Indian Sweets

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Indian sweets are based on a different tradition from that of European confectioners. Sugar is an important ingredient, but the Indian confectioner, or halvai, also uses substantial quantities of cereals, pulses, and milk products in a manner completely alien to European confectionery. Halvais have produced as many variations on their themes as European confectioners have on boiled sugar sweets. The results run from simple brittle and toffee-type sweets through halva, barfi, and sandesh, to the family of confections based on rasgullas. All these are found all over the subcontinent.