I love Indian sweets. In my university days, my father would drive all the way to Jai Hind in Masjid India to buy my favourite Indian sweetmeat, pal kova (no relation to pavlova), to make up for chucking me in a hostel run by a tyrant Master for four years. I'd nibble on the precious confection slowly, relishing its milky goodness.
Indian sweetmeats are a great way to end a meal, as the sweetness of the dessert acts as a foil for a spicy Indian meal. Then again, the confections aren't exactly desserts as they can be eaten at any time and anywhere.
Every year, Brickfields comes alive during the weeks prior to Deepavali. Huge makeshift tents are put up in the carpark outside KL Sentral which house gaily decorated stalls selling sarees, colourful jewellery and home decoration items brought in from India.
Pretty Pui and I love visiting the stalls, drinking in the atmosphere while looking for a bargain. Over the years, I have accumulated several pretty sarees for which I have yet to find an occasion to wear. The temptation to buy is just too great as the array of products is amazing!
This year, we noticed an increase in the number of stalls selling Indian confection, each one proudly proclaiming that they were the specialists in Punjabi sweets. The selection is more varied as compared to the daily fare found in Indian restaurants.
I am usually invariably drawn to the gulab jamun. Even though it resembles the chinese "tong yuen", the similarity ends there. The gulab jamun is made with milk, cream and ghee, and then rolled into balls and fried. The fried balls are then transferred to a bowl of syrup. Sounds sinful? It is! But that makes it all the more pleasurable, doesn't it?
Other confections available include laddu, halva and athirasam. I am told that in India, the selection is even greater. So if anyone's going to India, do grab me a boxful of these babies, will ya?
Stalls selling muruku, omapudi and a variety of nuts also abound.
I do love the festive season, don't you?
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