• Thu
  • Jul 24, 2014
  • Updated: 6:26am

On your marks get set, eat!

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 November, 2010, 12:00am

Today is Diwali, the festival of lights which marks the start of the Indian new year. Diwali is celebrated in different ways in different regions of India, and differently yet again by Indians living overseas. But one thing is common for Diwali celebrations everywhere: the vast range of mithais, or sweets, enjoyed. Most families eat homemade mithais, but you can also buy them ready-made. YP intern Bharisha Mirpuri introduced some popular sweets to the Young Post team who risked their teeth for readers' benefit! Happy Diwali!

Pedas

Depending on individual recipes, this can have a very sharp or subtle sweet element. They are usually garnished with pistachios or almonds - Indians do seem to love milk and nuts! A good option if you're not crazy about sweet things.

Barfi

A mix of milk and sugar, this is one of the most familiar Indian sweets. Often topped with cardamom or pistachio, and available in a range of colours. More than a mouthful was overpowering for all but the most glucose-fanged of the team.

Ladoos

Ladoos can be brown or bright yellow, depending on the flour. Ladoos are seen on many occasions, especially for temple offerings and at weddings, but on Diwali, everyone will have one in their hand at some point. Their nuttiness and mild sweetness appealed to the team.

Carrot halwa (right)

Possibly the most healthy mithai, this unlikely combination of sugar and carrots was the least popular (although the one dissenting team member took the whole pot to her desk), probably because the flavour is so unexpected. It is hugely popular in India, and has to be preparedby shops in vast quantities because it sells out so quickly.

Jalebi

Originally an Arabian sweet, this became popular all over India and is made to celebrate national holidays such as Independence day. Many call the deep-fried batter dipped in rich sugar syrup the Indian sweet pretzel. This one went down pretty well with the team - except for two members, who couldn't take the sugar rush.

Mixed kaju (below)

These sweets all contain cashew nuts (kaju), so they have a marzipan-like taste and texture which made them the most popular among the Young Posters. They can be made into a variety of shapes, but diamonds are most popular, and they often get a topping of edible silver foil which adds to the festive feel.

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