Diwali is such a gloriously festive time of the year. For Hindus, Buddhist, Sikhs, Jains, it celebrates the triumph over light and goodness over darkness and evil. And back in India, communities celebrate Diwali with street fairs, live music, lots of fireworks, and most of all plenty of delicious Indian sweets.
But if you’re reading this, you probably live in Australia. You also probably pride yourself on being part of a wonderful mix of cultures – possibly a true blue, fair dinkum Aussie and a pakka Desi.
We think we’ve found eight of the most perfect East-meets-West Diwali dessert recipes. Each one uses classic Indian flavours to create something a little different, yet familiar at the same time. Whether you’re an Indian-Aussie or not, the five-day celebration of Diwali, the festival of lights, is a great excuse to get sweet with a twist.
1. Gulab jamun cheesecake
Developed by Rumela Roy of Mix and Stir, this is a cheesecake to beat all cheesecakes. Gulab jamuns are soft deep fried cheese balls soaked in sugar syrup. A cheesecake is mostly baked cream cheese. Put the two together and you’ve got yourself a dairy dessert like no other. Get the recipe here.
2. Sweet ravioli
Sweet pastas can be tricky to get right. But this dish, developed by Madhuri Aggarwal of Mad About Kitchen is rather simple when once you realise it’s just a new take on rasamalai. She tells SBS the inspiration for the dish came from her two favourite cuisines: Indian and Italian. Get the recipe here.
3. Turmeric ice cream
Since the golden latte took hipster cafes by storm last year, turmeric’s been getting a lot of press. But imagine if you could get the superfood into your favourite cold creamed dessert? We've got two options: this turmeric and coconut ice-cream, from right here at SBS Food:
And there's this beautiful version, a cream and condensed milk turmeric ice cream from Madhuri Aggarwal. Get the recipe here.
4. Beetroot tofu barfi
Diwali can be a tough time for the health conscious among us. Twice as hard if you’re vegan. But this treat, developed by Piyali Shekar Mutha from My Tryst with Food and Travel is not only healthier than regular barfi, but totally dairy free! Piyali tells SBS, “I love my dishes to be radiant and vibrant without using anything artificial. So beetroot was a healthy and natural choice.” Get the recipe here.
5. Paan truffles
Feeling fancy? These paan (beetle leaf) flavoured truffles say elegance like nothing else. Developed by Sandhya Rege Nadkarni of Indfused, the centres of each delectable morsel is filled with gulkand which is preserve made of rose petals. *wipes drool from mouth* Get the recipe here.
6. Masala chai carrot cake
Developed by an SBS favourite Nik Sharma of A Brown Table, this spicy carrot cake is tea time treat! With the perfect blend of cinnamon, saffron, cardamom, and black Darjeeling tea, it’ll soon be the only way you make carrot cake from now on. Get the recipe here and read more about Nik's blog here.
7. Kiwi barfi
Seasonal fruit? Check. A classic Indian sweet? Check. Quick and easy to make? Check and check. Developed by Farrukh Aziz Ansari of Cubes n Juliennes, who tells SBS this humble barfi is both sweet and tangy. Get the recipe here.
8. Kesar badam cupcakes with shrikand frosting
It looks like a cupcake. It’s frosted like a cupcake. But take one bite and its flavours tell quite a different story. The sponge of the cupcake is spiced with kesar (saffron) and filled with badam (almond) while the frosting is inspired by a shrikand, a sweetened strained yogurt. Developed by Arunima Das of The Food Kiosk, this recipe doubles up as a Diwali and school bake sale favourite. Get the recipe here.
There you have it, our pick of delicious East-meets-West dessert recipes to celebrate the festive season. Happy Diwali! Check out our Diwali recipe collection here.
For me, my daily ginger chai is reviving, soothing and relaxing all at the same time. So combining my personal pick me up with the Italian classic, replacing the Italian coffee with Indian tea makes complete sense to me.
A dry variation of the syrup-drenched Indian gulab jamun, this sweet dumpling is a favourite dessert among South African Indians. There’s no doubt this golden, sugar-crusted delicacy will win its way into your heart as well.
The kulfi looks pretty served as four individual desserts, but also looks quite impressive as one large dessert when served at the table. You will need 4 x 200ml individual moulds or an 800 ml mould for this recipe.