Indian desserts are as diverse and varied as is India’s food. Desserts of all tastes, colours, textures and flavours can be found in various parts of the country. Some of these desserts are very simple in their preparation, while some others are quite elaborate and sophisticated. In most cases, the Indian sweets that are relatively well-known are either from Bengal or Uttar Pradesh. But there is one sweet, made out of a vegetable called Pointed Gourd (or Parwal), which is very popular in Bihar and can also be found in certain parts of Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. If you are lucky, you might find it in your town/city too, but it is somewhat of a rare commodity. This is especially true if you are not in North India. So if you do come across this unique sweet, then you must not miss the opportunity to try one. And the name of this intriguing sweet is Sweet Parwal or Parwal ki Mithai (dessert of pointed gourd).
Sweet Parwal is made by first cleaning out the core of the pointed gourd, and then boiling the outer layer. Next, the softened outer layer is cooked for a bit in sugar syrup and then finally stuffed with roasted mava/khova (evaporated milk), along with some cashews/cardamom/almonds as per personal preference. It is a sumptuous sweet which has a creamy rich core and a nice chunky sweet outer layer of Parwal. Who would have thought that an ordinary vegetable can be transformed into something so amazing. It reminds me of the Potager Sushi Restaurant in Tokyo which did some wonderful things with vegetables. This sweet tends to be a seasonal sweet, available mostly during the summer months. Sweet Parwal tends to have a short shelf life, and should usually be consumed within a couple of days. Because of this, it also tends to get sold out pretty quickly, since sweet shops make them in smaller batches.