A visit to a place of worship in India, like a temple, is usually associated with making offerings to the Gods in the form of sweets. The worshippers show their love, devotion and respect by offering freshly made pure sweets to their divine god idols, and seek their blessings. While some devotees prefer home-made sweets, it is also not uncommon to purchase them from any of the indigenous sweet shops. Common ingredients used in traditional Indian sweet-making are flour (wheat/gram/lentil/rice), condensed milk, clarified butter, sugar/sugar syrup, dry fruits like almonds, cashews and pistachio, coconut, cardamom powder, milk powder, rose water, and many more!
I recently travelled with my father to visit one of the famous Hindu temples in Northern India. Known as ‘Shri Bankey Bihari mandir’, this temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna, one of our most loved, worshipped and revered Gods. Owing to the temple’s popularity and the thousands of visitors it witnesses in a day, the area nearby has several sweet shops lined up in the narrow lanes leading to the temple’s entrance steps.
Almost all of the shops had such an impressive array of colorful sweets, made from many different ingredients, in all forms and sizes, appealing to more senses than just one. The round ones are generally called ‘laddoo’, and the ones in block pieces form are called ‘barfi’.
In the pictures, not only can we see the anxious seller sitting in anticipation of customers, watching over his precious mouth-watering products, but also some placards displaying the different rates of similar looking sweets! May be he used a special form of butter for the more expensive ones 😉
I’m not so sure about the Gods, but my taste buds were overjoyed with the extremely delectable ‘besan laddoos’ (round sweets made using gramflour) shown in the last picture.
Did you get a chance to try any of the Indian sweets? 🙂 Which one was your favourite?!