The husband is back after a ten day trip to the homeland.
(He is now considered an ‘alien of extraordinary ability’ by the US Government. I agree with their assessment, but aren’t all aliens extraordinary?)
Anyway, he came back with half a suitcase full of my favorite Indian sweets. Completely unrelated to any dessert you’re likely to find in the Indian restaurants here.
Literally, rose-plums. Balls of flour and dried milk, deep fried and then soaked in simple syrup. The slightly darker one on the left is a kaala-jaam, where the balls are rolled in sugar before frying, giving them a thicker, sweeter crust. Served as is or reheated in the syrup.
Boondi are tiny, pea sized balls of deep fried gram flour. (No one said this was going to be healthy.) They are then soaked in syrup and spices and rolled into balls. These large laddoos are the fancy ones used in weddings, covered with edible silver leaf and dotted with saffron.
In the background is ghevar, a seasonal treat. A Rajasthani sweet made only during the monsoon season, it is lightly sweetened and spongy in texture. During Teej, a festival celebrating marriage and household bliss, boxes of disc-shaped ghevar are brought to the daughter’s household by her family of birth.
Most of these desserts are flour and grain-based. India also has a huge range of dried fruit and nut-based desserts, but those are easier to replicate at home. These are the ones more likely to find their way into suitcases going out of the country, to be frozen and reheated for special occasions. If they survive that long.