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Indian Sweets. What's the inside scoop? There's like 50 and I have no idea what to get.

Admittedly I've never been that appreciative of indian sweets. I've tried the orange flat squiggly things, and some kinda breaded balls in sweet liquid.. Various others. But they've never really wowed me.

I do *love* the carrot and raisin dessert you get with a thali though.. Mmmmm.

I usually go to Kwality Sweets at Steeles and.... Steeles and.... yeah.

They have a long counter with tons of these things stacked on top of each other, but I really have no idea what to get and end up getting more savoury stuff instead.


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  1. chocolate barfi is my fave.

    1. Milk Cakes are good too. The breaded balls in sweet liquid is called Gulab Jaman which is also good. Depends on what type of sweets you like the ones that originate out of Punjab are usually the more syrup ones if you want more dryer ones there are pandas, barfi, kaju rolls (made out of pistachio).

      3 Replies
      1. re: rapsrealm

        There is another kind of "breaded ball in sweet liquid", it's milky white in colour, call "ras malai" - cheeseballs in cream. It's my favouritest Indian dessert!

        Barfi (or burfi, if you think that's too weird a name) are the hard, coloured squares. I like the pistachio and the carrot ones. Other flavours are chocolate as mentioned, mango, cashew, almond, etc. You can ask what flavours there are, or get one of each to try.

        Kheer which is rice pudding is also good. And kulfi which is ice cream-like is very enjoyable in the summer; again pistachio is my fave.

        1. re: Teep

          falooda is usually rose syrup, ice cream, vermicelli, tapioca seeds, and milk.

          1. re: Teep

            i only like the balls in syrup (that sounded very bad) and rice pudding.
            everything else is either too sweet or too nutty for me.

        2. I don't really like the ones you describe either, nor other ones that are flavoured with rose water (been eating it since I was a kid but never developed a taste for it I guess). But I do like barfi on occasion, particularly pistachio. It's not overly sweet. Still not something I crave though, even though my Mom thinks it's all delicious so I've grown up eating it - we're not Indian, but went to Gerrard St frequently.

          2 Replies
          1. re: julesrules

            its very hard finding a sweets place in scarborough or t.o that sells kheer. either the rice or vermicelli version. i only find it at buffet restos dessert section. guy at a sweets shop told me that its doesnt last very long before it goes bad and demand isnt there to make big enuff batch. he did say he can make me a special order but i want to find a place where i can just walk in.

            1. re: mightykc

              I've never seen a sweet shop that sells kheer. Your best bet is maybe an indian grocery store.

          2. Mistaan 460 McNicoll
            The website says it all. Go & try different barfis - my favourites.

            1. Ras Malai (white pucks in a milky sweet syrup with cardamom)

              Rasgula (pronounced Russgoola) round balls, also white, no syrup, the best ones "squeak" when bitten into, the taste is like simple syrup but the texture and squeakyness are the key--these can also come in cone like orange shapes that are a bit sweeter/mango flavoured)

              Barfi (various flavours, the plain barfi tastes like vanilla fudge, chocolate or pistachio are good, the best kinds are softer than most of what you get in stores)

              Besan qui barfi (pronounced like basin) brownish crumbly, looks like barfi (hence the name), tastes like caramel and butter, made from semolina I think

              Shakerpare:(pronounced shaaakerpare with a french accent on the last e) small (size of a die), cubelike dough covered in hardened sugar, super tasty

              Milk cake (called milk cake-just ask)--tastes like what you'd imagine from the name, very popular with Indians and other folk alike, sorta like dulce de leche cake

              Pera (pronounced Pear with an "a" at the end are round, soft and brown and taste like all the indian sweet spices mixed up, popular but I think they're gross.

              Then there are the usual suspects described in this thread, jalebees (orange spidery fried --white in the Middle East), gulab jamin, ladoos (big orange balls), kheer (rice pudding), there is also a similar "rice" pudding make with vermecelli called phirnee.

              try to find Shakerpare, it's one of the few sweets that is not milk/syrup based and good milk cake is also amazing. Here is a link I found with some others:

              Good Luck!

              1 Reply
              1. re: daimon4

                What a fantastic guide, daimon4 - thanks! Indian sweets are one of my favourite and this thread is leading to serious cravings.