Indian Edible Sweet Souvenirs

29 Apr

Over the years, I have tried to never accustom anyone in my family to expect a gift whenever I travel. It may sound kinda harsh, but with the amount of travel I do, if I accustom people to expect a gift from me, it would be a burden to my schedule and my budget. I do try to bring things to share with people so they can enjoy a little bit of my travels too… Say for example, it’s kind of awkward to travel in India for 3 weeks and arrive at my sister’s home empty-handed.

As soon as we arrived in India, we were gifted a backpack filled with Indian goodies: a sari for the girls and a dhoti for the guys, a towel that looks like a very nice kitchen towel and these… Gajjak Til Papad. The best way I can describe it is this is the Indian version of a sesame seed brittle. Super duper thin sheet of sugar with sesame seeds, pistachios and flavored with cardamom. We ate one box along the trip… this was our in-room snack, we brought one box for my sister and I have an extra one with me in Puerto Rico. It’s in the fridge for the sugar to be hard and crispy like we ate them in India and not softy and chewy.

Gajjak Til  Papad

For years, my mom and I have enjoyed 2 of India’s most popular desserts – galub jamun and rasgulla. We lovingly call them “the Indian balls”. Galub Jamun is a ball made of wheat flour and Rasgulla is a ball made from an Indian cheese similar to paneer called chhena. Both are served warm in syrup and they’re delicious!!!! For years, we’ve seen these desserts packed for travel in cans and this was the first time we brought some home. You can find them in any sweet shop and especially at gift shops at the airports.

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Rasgulla Collage

In Allahabad we were treated to Dry Petha… which is a dry, sugared pumpkin. I am guessing it’s some sort of zucchini or squash because it’s white in color. I have not been able to identify the “pumpkin” this sweet is made of. They’re a nice ending to a meal… sweet and light and perfect to bring a few to your room for a snack!! ;) You can also find these packed in boxes ready to travel home with you.

Dry Petha Collage

And in Delhi we were taken to a sweet shop called Bikanervala… here we bought our to-go cans of rasgullas and galub jamun. But we also discovered something else that was completely new to me – Mawas. I am not even sure if this is their correct name. I believe it’s a halva made from dried fruits or nuts. Or as we would say in the west, like a turrón or dry nougat. We just saw the little packages in the store, asked to try one and ended up buying 3 kinds – Mango, Badam which is Almond and Pista which is pistachio. Now I know 3 more words in hindi, yay!!!!

Turrones Collage

Over the last few weeks, these sweets have been a terrific way to remember thru our taste buds some of the wonderful experiences we had in India. I can’t wait to make some Indian sweets of my own!!!!

Do you bring back edible souvenirs from your travels?? Tell me all about them…

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4 Responses to “Indian Edible Sweet Souvenirs”

  1. Cityminx April 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    i think 95% of what I brought back from Hawaii was food! Lavash made from mango, lillijoi, sweet potato, taro, etc. macadamia nuts in all kinds of coverings, dried fish snacks, dried salted plums, chips seasoned with soy sauce, shortbread, salts, coffee, coconute syrup, preserves…… if i could I’d import the whole grocery store

    • KarmaFree Cooking April 29, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

      I want to visit Hawaii so badly!!!! They tell me it’s very similar to Puerto Rico. and I would be just like you, bringing the whole supermarket with me. Enjoy!!!! Madelyn

  2. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) April 29, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    I definitely do not do the whole gift expected thing either. I love to surprise people however with souvenirs if I can. What an amazing trip you were able to take!

  3. Bren @ Flanboyant Eats™ April 30, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    I always bring food back… it’s the 1st thing on my list. From herbs, spices, condiments, honey, extracts, chocolate, etc… especially whatever is local and indigenous to the place. I don’t think I’ve ever had Indian dessert. need to change that.

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