Book Review | Adventures with Mithai: Indian Sweets Get a Modern Makeover

Book Review | Adventures with Mithai: Indian Sweets Get a Modern Makeover
Cover of Adventures with Mithai: Indian Sweets Get a Modern Makeover,

Rachel Goenka’s debut book takes us through various recipes of traditional Indian desserts with a twist

Sharmistha Chaudhuri
December 22 , 2019
02 Min Read

We always crave a ‘sweet dish’ post meals. Sometimes, it is a meal in itself. There’s something so warm and comforting about digging into mithai with gusto—a sense of security, a guilty pleasure, something incredibly divine.

In Rachel Goenka’s debut book, she turns to a subject that is close to home, digressing from her training in French patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu and later under celebrity chef Rachel Allen in Ireland. Goenka is no stranger in India’s culinaryscape. She opened her first restaurant, The Sassy Spoon, at age 24 and there’s been no looking back. The CEO and founder of The Chocolate Spoon Company, Goenka’s love for desserts is well-known. Her confession of being able to eat an entire box of kaju katli resonates with the general population. We Indians do love our sweets, don’t we?

Amrakhand Mousse & Besan Laddoo Towers

While Goenka has toiled for years to create the finest sweet indulgences with unusual ingredients, she decided to infuse the same formula to reinvent Indian sweets for a more contemporary audience. She’s used pantry staples with classic techniques to create 50 recipes for the sweet tooth. The book is divided into five categories—desserts; cheesecakes and cakes; truffles; macarons; and ice creams, kulfis and sorbets. There are also instructions on making the basic macaron shell, or the tools required to make homemade ice cream.

Each recipe is a twist on the traditional mithai. Take the lemongrass panna cotta with vermicelli kheer or Mohanbhog crème éclairs, bitter chocolate nap naang or red velvet Swiss roll with shrikhand frosting, they all hit upon sweets found in different regions in India but are presented with an international twist. Who wouldn’t love some filter coffee truffles post dinner, or Jim Jam macarons to walk down memory lane? I personally can’t wait to try my hand at the lavender & Darjeeling tea cake, to be consumed with a pot of freshly brewed tea on a Sunday afternoon.

While the recipes look easy, there are some that need to be navigated carefully. But if you’re a home chef eager for a challenge, pick this picture-heavy, gorgeous book up. May be you can have your own Julie & Julia journey, albeit with mithai.

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