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Bengali Desserts

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Most Indian meals end with fresh fruit—mangoes, watermelons and so on. The Bengali desserts in the cuisine of India are more often than not kept for particular occasions, such as weddings or religious festivals. Sweets play a very import part in the lives of all Indian people, and any excuse to eat these appetizing Bengali concoctions. All good news is herald with sweets, so for example to announce the birth of a child or an engagement, the famous laddos (small gram flour droplets that are deep fried and then steeped in syrup and shaped into balls) are distributed to relatives and friends. Sweets are commonly eaten during tea gatherings as well. Most of the Bengali sweets and desserts are fairly complicated and time consuming to make and in fact, work out far more expensive when made at home than if bought from sweet shops—methai wallahs as known in India and Pakistan. Some of the simpler sweet recipes as well as puddings from the Bengali cuisine of India will delight any taste. Most of the Bengali sweets are milk based and tend to be very sweet. In some recipes the milk is first turned into paneer (soft cheese) and then deep fried in ghee before being steeped or boiled in syrup, as with gulab jamuns. Almonds and pistachios are important ingredients in the Bengali cuisine and are especially used in decorating the desserts. Rose water, cardamom seeds, and saffron are more than often used in the Bengali dessert dishes.

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