We doh usually do sweets, but when we do, we make a big deal about it. In this case, that meant following Google Maps to Amtar Catering in Princes Town. Down there, Chef Amit Raval (click here to check out Chef Amit in full flex), his v cool Mom Tara Raval and a team that feels more like a family than staff, produce a variety of traditional Indian treats that many enjoy for Divali.
Like a lot of good ideas, Tara began doing this as a solution. The problem: Getting a nine to five. The answer: Learning authentic recipes handed down for five generations via her late husband’s family from India. Good answer!
BUT! Let us pause for a hot plate ah dhal, rice and bhaji. Why? Because one does not simply turn down a hot plate of dhal, rice and bhaji! That’s what we were offered seconds after meeting Tara. Hit the spot after the drive down.
After the meal, we looked at the crew forming the mixtures into the different pieces while asking a few questions.
Questions like “What’s in this one?” Which got answers like “Dates, almonds, cashews and pistachio nuts. And no added sugar. Some of our customers are diabetics and they like that they can have these.”
Talkin’ ’bout ingredients, Indian sweets use some pretty opulent ones.
Not to mention proper saffron.
They use the real deal at Amtar. Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world by the way. Kinda makes a box of Indian sweets a pretty baller gift to give or receive.
The process is no joke though. Apart from the knowledge and the techniques involved, it is a lot of manual labor. We learned that the hard way. Check it on Instagram.
After creating the mixtures, some are left as is. Some are either rolled into a rectangle…
Or pressed into a circle.
Then formed into shapes and patterns. Either with a small mold…
Or cut into shapes. That’s where Chef Amit comes in with this razor sharp gadget.
Cutting the sweets is a skill in itself. The angles determine the size of the pieces, which of course impacts directly on cost.
To complete the product, the sweets are packed in these decorative boxes of various sizes. Real nice for gift giving.
Chef Amit gave us an interesting piece of history. In the past, his parents would make these boxes by hand. They used the regular white, grease-proof cardboard food boxes, cut rectangular openings at the top, stuck plastic on the inside to make a window, then applied glue and glitter to write “HAPPY DIVALI” and create patterns. In other words, they had to do EVERYTHING from scratch.
Now, they have the convenience of getting gift boxes from India. A nice help out that also gives the product a more premium finish. They look like gifts appropriate for anyting.
Thanks Chef Amit, Tara and team for giving us that sweet info. But more importantly, thanks fuh de dhal, rice an bhaji. See more from Amtar Fine Foods in the video below.