Goodbye ‘kadhai’, hello oven. The drool quotient is on a high with baked sweets. Neeraja Murthy has more on this delicious improvisation
And you thought only chocolate can get crunchy. The nutty Badam Pista Chakkar and Badam Roasted Biscuits stocked at Dadu’s Mithai Vatika in Himayatnagar is a feast for the eyes and tastebuds. “Thoda khaake dekho madam, bahut tasty rahata,” the salesman assures us as he offers a piece of Badam Pista Chakkar.
There are two badam slices in circular shape and are sandwiched together with dry fruit mixture with pista slices decorated on top. The sweet does not melt like Butterscotch Rasmalai or is as exotic as Anjeer Bite but one delicious bite and the temptation to have one more is too hard to resist.
It is the season of ‘meetha morphosis’ and Hyderabad is waking up to new variations in desserts. Adding to the drool quotient this season are baked sweets and the sweet lovers are not complaining. If you like your rasgullas chilled and dripping with sugar syrup wait till you have a baked rasgulla topped with cream and cherry. “Once it is baked in a microwave, the moisture goes off and the warm rasgullas are a little hard to eat. Some youngsters like to relish it that way,” says Nagarjuna of Almond House in Banjara Hills.
The baked delights are finding new admirers, thanks to caterers who are introducing these sweets regularly.
A high-profile wedding handled by Nimantran Caterers recently had an exhaustive menu including baked desserts like baked badam puri and baked boondi kheer.
“We charge twenty five per cent more than the regular sweets and people do not mind paying it,” says Pratap Jadeja.
While there are some who love to experiment, others like their sweets, the traditional way. “Constant reheating of food items will wipe out the nutrients. I prefer to do an extra set of squats but enjoy sweets just like they are,” says pathologist Madhavi.
The baked sweet feast is not common among all the mithai shops in the city as only a few shops stock these varieties.
“Only dry fruit sweets like badam, kaju and pista are baked. The shelf life is longer and hence they are very popular among frequent travellers and those going abroad,” says Sunil of Dadu’s.
The pricing, too is a little more than the regular sweets. If 50 badam burfis come for Rs. 850 per kilo, the same sweets in baked style will cost you Rs. 1000.
Society trends have shifted and the baked sweets are gaining popularity. The same thing cannot be said about other delicacies. The baked samosas introduced by Café Coffee Day did not find many takers and the eatery had to stop its production. However, this has not altered Almond House’s plans which is gearing up to bake namkeen and not fry in oil.
“This is for people who do not want to pile up on calories,” says Nagarjuna.