The variability of desserts in Varanasi and their taste are some things one must explore when visiting the town. Most of the Varanasi desserts are made of milk and ghee base like Mugdal, Sankat Mochan ke Laddoo, Parval Mithai, Kheer Mohan and Launglata among others. This place serves a number of the simplest sugar delicacies of the town. The street desserts served here are bound to melt in your mouth and compel you to cheat on your diet sheet.
Magdal is a speciality from Varanasi. Magdal is formed from Moong dal and Urad dal flour and Desi Ghee (drawn butter). Magdal is formed with no milk or water and thus has a longer time period. Magdal flour should be preferably made reception or if you’re buying from the market, add a table spoon of coarsely ground moong and urad dal to urge the crunchy texture. The dal flour should be roasted on a coffee flame to make sure even cooking of the flour. Next step is to whip the roasted dal. The air absorbed while whipping makes the magdal soft.
MALAI KI GILLAURI
Malai Gillauri is our specialty. An Indian sweet made from Malai, full of the richness of dry fruits; designed and folded a bit like Indian paan (betel leaf). As the name suggests, malai ki gilori is strictly as you’d expect it to be. It melts in the mouth and is delicate and super delicious. The sweetness of this drool-worthy treat comes with a stuffing of nuts and mishri encased during a super thin paan-shaped covering of malai with a touch of rose and kewra water. It is topped with silver work for a royal look and rich texture.
As per a number of the folklores, malai paan was invented within Lucknow in around the 1800s as a substitute for tobacco and paan since they were banned during the rule of one of the Nawabs of Awadh. The betel leaf was replaced with malai or milk cream, full of mishri alongside dry fruits and was designed and folded into a sort of a paan. So, you get the texture of eating a paan without eating one.
The stuffing is made of Mishri and dry fruits. Each of the ingredients was a perfect replacement, the thick layer of Malai was soft and delicate, like paan, the stuffing had an excellent role. The stuffing made from mishri and nuts gave it a bite which might be chewed for a short time before melting in the mouth.
Created in Mathura and perfected in Varanasi, the art of rabdi travelled east, and today it is famous worldwide. The rabdi in Varanasi tastes quite different from what is served in other parts of India. There is more milk than rabri in rabdi falooda. For the important story of the creation of rabdi, we have to travel to Mathura and, therefore, the land of Krishna. As rabdi travelled to the shores of Benaras, this dessert visited a totally new level altogether. Rabdi is made by reducing milk in heat. Many of the Yadavs here were from Bihar, and for the first time, classic sweets like malai and rabdi were created at this point.
The malai with all its goodness appealed to the bureaucrates, whereas the rabdi in Varanasi became a poor man’s delight after a glass of bhang lassi. The rich creaminess of the Devonshire cream (Malai) comes from buffalo milk being heated/simmered but never boiled during a flat bottomed kadai and punctiliously the layers are kept one on top of the other. The rabdi of banaras is white and with limited dry fruits.
PARVAL KI MITHAI
Parval ki mithai is certainly a genius work of somebody who had this concept to convert a vegetable into delicious mithai. Parval (pointed gourd) grows rather well within the Indo-Gangetic plains, and there are a couple of cultivars of this vegetable that taste specialized when cooked to form parval ki bhujia or maybe parval ka chokha. Stuffed parval ki kalonji are some things every family cooks a minimum of once a fortnight in eastern UP.
When an equivalent parval is full of mithai material it transforms into something else literally. The green colour is used to form the parval looking bright green within the Mithai shops. Normally the whole parval is slit from one side, and it is made empty from the inside. It is further drenched in syrup and stuffed with khoya inside. Within the Mithai shop version, the filling isn’t visible mostly, and, therefore, the parval looks just green on the surface, the slit covered with a silver foil.
Imarti or Jhangri is one of famous desserts not only in India but also in other countries of the Indian Subcontinent. It’s made by deep-frying urad flour batter during a quite circular flower shape, then soaked in syrup. Alternative names include Amriti, Emarti, Omriti and Jaangiri. Imarti is made of black gram flour, also colloquially called jangiri parappu (lentils) or jangiri black gram in the Indian subcontinent. Saffron is usually added for the purpose of color. Urad is usually soaked in water for a few hours, and then it is stone-ground into a fine batter.
The batter is dipped into ghee, though other oils are sometimes used. The batter is usually poured in a geometric pattern, although imartis are generally larger than funnel cakes. There’s often a little ring within the middle. Before frying the batter, the syrup is kept ready and to add flavor, edible camphor, cloves, cardamom, kewra and saffron are added. The fried imarti is then immersed in syrup until it expands in size by soaking up the syrup. In Varanasi, imartis are dried, so tend to be drier than jalebis. The pieces are often served hot, at temperature, or refrigerated.
So next time when you visit Varanasi, make sure to go for these desserts after you have your lunch and dinner. I assure you will be extremely delighted, and your taste buds will never forget the taste of these Indian desserts.