Now if adding spices to sweet dishes might not be an unfamiliar idea to you, the first example that you would have thought of would be cinnamon. Famous sweet treats like cinnamon rolls, cinnamon apple tarts, and cinnamon-spiced latte are loved and enjoyed all over the U.S. Indians also use it to make their version of porridge, Rice Kheer. The earthy flavor of the spice balances the sweetness of the porridge quite and adds a little more depth to the dish. Did you know that cinnamon can also be added to your milk tea? You can try it next time you plan to make a nice cup of tea.
One of the most commonly used spices, green cardamom is a star of many Indian sweet dishes. It adds a nice bit of fruity and fresh flavor to the dish while also adding to the aroma. Although it’s a very strong spice that needs to be used very carefully in Western cuisine, the flavorful dishes of India allow it to shine perfectly. Green cardamom enhances the flavor of some of the most famous sweet dishes in India like Gulab Jamun, Gajar Halwa, Payasam, Kulfis, Modak, and Ice Cream.
The nutty and sweet flavors of nutmeg are the perfect complement to many of the sweet dishes of India. As a spice, nutmeg is very strong in flavor and is always used moderately. The nuttiness of the spice enhances the sweet elements of the dish, adding more depth to the flavor. Some famous Indian sweet treats that use this spice are Puran Poli, Peda, and Shrikhand.
Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world and there’s a very good reason for that. This warm spice is so strong that only a few hair-thin strands of it can completely change the flavor and color of the dish. Some of the famous Indian dishes that have saffron are Cham Cham, Balushahi, Karachi Halwa, Barfi, Kesari Bath, and Ladoos. If you do plan on using it, make sure you don’t use more than a pinch of it to any dish that you’re making.
These were some of the most commonly used spices used in Indian sweet dishes. Many more spices like saunf (fennel seeds in Hindi), fennel seeds, cloves, black pepper, and even red chilli powder are also used in Indian sweet dishes. You should definitely try to use them once you learn how to use spices in dishes that are supposed to be sweet. So get them out of your pantry or go shop for them and open your world to a whole new dimension of flavors that you might have not even thought of.