Counting calories while chomping down on mithais is not the kind of culture this Bengali writer was raised on. But let’s face it, eating out, ordering in junk, consuming more processed food and refined ingredients was not part of that culture either — something that’s inevitable today. But it’s been a while since we started cutting down on eating out and being more mindful of what we are ordering in. Healthy ice-cream brand Noto’s newly launched happy sweets range, that comes with the promise of zero added sugar and relatively low calories, has been part of our conscious eating practice — one that hits the sweet spot without making us feel guilty.
For starters, all the six mithais in their repertoire — rasgulla, malai peda, motichoor laddoos, gulab jamun, milk cake and mohanthal — come packed in colourful paper boxes with the list of ingredients stated on the back, including calorie content and the mix of sugar substitutes like stevia. Brownie points for the detailed artwork of a halwai in action that we spotted with each box.
Mohanthal and milk cake
Feeling homesick, we found ourselves bingeing on the creamy peda (Rs 355 for 250 gm) on Rakshabandhan. Each circular piece of the khoya-based mithai comes with an embedded sliver of almond and melts in the mouth. It reminded us of the kesar pedas we have often savoured as prashad on family trips to temples, except without any of the cloying sweetness.
The gulab jamun (Rs 525 for 500 gm), however, does not come close to the real deal — its solid khoya insides lacking tenderness and the chashni missing the floral essence. The other syrup-y mithai, rasgulla (Rs 525 for 500 gm), on the other hand, does a fair job with a light sponginess.
The sugar-free motichoor laddoos (Rs 355 for 250 gm) get the delicacy right, save for an odd, lingering aftertaste of perhaps stevia. We enjoy the milk cake (Rs 355 for 250 gm), which is supple and crumbly, while the ghee-laden mohanthal (Rs 455 for 250 gm) is aromatic and nutty. It’s interesting to see labels like gluten-free and diabetic-friendly on some of the mithai boxes, but we do hope the makers can find a way to pack the sweets without using plastic.