Postcard: Savoring Mithai in India

In India, no celebration is complete without some mithai to sweeten the occasion. They are present at weddings and festivals, shared with visiting guests or bought, as in the case of my recent visit back to see my family, for a daughter's homecoming. An umbrella name for a staggering variety of sweets that come in a range of wild colors (from white and yellow to green and pink), mithai are usually made from a combination of milk, flour, sugar and ghee; they're often decorated with dry fruits or coated with a thin, edible silver film. My favorite is soan papdi, which is made from chickpeas and named for its wispy, flaky texture (the literal translation of soan papdi is "golden wafer"). Biting into a piece, I feel the crumbly surface melt away into a sugary creaminess, and our joyful reunion is made all the happier. —Nidhi Chaudhry

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