Free Press Journal

Chef Special! Traditional Indian sweets with modern twists


Tapapriya Lahiri takes the festive spirit a notch higher by handpicking a few high-profile chefs around the country who are going to make their guests drool by presenting scrumptious and traditional Indian sweets with modern twists

Indian festivities are incomplete without feasting and Diwali has a very strong yet inevitable connection with sweets. But, this festive season we’re showcasing some best culinary creations through innovations and versatilities in the traditional Indian sweets. To keep up the pace with generations and ramp up the spirit of the festival, some handpicked five-star and celebrity chefs are adding a contemporary twist to woo the young travellers and restaurant hoppers. Let’s check out some extremely delectable sweet treats that chefs have made for their guests.

Khoya Malai Cake
By Pankaj Kumar Jha – Executive Sous Chef, The Suryaa Hotel, New Delhi
Diwali in New Delhi has a special significance, and to make it grand, the chef is giving a contemporary touch to a traditional Mithai, andtreat you with his newest culinary creation.

100 gm Khoya
20 ml Condensed milk
10 ml Cooking cream
10 gm Sugar
10 grm Almonds
10 gm Tuttifrutti
A few threads of Saffron
5 gm Ghee


Blend khoya, condensed milk, cooking cream and sugar in heavy bottom non-stick pan and stir it for few minutes till everything dissolves and makes a smooth consistency. Add fine chopped almonds and tutti-frutti and again blend it well, add saffron and ghee (clarified butter) and mix well. Make roll of above mixture and cool.  Cut small roundels, arrange nicelyand garnish with almond flakes serve cold.

Gondhoraj Royal Cake
By Chef Alok Anand, Executive Chef, JW Marriott, Kolkata
As the City of Joy celebrates each festival with equal fervour, the chef has curated an extremely uber-chic sweet dish with Gonhoraj Lemon (a cross between lemon and Mandarin orange) — a staple to every Bengalifamily with a French twist by adding praline to it.
Ingredients-For mousse
240 gm Water
640 gm Sugar
640 gm Egg Yolk
1680 gm Dark Chocolate
Gonghoraj Lemon Rind – scrapped off one lemon
2400 gm Whipped Cream
For praline crunchy
1500 gm Praline Hazelnut
375 gm Dark Chocolate
150 gm Milk Chocolate
600 gm PailleteFeuilletine (Fragments of thin pancakes for praline)
One layer of Dacqouise Biscuits

Method-For mousse:
Melt the chocolate in double boiler. Meanwhile, prepare the casserole with water and sugar in it and boil it to 120°C. In the mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks at maximum speed and pour on it the hot sugar mixture. Allow it to cool down for a while then pour it in the melted chocolate and mix vigorously. Add the gondhoraj lemon rind and mix well. Following this, add the whipped cream.
For praline crunchy . Put one layer of dacquoise biscuit within a mould on a tray. Mix the melted chocolate with the praline hazelnut. Add the pailletefeuilletine and mix properly then pour it inside the tray and spread it evenly. Add the dark chocolate mousse on top. Refrigerate for minimum one night before you unmould and cut it. Garnish with Choice of yellow Edible flower and gondhorajlemon rind. The cake is ready to serve

Gulab Jamun Cheesecake
By Chef Himanshu Taneja, Culinary Director – ‎The St. Regis, Mumbai

Diwali without gulab jamuns is totally imperfect. Hence, the chef has presented his brainchild by adding a dash of cheesecake into it. What are you waiting for? Try this scrumptious treat.

1 tbsp Gelatin
¼ cup warm Water
A pinch of Saffron
¼ cup Milk
½ tsp Cardamom (powder)
15 Gulab Jamuns
Ground Pistachios for garnish
2½ cup powdered digestive Biscuits/graham crackers
140 gm Butter
¼ cup Cashew (chopped)
1½ cup Paneer (crumbled)
¾th of a 395 gm tin sweetened condensed Milk
½ cup hung Yoghurt
½ cup Cream

Method-For the crust:
In a medium bowl, combine the biscuit crumbs and cashews. Stir in the melted butter and mix until well-combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and one or two inches up the sides of a nine-inch spring form pan. Refrigerate until the filling is ready.

To make cheesecake mixture
Blend paneer, condensed milk, hung yoghurt and cream. Mix it well until smooth. Meanwhile, take some saffron in a glass and pour in milk. Microwave it for about 20 seconds. Let it cool. Also in a small bowl add in gelatin and warm water and mix it. Microwave this for about 30 seconds till it is well dissolved. Let that cool slightly. Pour the paneer mix into a large bowl. Add in the saffron, cardamom powder and gelatin. Make sure that you pour the gelatin through a strainer. Mix well. Take out the biscuit base from the refrigerator, place a layer of gulab jamun. If the gulab jamuns are big, then cut it into half. Pour the paneer mix over this. Refrigerate for four hours minimum.

Pumpkin halwa samosa with walnut treacle
By Ajay Chopra, Celebrity chef and food consultant, Managing Director, Zion Hospitality Pvt Ltd., New Delhi
The chef Ajay Chopra will not make you go overboard and consume excessive amount ofghee this festive season, else he has settled for an exceptional alternative, canola oil and you can keep your calorie count intact.

1 kg Pumpkin (peeled and grated)
1 Cinnamon stick
150 ml Milk
150 gm grain Sugar
120 gm Canola oil
50 gm Raisins
30 gm Coconut (grated and roasted)
30 gm flaked roasted Almonds
10 nos Spring roll sheets
50 gm Walnuts
100 ml Honey
50 ml Condensed Milk

How to make pumpkin halwa
Grate pumpkin, heat canola oil in a pan and sauté it, adding milk and cinnamon. Cook until tender. Stir in enough sugar to sweeten. Continue to stir and sauté well until it reduces to a deep amber and glossy mixture. Garnish it with raisins, coconut and almonds and let it cools off. Roll the pumpkin halwa into samosa shapes and deep fry in canola oil till it turns crisp and golden brown.
Making of walnut treacle. Roast the walnuts and crush them. Heat some honey, add condensed milk and the crushed walnuts and stir it bit, till the entire mixture starts caramelising. Place the pumpkin halwa filled samosas on a plate, pour walnut treacle on top of the samosas and serve hot.

Kesar Makhana Phirni
By Dr. Neha Mathur, a dentist-turned chef, Mumbai

Neha has always been an avid learner and picked up the nuances of cooking from her parents and this love for food has stayed long with her and made her leave dentistry and open ‘WhiskAffair’ a tech-enabled platform which aims to engage food community and help people to cook.

2 tbsp Ghee
2 cups Makhana
1 litre full fat Milk
10-12 strands Saffron
¼ cup Sugar
1 tsp Cardamom (powder)
Almond and Pistachio slivers for garnishing

Heat ghee in a pan and add makhana and fry until they are crisp. Remove the pan from heat and let the makhana cool. Crush the makhana to make a coarse powder. Heat milk in a pan.Once the milk comes to a boil, add saffron strands in it and stir it continuously in low heat until it reduces to half. Add the makhana powder in the milk and cook until the mixture thickens to a phirni consistency which is slightly thicker than kheer. Add sugar and cardamom powder and cook for another minute. Then, remove the phirni from heat and transfer it in clay serving bowls. Chill the phirni for a few hours before serving and garnish with almond and pistachio slivers.


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