Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ambrosial Candy -- a tale of East v/s West.

I've been learning to make sweets of both the western and eastern(Indian) types. Westers sweets include cakes, breads, pies, and different types of pastries, etc.... Indian sweets include mawa, ghee and sugar based sweets such as Mysore Pak, Gud Papdi, Mohanthaal, laddu, etc....

The primary difference(from the little exposure I've had to both) between these sweet making paradigms I've noticed are the following:

Parameter Western Indian
Basic Ingredient Flour, sugar, eggs Sugar, Ghee. Indian sweets are broadly classified further into either milk based or flour based, in which case a variety of flours are used
Preparation time Moderate Low
Cooking time Moderate/Low High
Sensitivity to change in ingredient proportion Very High Low/Moderate
Sensitivity to change in cooking time Moderate/Low Very High
Number of Ingredients Generally around 10 Generally less than 5
Heating Method Using Oven Using Stove
Shelf life of product Depends upon the product Depends upon the product
Concentration required during preparation Moderate/Low Very High. You can not leave the working area while the dish is being made
Fat content Moderate/Low High/Very High
Principle technique Leavening High temperature roasting in liquid
Artificial Ingredients May contain in the form of Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Cream of Tartar, etc.... Should not contain. However, commercial sweet vendors generally use Hydorgenated Vegetable Oil(which is not good for health) instead of Pure Ghee these days

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