The Sweetmakers of Rajasthan

The Sweetmakers of Rajasthan

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.

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Boys rolling pasty to make into fried Kachoris.

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Sweets are cooked in large pans on open fires along the narrow sweets

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:

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Malai Ghewar- a crunchy disc-shaped honeycomb concoction made from oil, sugar and flour and covered with a creamy icing laced with pistachio and saffron. The best we tried was from a small shop opposite our house in Sarafa Bazaar named Moojji Ki Hotel.

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Makhani Lassi – this delicious and ridiculously sweet mixture of rich cream and curd is thick enough to stand a spoon in. The most famous can be found at Shri Mishrilal Hotel near the Jodhpur Clock Tower bazaar.

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Mava Kachori – a specialty of Jodhpur, these crispy deep-fried kachoris (puffed dough) are stuffed with dried fruit and spices and then coated in a kachorisugar syrup. Especially in demand during holi festival at the beginning of Spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hungry?  

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!

 

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Excellent photography training and sightseeing tour. Francisco was superb. Strongly recommend the trip.
Rolise, India, 2015
Francisco gave generously of his time to make sure I had a wonderful Indian experience. Thank you.
Ruth, New Zealand, 2015
As a keen photographer I was able to get amazing shots of the people of India. Thank you Francisco for showing me the respectful way to photograph people.
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Thank you for the most amazing experience of my life. Your planning, attention to detail and tour guide skills are exceptional. I look forward to my next adventure!
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Thank you guys for giving me a memorable experience that I will never forget. See you again in 2016.
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I think that Francisco can safely say “mission accomplished” as the spirit of India is now in all of us. We all learned a lot.
Kevin, France, 2013
Simply superb. Francisco points out so many colours, characters and smells that you would likely otherwise miss and ensures you get to see everything! This tour was a life highlight.
Evan, New Zealand, 2015
We loved this tour so much we also got Francisco to take us out for a whole day to explore some other amazing places in Goa, which we wouldn’t have found ourselves.
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I am in my 60’s and have had several trips with Latitude22 since 2009. I cannot praise them enough for the experiences I have had in India.
Christine, New Zealand, 2012
You showed us a side of India that tourists do not usually see: we met local families, ate local food, visited a remote village & school, walked old areas of the cities where tourists don’t go
Lilian, New Zealand, 2011
You guys rock! You continue to be the biggest reminder of the true India: your empathy with the poor is unbelievable & a lesson to us all & the reason we have the amazing memories.
Mike and Carolyn, United Kingdom, 2013
Amazing experience, showing the vibrant Indian everyday life. Real life. With the respect and love to the local people. The best experience you can have in Goa!
Kate, Poland, 2015
It’s a fun and fulfilling experience and definitely worth it. I loved it and I ended up going for 3 tours.
Monique, Holland, 2015
Worth every second! Highlights were interacting with the locals and being up close and personal with the vendors at the market. Francisco was great!
Allanah, New Zealand, 2015
I have toured South India in 2012 and North India in 2014. Both trips were awesome and I was able to experience a part of India not usually experienced by tourists.
Paul, New Zealand, 2014
I had a fabulously interesting tour. Francisco has a real strength in how he is able to engage the locals and show visitors the real India.
Steve, London, 2015
You took us to places we would have never been to! Being welcomed into families’ homes and drinking chai with the locals is something I will remember for a long time.
Sam, New Zealand, 2011
Awesome experience! As a single female traveller, I felt safe with Francisco and he even knew some of the stall holders so it was neat to be able to chat with them. I would recommend to ...
Emma, New Zealand, 2016
What an amazing tour! It was great to get off the beaten track and experience the real India.
Emma, New Zealand, 2013