Mumbai: Incredible Sweets!

June 26th, 2011 | Posted by greg in Daily life... | Travel

Fact: Working in pastry in a different country will bring you face-to-face with the local sweets – and I love it!

The all-time hall-of-fame Indian dessert: Gulab Jamun!

After tasting different kebabs, breads and sauces I was full… but being in India for the first time, I thought there was no such thing as being full! So it was time to dig into Indian sweets.

I had little experience from our Indian restaurant, Barabaru, at the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa in the Maldives, while I was working there, and where I eventually made fresh Gulab Jamun, jelabi, kulfi, rasmalai and all the rest of it, but it was never as close as the real deal. So being in Mumbai was the perfect opportunity to try them all… (yes, Mr. my dentist, I can hear you laughing back there!)

Every dessert and petit-four is sweeter than your normal sweet, with some of them being ultra-sweet. Nothing wrong here, it’s the way they should be. There are hundred more sweets to try in India, but my short time there allowed me only those few…

Kulfi, which is made from reduced milk is my favorite Indian dessert as it is not so sweet and iced. Pretty much like a rich ice cream. It was served on flavored sweet noodles.

Forgive me, but I don’t recall the name of the dessert above. If my memory still right, it was made with yellow beans, fried and soaked in syrup…


Laddu are very good and indeed a very popular sweet served for weddings.

And so I thought I had tried the pastries with the most calories packed in a cubic centimeter. But not until I discovered Zauk E Shahi. This is the real deal; a layer of packed Gulab Jamun covered with a creamy topping and baked… it’s a kind of “don’t try this at home” glycemic rush! I know… I am such a Gwailo, but my favorite Indian sweet is still Kulfi. The one I had was saffron and pistachio and was soooo satisfying after all the curries!

Rasmalai are the same as Gulab Jamun, but pressed as a pallet and poached in reduced milk instead of fried. It makes the dessert lighter and less sweet – I like them.

Finally, petit-fours. The silver leaf is often present and the pastries are, well, no surprise here, super sweet!

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