Sunday, July 11, 2010


I love an adventure, especially one for the feet and for the tongue. I was recently taken on a small road trip over to a Little India section of Cary, NC. After a delectable lunch of curried eggs (hard-boiled eggs served in a spicy red curry), we went to the store that was the purpose of our pilgrimage. The Mithai House of Indian Desserts is named after the word for all of the lovely little finger food desserts they serve.

Mithai's Refrigerator 1 Mithai's Refrigerator 2

The store has a simple interior, with a couple tables, a sales counter and a three-door refrigerator filled with sugary delights of every shape, size and color. They also offer sweetened and flavored yogurts as well as some other more savory foods if your tongue needs a break. Most of their food comes in plastic containers, ready to follow you wherever you go. I wanted to try everything, but had to settle for a few choices that I made nearly at random.

Kuju Katri

Literally only containing two ingredients (cashews and sugar), these trapezoids are called kuju katri and are dense, with a strong sweetness and a weak nuttiness. The inside is a bit mealy. They are good and different than any dessert I know of (the same is true for all three), but I'd be amazed if you could handle the sweetness of more than one of these in one sitting.

Gulab Jamun

Gulab jamun are fried milk balls that are then soaked in a sweet syrup. The syrup saturates this confection, but in a nice way. They are a little soggy, but retain their spheroid shape perfectly well. In some ways, I feel this dessert and the previous one were so packed full of sugar that you condense all the sugar your sweet tooth can handle in a small dessert. Many other desserts make you want more and more until you feel sick, but I could see eating just one of these confections after a meal and feeling satisfied.


Lastly, rasmalai are a bit different from the other two. Instead of being super-sweet, this dessert is almost under-sweetened. They are milk-based with a texture that is a bit more gritty/cheesy than I was expecting. They are soaking in a lightly sweetened milk and sprinkled with pistachios. These bites were also good and would make a satisfying finish for a spicy Indian meal.

I really like to see how other cultures deal with their food, especially desserts. I will likely return to Mithai to try more of their desserts since they have so many to offer.

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