India is the second largest country in the world by population, with roughly 1.3 billion people. Given the country’s immense size and culturally diverse demographics, it is expected that it would produce great food innovation. As America has borrowed from Indian culture in some of its cuisine, it makes sense then that it would also borrow from Indian indulgences too.
Courtesy of Eater, here are five widely popular Indian desserts that could become popular for bakeries in the U.S.
1. Rasgulla – This syrupy dessert is made from ball-shaped dumplings of chhena (an Indian cottage cheese) and semolina dough, cooked in light syrup made of sugar. It is revered throughout countries in the West and the East.
2. Gulab jamun – Prepared by heating milk over a low flame for a long time until most of the water content has evaporated, turning it into milk solids. They are then kneaded into dough and deep-fried, before being soaked in sugary syrup. The distinct taste makes these treats a preference at festivals, birthdays, and other major celebrations.
3. Peda – Thick and semi-soft, this dessert is made with ingredients such as khoa, sugar, and traditional flavorings including cardamom seeds, pistachio nuts and saffron. It is not as rich in taste as rasgulla or gulab jamun, but still a favorite in India.
4. Kaju katli (or kaju barfi) – This translates to “cashew slice.” It is made by thickening milk with sugar and other ingredients (dry fruits and mild spices), which is then added to a ground cashew paste. This paste is turned into slices. It is a popular treat during the Hindu celebration of Diwali.
5. Kulfi – A frozen dessert similar to ice cream, only denser and creamier. Traditional flavors include cream (malai), rose, mango, cardamom, saffron, and pistachio. It is popular in summer seasons just as ice cream is popular in summer seasons in America.