If you haven’t been lucky enough to experience Indian sweets before – imagine the most sticky, sweet, unctuous and indulgent little morsel – then triple it. We’ve always been fans of the Indian sweet: seriously complex but incredibly cheap, the perfect accompaniment to a spicy meal or long train journey.
As we made our way through a seemingly never ending array of types and tastes we had often contemplated: “how do they make this stuff?” When we lived in in the blue city of Jodhpur Rajasthan in 2011 & 2012 we found the answer at our doorstep.
In our adopted home of Jodhpur we lived in a beautiful 350 year old haveli (family palace) in the old city right in the middle of Sarafa Bazaar.
Sarafa Bazaar has been a bustling jewelery trading district for centuries, but happily for us it is also renowned as a centre for Rajasthani confectionery merchants & sweet makers. Wandering through the narrow alleyways of the Bazaar, firmly off the tourist trail, we discovered dozens of specialist “mithai-wallahs” siting in gloomy rooms lit only by the glow of the huge fire under vigorously boiling pots of sugar concoctions. I’ve included some portraits of the mithai- wallahs as captured by Francisco on his walks through the Bazaar.
Unlike in other parts of India, Rajasthani sweets can be savoured either before, during or after a meal. We enjoyed one memorable lunch with a local Marwari family where the patriarch happily minced a sticky sweet Gulab Jamun into a spicy lentil curry by hand and urged us to taste the output. I had to agree it was delicious.
While most of their creations are sent to sweet-shop outposts around Rajasthan the mithai-wallahs often slipped us a sly sample or two to munch on our travels through the Bazaar. Some of our must-try Rajasthani sweets are:
You can sample all these tastes and explore off-the-beaten track Jodhpur as part of our 16 day North India Adventure tour departing this November.
Contact us for more details!