Desserts from the Kitchens of Eastern India
East Indian cuisine is one of the most diverse in our country. From the seven sisters to Andaman and Nicobar, not just the cultural and lingual distinctiveness, these states also boast a variety of cuisines, foods and flavours. With such a plethora of sweets available we have selected a few to tingle your taste buds.
Hang on to your forks and read on!
1. Lobongo Latika — Bengal
Lobongo Latika, what a lovable lilt; the name just rolls off your tongue. Not all Bengali sweets are made of curdled milk; this bong beauty (pardon the cliché) is all about the light flaky golden dough wrapped around the sweetened kheer and engulfed in sugary syrup. It’s a super delicate squared shaped delectable treat, the flaps of which are attached by a lobongo or clove. The perfect medley of flavours of maida, khoya, nutmeg powder, coconut, ghee, nuts, raisins, cardamom and clove brings forth an intricate mix of flavour and aroma.
2. Nap Nang — Nagaland
Rice puddings are a family favourite all over the world. It’s the Naga natives however, who have taken it a step further. A rice pudding which is much more than just a mere rice pudding! One look at the Nap Nang; its vibrant colours will make your eyes widen and your mouth salivate.
One bite of it and you will feel the warmth of a cold winter’s night! The Nap Nang is made from sticky black rice which is actually purple in colour. When it is cooked in milk, the purple hue spreads across which makes the pudding look like a magical potion!
Yum! As if that wasn’t enough, the nuttiness of the rice hardly calls for any sort of additional flavouring. A bowl of simple, pure and creamy happiness!
3. Chhena Poda — Odisha
Legend has it that in a small town in Odisha, a local baker once decided to leave the cheese that had gotten mixed with sugars and seasonings, out next to a still-hot oven. The next morning he was pleasantly surprised to find a Chhena Poda or a burnt cheese with a mouth-watering aroma.
Since then, Chhena Poda, the cheesy delight with caramelized sugar has been a favourite treat amongst the locals. Over time other seasonings such as dry fruits were added to the mix. This desi cheesecake although not hard to eat, requires to be made with precision.
4. Khubani ka Meetha — Andhra Pradesh
A popular Hyderabadi dessert, Khubani is an Urdu word which means apricots and Meetha means sweet! It’s a warm stew of apricot compote topped off with sweet custard or malai. With the garnishing of soaked almonds and sugar, Khubani ka Meetha is dear to all the locals, especially during weddings and festivities. This dessert is rich and smooth on the palate with just a hint of tartness lingering on your mouth after each spoonful.
5. Sael Roti — Sikkim
It is sweet bread made from ground rice, banana, and sugar. Sael Roti is a snacky dessert that you can munch on all day long. Easy to carry, easy to eat! What else do we need! As is with the inter influence of the eastern states, this dessert is also inspired by the cuisines of Nepal and Bhutan.
It can be eaten with savoury foods or else enjoyed just by itself. Sael Roti is prepared by frying the rice-banana batter in oil. These ring-shaped munchies are mostly prepared during the festivals of Tihaar and Dashain.
We hope you enjoyed our second edition of Indian Desserts. Once again, we are only too proud to present our diverse heritage through its richness in cuisines and cultures. Please stay tuned for more!
Till then, make the most of your sweet tooth and enjoy these delectable treats.