluten free and eggless version, try the Indian rice pudding or Kheer/ Payasam. Referred to as Kheer in North India and Payasam in the South, this sweet dish is made by boiling milk and rice in a pan and adding dry fruits such as raisins and pistachios as well as spices such as saffron and cardamom to the mixture. Served warm, it cultivates a hearty warmth that stimulates the holiday spirit.

3. Gujiya over Mince Pies

Australians love mince pies. It is a traditional christmas dessert associated specifically with the island. Every Australian household will likely have their own recipe of these pies, made using a fruit mince stuffed in pastry dough, passed over generations.

While this traditional dessert is treasured, for someone who wants to do things differently, the Indian Gujiya is the way to go. Instead of fruits, this dessert consists of a sweetened khoya and dry fruit based filling. This is then stuffed in dumplings made out of purpose flour which are then deep fried. For a healthier version, the dumplings can be made using whole wheat flour and can be baked after being coated with butter or ghee. 

4. Rabadi over Custard

The creamy custard, eaten all by itself or filled in eclairs, cupcakes and more is a lovely holiday treat. This egg based preparation can be made at home or can be bought from stores in the form of ready-to-make powders. Whatever be the version, the popularity of this dessert cannot be debated. Nonetheless, someone is a vegetarian and wants to avoid eggs at all costs might have to give up on this delight.

With the Indian Rabadi around, a vegetarian can enjoy a custard like feeling sans the gelatin or eggs. Made solely out of milk, this Bengali sweet has touched millions of hearts. It consists of milk, boiled on low heat till it changes its colour to a light yellow, flavoured with saffron, cinnamon, cardamom and nuts. Pair this with Jalebi and your christmas is made.

5. Shrikhand over Mousse

Similar in consistency like a pudding, a mousse is made using egg whites folded in whipped cream. It’s light and airy texture is what sets it apart from other desserts. Commonly flavoured with chocolate or caramel, it makes for a heavenly christmas dessert.

But for a vegetarian who likes uniquely flavoured desserts that are not too sweet, Shrikhand is the perfect replacement. The texture of this dessert is as smooth as a mousse, albeit, it’s a bit heavier due to the lack of bubbles. Moreover, it is made using hung curd blended with warm flavoured milk, spices and sometimes nuts. Originating from western India, this delicacy is the perfect mix of sweet and sour and tastes a lot like extra thick flavoured yogurt. 

6. Kulfi over Ice-cream

Christmas is the time for ice-cream available in a wide range of distinctive flavours such as christmas cake, gingerbread, pumpkin spice, eggnog, peppermint and so on. Having said that, it is important to remember that most of these are available in ready-to-eat packaged versions and are full of preservatives.

Kulfi is an Indian alternative to ice-cream. This frozen dairy dessert is made by evaporating sweetened and flavoured milk. This process is also called caramelization of milk, which gives kulfi its peculiar flavour. This semi-condensed milk is then filled in plastic seals and kept in a container filled with ice and salt for faster freezing. This Indian ice-cream can be frozen over a wooden stick, like a popsicle, for a more authentic experience.

Voila! Here it is. A list of Indian desserts that can make your holiday season more exciting as well as environmentally conscious and guilt free. What’s more? With Lala’s Kitchen’s christmas catering services in Melbourne, you can try these sitting at home with your family.

If you are looking for indian catering in Melbourne this holiday season, try Lala’s Kitchen. We will make sure that your christmas and new-year are made scrumptiously cheerful.