And here we are, continuing from last week, we, food spotters, would like to dig into the ever-growing yet to be discovered world of winter desserts. This time, it’s all about the international selection!
Though Indian curries have been crowned as one of Briton’s best, its desserts are not as talked about. Maybe the most known is their spice-infused ice cream, Kulfi. Usually we could choose from a selection of flavours such as pistachio and mango. As refreshing as ice cream, the hint of spice and tropical flavour of fruits add some richness to otherwise takeaway ordinaire. It’s worth trying.
It’s seen more now in Indian/Goan restaurants as well as in Filipino restaurant (‘Bebinca’ as Indian dessert and ‘Bibinka’ as Filipino dessert). The name speaks for itself as Bibinka literally means “it’s delicious” in Tagalog. It consists of layers of crepe-like cake (made with coconut milk, ghee, flour, egg and sugar). The gentle rich creaminess of coconut and sweetness don’t leave you stuffed and would make you crave for more layers!
Another slightly oily but comforting dessert is Philipine’s street snack, Turon. The concept is the similar to banana and apple fritters we find in Chinese restaurants. Turon is a deep-fried crispy banana springroll (sliced banana and a piece of starchy fruit, Jackfruit* is rolled on a wrap) with sugar glaze. It’s an exotic scrumptious discovery of flavours!
*Jackfruit is a tree-borne fruit native to South and South East Asia. It’s known to be starchy and its flavour is often described as somewhere between a pineapple, a banana and a mango, 3 in 1!!
Lebanese/Greek/Persian (Ottoman wonders!)
The world of cuisines where East meets West. They are relatively new cuisine types for takeaways and might not be one of THE most popular options. But we all know how visually stunning, colourful and full of flavours their foods are. Their desserts are so indulging and full of surprises as well. When we think of desserts from these regions, our thought instantly goes to the magical dessert made of filo pastry, Baklava.
It’s the layers of thin crispy filo pastry packed with crushed nuts and finished off with honey or syrup.
Another one we would like to introduce here is Kanafeh, which is a cheese filled pastry moistened with sugary syrup and drops of Rose water – Mediterranean’s cheesecake, if you like. It’s served warm and it’s a perfect plateful of rich, creamy, cheesy, sweetness!
Desserts from these regions seem to score high on a “sweetness scale” but they are perfect with a nice herb infused cup of tea or coffee: a perfect finish to the cold night.
Mochi is a rice dumpling so soft like baby’s cheeks on the outside and inside it’s packed with sweet redbean paste. Oshiruko is sweet redbean soup with simple rice dumpling without filling. Beans? Beans! It’s not those beans on toast or beans in your plate of Chill con carne. The idea of a sweet bean dish seems rather odd and might make you squint. But the soft smoothness of rice dumpling in warm sweet sauce makes even poker-faced Japanese men smile. Try it. You might get a pleasant surprise.
Though dessert menus are often left out and overlooked in takeaways, there we always find something sweet, rich, exciting and sometimes exotic and new to look forward to. So our sweet quest continues! What is your favourite winter dessert?