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On Diwali, when Indians everywhere across the world will celebrate the festival of lights, boxes of sweets will be passed around. The festival, a world of rituals, also mean that these boxes, neatly stacked next to the Ganesh and Lakshmi idols, will be stuffed to the gills with Indian mithai. Despite gourmet chocolates and Western desserts worming their way into Diwali platters in recent times, the allure of the traditional sweetmeat still holds. So, even as flickering diyas, marigold garlands and sumptuous gifts mark your festivities this season, here is a round-up of Indian desserts that are a perfect end to traditional meals you will gorge on this Diwali.
Warm Doda Barfi Treacle Tart
Price: Rs 625, plus taxes.
Indian Accent, a restaurant where the aroma of Indian kitchens is known to waft into and a place where the chef is celebrated for serving art on a plate, takes Indian desserts seriously. Doda barfi, the quintessential Diwali mithai has been given a culinary spin here. Chef Manish Mehrotra, who helms Indian Accent and has been credited with putting India on the global dining table, was reminded of the doda barfi when he ate a Sainsbury’s treacle tart for the first time. It was also when he was inspired to create the doda barfi treacle tart. Although wary at first, IndianAccent patrons have been smitten by the innovative take on the traditional Diwali dessert for a long time.
Address: The Manor, 77 New Friends Colony West, New Delhi
Gil-E-Firdaus (bottle gourd pudding)
Price: Rs 300, plus taxes
Traditional desserts have been re-imagined with a twist at Kheer, the Indian cuisine restaurant at Roseate House. In a bracingly original interpretation of the kheer, the restaurant is dishing up Gil - e - Firdaus, a creamy pudding made from grated bottle gourd. This dish is packed with nutrition from milk and bottle gourd and comes with additional flavours of saffron and cardamom.
Address: Roseate House New Delhi, Asset 10, Hospitality District, Aerocity
New Delhi 110037
Pearls Gulab Jamun Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream
Price: Rs 290, plus taxes
Fig and Passion Fruit Shrikhand
Price: Rs 290, plus taxes
Dessert discoveries get played around with at The Chatter House, which has rolled out a new dessert menu for the festive season. An Indian theme surfaces in the dessert list which features culinary compositions such as Pearls gulab jamun tart with vanilla ice cream and fig and passion fruit shrikhand. While Pearls gulab jamun tart with vanilla ice cream creates textural contrast for diners with a crisp flaky tart base and pillowy gulab jamun, the fig and passion fruit shrikhand has hung curd jazzed up with sweet and tart flavours of fig and passion fruit.
Address: Lower Basement, Epicuria Food Mall, Nehru Place Metro Station, Nehru Place, New Delhi
Giri ka Halwa
Price: Rs 275, plus taxes
Rs 265, plus taxes
If you want to celebrate Diwali the Punjabi way, drop by Dhaba Estd 1986 Delhi, which has a line-up of desserts inspired by Chef Ravi Saxena’s trips across Punjab. Grab a bite of the rich and aromatic giri ka halwa, puree of almonds cooked with condensed milk. Or dip your spoon into a bowl of sinful phirni, rice flour cooked with saffron and milk and served chilled.
Address: R-5, Upper Ground Floor, West Wing, TDI South Bridge, Epicuria Food Mall, Nehru Place, New Delhi
Tandoori Pineapple with Cinnamon Ice Cream
Price: Rs 175, plus taxes.
Chor Bizarre, Bikaner House, the second branch of the brand in Delhi, is saving routine Diwali sweets from ordinariness with its creative Indian dessert called tandoori pineapple with cinnamon ice cream. Sweet and tart notes come together beautifully in this platter where saffron and cinnamon infused rani pineapple (a specialised variety of pineapple) is roasted in a clay oven and served with cinnamon ice cream.
Address: Bikaner House, Near India Gate, Pandara Road Market, New Delhi
Susmita Saha is a Delhi-based Features Writer. She has worked as an Assistant Editor at India Today and The Telegraph and writes on arts and culture, films, travel, food, architecture, design and various other lifestyle subjects. She has seriously itchy feet and plans to tick the world off her bucket list, one burger at a time.