Traditional Indian sweets vs western-style cakes – what’s better for a small celebration
While organizing a small celebration, you must almost always prepare some food for your guests. Except for main dishes, desserts play a significant role here. Everyone loves sweets. But what kind of sweets is the best? What to choose: traditional Indian sweets or maybe western-style cakes? Many people are faced with this dilemma during the preparation of family events, such as birthdays, family reunions, wedding parties, and many others.
Older people would probably be in favour of traditional Indian desserts, whereas the young would prefer rich birthday cakes. You can always combine these two ideas so that both the older generation, as well as the youngest in the family will be satisfied. Doing that, of course, you should stick only to your favorites, eliminating in this way a long list of other Indian sweet courses. Besides your preferences, you can also take into account your guests’ tastes.
Starting with western style cakes, they have become extremely popular over the past few years. People like both baking them with kids at home, and buying them at the friendly baker’s, being sure about their quality and delicious taste. Today, even if you don’t have enough time, there’s the possibility of online cake delivery in Hyderabad. So, having no time is no longer an excuse. Now, you can order a pleasant cake without going out, just sitting comfortably in the armchair and choosing the best one from an online catalogue.
You can usually choose ingredients, size, look, and even personalize such cakes with some nice photos or writing to make them more appealing. They may contain whipped cream or buttercream and many different fruits. The choice is, generally, up to you. But one thing is certain- these cakes can be real masterpieces.
The western-style cake is also the best option when you invited a lot of guests and you don’t have time for preparing many small Indian sweets. It would be the only dessert put on the table on the day of the celebration. But it’s always so big that you can easily cut it into many small pieces and share it among all guests. So, you can be sure that everyone will get their slice.
Traditional Indian sweets
Generally speaking, traditional Indian desserts are usually called mithai and they play a prominent role in the whole Indian cuisine. They vary by region, but most of them are made from sugar, milk and condensed milk, taking the form of fried foods. Other ingredients, such as almonds, pistachios, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, and black pepper may be added to these sweets as well. The purpose of that is to give them a specific taste. They are usually decorated with gold or silver leaves so that they could look pleasant.
North Indian sweets
Now, we’ll present you with only one of many Indian sweets that can be prepared for a small celebration. In the north of the country, people often make pethas, which are nothing else than white pumpkins with sugar, kitchen lime, and alum powder. Another popular sweet there is Balushai, consisting of Maida flour, yogurt, oil, and sugar. It looks like a doughnut, in the middle of which it always has a decorative leaf. And the third most common sweet met in the north is Laddu- the mixture of Gram flour, ghee (the type of clarified butter), and sugar. It’s served in the form of small sweet balls. And that’s why they are perfect for kids who can grab them at a break from play.
East Indian sweets
Heading for the eastern part of India, you can come across something like Chhena Gaja, made from chhena, which are cheese curds, sugar, and ghee. Its basis is of course milk. Another interesting Indian sweet can be Ras malai, described frequently as “a rich cheesecake without a crust”. It’s quite similar to rasgulla, but it has thick milk instead of syrup. Besides milk, it also contains chhena soaked in malai- a type of clotted cream and is always spiced with cardamom.
South Indian sweets
Going to the south of the country, you can try, for instance, Ada, which contains rice sugar, grated coconut, and jaggery or sugar. If you and your family prefer nuts, the best idea is to prepare Chikki, to which you need only two main ingredients, like nuts or peanuts and jaggery.
West Indian sweets
If you live in the west, instead, and you have such products as slightly fermented rice flour, jaggery, and khus-khus seeds, you can make Anarsa, again small sweet balls. Or you can go for Basundi, made from condensed milk boiled on low heat until it’s reduced by half. In North India, you may find an extremely similar dessert, however, called Rabi.
All in all, choosing between a western-type cake and traditional Indian sweets you must consider some crucial factors. Think about who your guests will be and what their taste preferences are, how much time you have for preparing food and desserts, as well as whether you prefer making them yourself or buying them.
A typical cake will be better if you don’t have much time, but you are waiting for many visitors. Instead, having some spare time, you can prepare Indian sweets, which are quite simple. No matter what you choose, everyone will fall in love with your desserts as the common proverb says “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”.