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India — A Dessert Tour of a Faraway Location

We’ve recently traveled to Italy, France and Turkey — virtually, of course — and highlighted the best desserts and baked goods these countries have to offer. To round out our series, we journey to India and take a look at what it’s like to have a sweet tooth in South Asia.

Gulab Jamun is a popular milk-solid dessert (think freshly curdled milk kneaded into dough) that is fried a golden brown and dipped into sugar syrup. Often found at festivals and celebrations, gulab jamun is analogous to an Indian doughnut. For an Americanized version, why not try gulab jamun cupcakes or muffins? Start with a basic vanilla cupcake or banana muffin, then incorporate gulab jamun pieces for a festive twist.

Gajar Ka Halwa is sweet dessert pudding featuring milk (condensed this time), nuts and grated carrots. Grated carrots are a delicious and healthy addition to any confection or baked good, so consider whipping up some carrot cake rolls, coffee cake studded with carrots, super moist carrot muffins, and of course, carrot cupcakes with just the right hint of spice and cream cheese frosting.

Kaju ki Barfi is another popular Indian dessert that often starts with (you guessed it) milk. The milk is thickened with sugar and then enhanced with the addition of a surprising nut — the versatile cashew. Cashews are the oft-overlooked and underrated nut that can take any baked good up a notch. Consider sprinkling them in the next time you make blondies, oatmeal cups, or even frosting. They pair beautifully with brown sugar and caramel, by the way.