India is a country rich with colours, traditions, art and crafts, and more importantly, cuisine. Given the large range and variety of dishes available, the nation is nothing short of a foodie’s paradise. While there is no shortage of delicious savoury dishes, Indian desserts have a special place in the heart of anyone with a sweet tooth.
Every house has its own recipe for a delectable dessert. But, if you’re looking to switch up the norm and earn a few bonus points at the next dinner party, try these classic recipes that come with a modern twist.
Indian Dessert Recipes With A Twist
We asked experts from around the country to share their favourite Indian dessert recipes with a special spin of their own and here are four recipes that you would want to try this weekend.
Nutella Ghewar Tart
By Chef Vikram Arora, Culinary Director and founder of Nksha, Mumbai
(Makes 20 Ghewar Tarts)
For the Ghewar batter:
1 kg all-purpose flour
50 gms vanaspati ghee
1 ltr chilled water
250 gms Ice cubes
Oil for deep frying
2 ltr milk
200 gms Sugar
For the sugar syrup:
1 kg Sugar
500 gms Water
100 gm Nutella (can increase as per liking)
25 gms Almond slivers
25 gms Pistachio Slivers
2no. Edible Silver Leaf (varq)
(To prepare the Ghewar batter)
- In a mixing bowl, add all-purpose flour (maida) and melted warm vanaspati ghee. Mix them well using your palm. Gradually add chilled water, while continuously stirring to form a smooth and thin batter without any lumps.
- Add a few ice cubes to the batter and mix again. This helps in getting the lacy texture of Ghewar.
(To make the Ghewar)
- Heat oil or ghee in a wide and deep pan for frying the Ghewar. The pan should be large enough to allow the batter to spread freely.
- Once the oil is hot, place the Ghewar mould or a round mould with 4-inch diameter (the number of moulds can be adjusted depending upon the size of the frying pan).
- Take the Ghewar batter in a squeezy bottle and pour it into the centre of each mould in a circular motion, creating a lacy pattern. The batter will spread, and holes will form. Pour the batter little by little into each mould and keep repeating the pattern. Remember to keep making a hole in the centre with any pointed equipment.
- Fry the Ghewar on medium-low heat until it turns golden and crisp. Gently remove it from the pan picking from the centre hole and let the excess oil drain. Place it on absorbent paper.
(To prepare rabri)
In a heavy bottom pan, reduce the milk to almost half the quantity and then remove from heat and put sugar into the remaining milk. Let it cool completely.
(To prepare the sugar syrup)
Boil sugar and water together till it reaches a one-thread consistency and keep it aside.
(To assemble the Nutella Ghewar tart)
- Dip the Ghewar in the warm sugar syrup.
- Take a piece of Ghewar and spread some rabri on the top and drizzle Nutella on it.
- Sprinkle nuts and add a few edible silver leaves (varq) on it and enjoy!
Gulab Jamun with Rose-Flavored Sugar Syrup (served with ice cream)
By Chef Deepak, The Tigress Resort and Spa, Ranthambore
1 cup milk powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
A few tablespoons of milk (approximately 3-4 tablespoons)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
A pinch of saffron strands
1/2 teaspoon rose water
A scoop of vanilla or rose-flavoured ice cream (per serving)
(To prepare the Gulab Jamun)
- In a mixing bowl, combine milk powder, all-purpose flour and baking soda. Mix well.
- Add ghee to the dry ingredients and mix until the mixture has a crumbly texture.
- Slowly add milk and knead the mixture to form a soft and smooth dough. The dough should not be too dry or too sticky. Add more milk if needed.
- Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for about 15-20 minutes.
(To prepare the rose-flavoured sugar syrup)
- In a saucepan, combine sugar and water, and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
- Add saffron strands to the syrup, which will infuse a beautiful colour and flavour. Let the syrup simmer for about five minutes until it slightly thickens.
- Stir in the rose water and let the syrup simmer for another minute before turning off the heat.
- Keep the rose-flavoured sugar syrup warm on low heat until the Gulab Jamuns are ready.
(To make the final dish)
- Take small portions of the rested dough and roll them into smooth balls, ensuring there are no cracks on the surface.
- Heat oil or ghee in a deep frying pan over medium heat. To check if the oil is hot enough, drop a small piece of dough into the oil — it should rise to the surface immediately without browning too quickly.
- Fry the prepared dough balls (Gulab Jamuns) in batches on low-medium heat until they turn golden brown. Be gentle while frying and keep stirring them gently for even browning.
- Remove the fried Gulab Jamuns from the oil and drain the excess oil by placing them on paper towels.
- While the Gulab Jamuns are still warm, gently immerse them in the warm rose-flavoured sugar syrup. Allow the Gulab Jamuns to soak in the syrup for at least 1-2 hours to absorb the flavours.
- To serve, place a few Gulab Jamuns in a serving bowl or plate. Add a scoop of vanilla or rose-flavoured ice cream on top of the Gulab Jamuns. Optionally, drizzle some extra rose-flavoured sugar syrup on top for added sweetness and aroma.
Fatless Shahi Tukda
By Chef Ali, The Old Delhi, Delhi
For the fatless milk rabri
1 ltr skim milk
1/4 cup sugar (adjust to taste)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
A pinch of saffron strands (optional)
A few chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios) for garnish
For the Shahi Tukda
6 slices of whole wheat bread (remove the crusts)
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
A pinch of saffron strands
Cooking spray or a few drops of oil for toasting the bread
(To prepare the rabri)
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, pour the skim milk and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
- Once it starts boiling, lower the heat and simmer the milk, stirring occasionally to avoid burning.
- Add the sugar and cardamom powder to the milk and continue simmering until it thickens and reduces to about half of its original volume.
- If using saffron, soak a few strands in warm milk and add them to the rabri for a nice flavour and colour.
- Once the rabri is ready, remove it from heat and let it cool to room temperature. It will thicken further as it cools. Refrigerate it until you’re ready to be used
(To prepare Shahi Tukda)
- In a separate saucepan, combine water and sugar and bring it to a boil. Let the sugar syrup simmer for a few minutes until it thickens slightly.
- Add cardamom powder and saffron strands to the sugar syrup and set it aside.
- Lightly toast the whole wheat bread slices using cooking spray or a few drops of oil in a non-stick pan until they turn golden brown and crisp. Alternatively, you can use an oven or toaster for this step.
(To assemble the final dessert)
- Dip each toasted bread slice in the prepared sugar syrup for a few seconds, making sure it soaks up the syrup without becoming too soggy.
- Place the soaked bread slices on a serving plate or tray.
- Generously spoon the rabri over the bread slices, ensuring each slice is covered with the delicious milk mixture.
- Garnish the Shahi Tukda with chopped nuts and a few saffron strands for an attractive presentation.
- You can serve the Shahi Tukda warm or chilled as per your preference.
By Chef Khokan Molla and Monirul Sekh, Kokum Bar and Lounge, Mumbai
2.5 ltr milk
30 gm sugar
2 ml Gulab water
10 gm Mawa
3 pc Paan
10 gm Gulkand
2 gm Saunf
- Heat the milk and bring it to a boil.
- Mix sugar, paan, gulab water, saunf and blend until it forms a paste.
- Add some milk to the blender with the mixture and mix it well together. Add the mawa to it and mix again.
- Let it rest for some time. Then pour it into your mould and put it in a deep freezer for four to five hours, or until set.
- It’s now ready to be served with gulkand. You can add coloured coconut shavings on the kulfi as garnish.