I walked into a shop with tall glass and steel counters filled with trays of sweets. Just another sweet shop. But instantly the little boy inside me took over my eyes and legs, and I began to look at the sweets one by one. The adult keeps hold of the wallet, so the little kid doesn’t get everything he wants, but the eyes belong to him. The thick disks of kaju katli topped with beaten silver sheets of warq, always tastes good, not as sweet as marzipan, and also richer and creamier because the almonds have been replaced by cashew. Behind them you can see a few stray pieces of kesar peda, rich with almonds and pistachio, dyed in saffron. It is another staple of Gujarati sweet shops.
Less common are the thabdi penda, basically sweetened milk with added fat, boiled until it turns into a brown mass. Crushed cashews and almonds had been added to it to give you the healthy statins that would keep your heart from immediately seizing up when you eat this. Very considerately, slivers of almonds had been added to the laddoos on display. I am overwhelmed by the generous spirit of mithaiwalas, the way they keep tweaking recipes to make it healthier for you. The Family had finished buying the farsan to take back with us. The boy was happy. It was time to go.