To begin with, it’s imperative to know what qualifies as “dessert” in this context.
The dessert course is traditionally the course after the mains and before you pay the bill at a restaurant. The classic French menu pretty much says the same.
The dessert course or the many dessert items on a menu are made by chefs who specialize in pastry. They must be visually stunning and delectable, and tremendous care is taken to achieve this look.
Indian sweets like laddoos, rasgulla, barfi etc. are usually eaten on their own at home or at banquet gatherings, on happy occasions or because they make great gifts. Seeing a restaurant serving laddoo in the dessert menu is rare, unless it’s a specialty home-style one.
When it comes to traditional Indian desserts served at restaurants, options are limited but the scope for innovation is tremendous. It is important to treat these desserts with the respect they deserve.
Here are five of my favourite traditional Indian desserts (with links for the recipes and some comments)
Probably my favourite Indian dessert. Delicious but very hard to make.
If done correctly, this is truly decadent.
A deep-fried pastry with a sweet filling. Imagine the possibilities on a plate.
- Paan Ice cream
The flavour of Indian paan (betal leaf) adds a unique kick to the universal favourite.
A complex 16-layered doughless sponge from Goa. Indulgent and exquisite.
If you’re wondering how any of the above can be presented as a dessert in a restaurant, here’s some inspiration: