Just a few doors down from their popular Chatkazz restaurant, turning out vegetarian street food, this restaurant has opened up Chatkazz Sweets & Namkeen.
Indian stores such as this one offer up a range of light food items, usually consumed with tea.
On the sweet side you’ll find counters full of orderly rows of Indian sweets, ranging from colourful kaju (cashew) rolls to gulab jamuns (deep fried milk solids balls in sugar syrup) to that delicious combination of carrots, sugar, milk, dried fruits and ghee known as gajar ka halwa. The word namkeen refers to them selling savoury snacks, like crisp, noodle-like bhujia made from besan flour and spices, which we'd commonly have as bar snacks with alcohol.
Bright orange jelabi (a deep-fried, pretzel-shaped treat soaked in sugar syrup) take me back to visiting Malaysia as a child, and biting into these tubular delights that explode in your mouth with fragrant sugar syrup. Nor have I seen this many flavours of barfi since I was an exchange student during high school in Suva, Fiji. This island was where I first developed my taste for this dense, milk-based sweet by walking from my exchange family’s photo processing lab to an Indian sweet shop each day to try out new flavours.
Nostalgia helps me decide on three different flavours of barfi. Kesar Coconut Barfi ($24.90/kg) is turned golden-orange with saffron (called kesar in Hindi) and flavoured with coconut and cardamom, and my dining companion's easy favourite. The more subtle Pista Barfi ($24.90/kg) is made with pistachios, and has a vague hint of mint; however it's the bright orange Carrot Barfi ($24.90/kg) that tastes both freshest and best to me. In an effort to be complete, I've earmarked mango, fig and chocolate to come back and try, before giving you my definitive barfi pick at this popular new Indian sweet stop in Sydney's 'Little India' (Harris Park).
Chatkazz Sweets & Namkeen
Shop 2/2 Station Street East, Harris Park
Ph: (02) 9035 0075