Have You Tried These Incredible 10 Gujarati Sweets Yet?
We are sure to run short on space if we talk about all the popular dishes of Gujarat – the ‘Jewel of Western India’, the land of lively colours, effervescent people, and affluent folklore.
So for now let's only stick to the darling of all – Gujarati sweets. ‘A life without sweets is not much worth living,’ says Pawan Mishra, an award-winning author and leader in the technology and finance industries. The land of the beautiful Rogan paintings, fine Patola sarees, fascinating hand-block printing, intriguing zari & patchwork, and of course the most lip-smacking sweets – it is a one-stop destination for sweet lovers all around the world.
What's special about Gujarati Sweets
Well, if you have ever been to Gujarat or have a close friend from the state, you would certainly be aware of their weakness for desserts. No wonder Gujaratis have an overabundance of mouth-watering local sweets without which their daily meals are considered incomplete. The myriad of their mithai is massive – from heavy ghee-loaded mohanthal to light and refreshing shrikhand – they have it all. Tempted already? Go ahead and indulge in the most authentic Gujarati sweets here.
Here are 10 must-have Gujarati sweets
Oh the look, feel, and taste of this delectable mithai is simply irresistible. Mohanthal – gram flour aka besan fudge – is a traditional Gujarati sweet that is a must have on special occasions besides being consumed on any regular day too. It gets its rich taste from loads of ghee, sweetened gram flour, milk powder, heavy cream, cardamom, embellished with a concoction of fine dry fruits. This delicacy often comes in square shape and is loved by one and all alike. Come try some original Gujarati Mohanthal and say hello to mesmerizing taste.
Ghari aka Surati Ghari – a sweet dish from Surat – is round and made with mawa, ghee, sugar, refined flour and gram flour – with dry fruits or some sweet filling. This delicacy comes in different flavours – pistachio, elaichi, and almonds. Chandani Padva, the last full moon day in the Hindu calendar, is incomplete without a lavish spread of ghari of all varieties waiting to be devoured. Try some and see for yourself. This pudding is said to have been first made by Devshankar Shukla for Tatya Tope in 1857 to boost the morale of the soldiers fighting for freedom and strengthen them.
The Gujarati avatar of the North Indian rabdi, basundi is a must-have sweet in their weddings and festivals. Milk is heated till it reduces to half its quantity and thickens in consistency, which is then flavoured with saffron, cardamom, and garnished with almonds and pistachios to enhance its look as well as flavour. The two most-savoured varieties are angoor and sitaphal basundi. It tastes best when served chilled.
A famous rice pudding, dudhpak is prepared using select rice, pure milk, authentic saffron, and rich dry fruits. The crunch of nuts complements the smoothness of milk and rice perfectly, making this dessert absolutely addictive. Have it chilled and you will agree.
If your heart melts for cardamom, then this is especially for you. Besides being utterly delicious, this dish is also healthy – with wheat flour, jaggery, ghee, fennel seeds, turmeric, and saffron. The good news is that it is eaten as a full meal as well in Gujarat – so go ahead and satiate yourself thoroughly. Serve it hot with a spoonful of ghee to know what goodness feels like.
Does this sweet need any introduction? Our revered Prime Minister's favourite, this delicacy comes in many flavours and packs. Mango, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate orange, cardamom saffron, cinnamon apple, passion, fruit, plain, and coconut carob are just to name a few. Whether you make it at home or bring it from outside, don't forget to garnish it with dry fruits to bring out the best in it. A dollop of chilled shrikhand in your mouth – especially on a summer afternoon – will certainly make you go weak in the knees.
The legendary sweet is a speciality of Khambhat – easy to make, awesome in taste – try it to know how and why. This wholesome, healthy sweetmeat is made of wheat flour, gum raisins, cashews, nutmeg & cardamom powder, brown sugar, and selected nuts. It is loaded with goodness in each bite. Eat it at room temperature and let this chewy bite cast a spell on your taste buds. Why wait to taste the most authentic Halvasan, when you can try it out now!
The western cousin of our most loved Holi sweet gujia, ghughra renders all festivities incomplete with its absence. A deep-fried semi-circle-shaped treat, it is mostly decorated with edible silver foil. One bite into the crisp outer layer of maida gives way to the rich ghee-roasted stuffing of dry fruits and rawa that fills the mouth with an unforgettable taste. It is mostly consumed at normal temperature.
Made by expert hands using a century-old recipe – this Gujarati mithai is a wonder in itself. “Sutter”, says Ananda Solomon, executive chef at Vivanta by Taj, “means 'thread' in Gujarati. 'Feni' refers to ‘fine’”. Flaky, threadable rice flour is roasted in ghee to be later mixed in melted sugar. A lot goes in to make one perfect batch of this sumptuous cotton candy dish. It is seasoned with elaichi and garnished with finely chopped almonds and pistachios before serving. This scrumptuous sweet is available in plain white with the aroma of screwpine or rose water and yellow if flavoured with kesar.
It is mostly available in small packs and is consumed at room temperature.
Primarily served as a snack in winters, gorpapdi is a preferred choice in most households in Gujarat. Very easy to make, it is a storehouse of the goodness of wheat flour and the health benefits of jaggery. These two ingredients are roasted in ghee until they thicken to the perfect consistency and are set in slabs. Once cooled, it is cut into diamond-shaped small pieces and sometimes garnished with grated almonds as well. Health freaks swear by the taste and benefits of this flavoursome favourite.
It would be impossible to even try to trace the roots of India’s relation with sweets. With every region boasting of its special mithais and their history, it becomes difficult to choose what to have and what not. And Gujarat with its most delectable sweets will set you off a remarkable gastronomic tour – delightfully overpowering. The above treats are just some of the state's must-haves. There are many more you should definitely try.
“Dessert is to a meal what a dress is to a woman,” says Béatrice Peltre, author of La Tartine Gourmande: Gluten-Free Recipes for an Inspired Life and other famous cookbooks.
That is how important sweets are in our lives. Indulgence is not wrong as long as it is done for a reason or within limit. And when the choices are as wholesome and delectable as the ones above, immoderation is just alright.
With SaleBhai’s best assortment of these and more sweets from Gujarat and beyond – you have all the excuses to pamper your taste buds with the best.
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