My flatmate and I set out to sample sweets last week from the large South Asian community here in Birmingham. We plotted various shops on our own Google map and decided that the area in Small Heath would be the best destination—it was near a rail station and had four (!) sweet shops clustered near each other.
After a very quick train ride between Moor St. and Small Heath, we were off to loot and pillage for ladoos, soam papdis, and jalebis. Mmm.
First stop was Mukhtar’s (B10 0LG). It seemed to be the busiest and best stocked among the four. Shame we were warming up and only got a few sticky, forgettable coconut sweets.
We continued walking towards Coventry Road where the remaining three shops were just a few meters from each other. We bought ladoos and jalebis in Ambala (B10 0UN). But my favorite were the soam papdis and ras malais in Mushtaq’s (B10 0UN) which specialized in buffalo milk sweets.
Our last stop was Misti Desh (B10 0UN) which also sold sweets, but by then we just wanted their lunch menu. The head waiter (?) put us two girls in a table at the back with curtains. We could at one point hear the neighborhood imam’s call to prayer from the nearby mosque. I had a kebab and a sort of roti stuffed with minced meat for a grand total of just £2.
When it gets sunnier for longer walks, we may venture off to the other South Asian neighborhoods in Handsworth and Sparkhill. I have been dreaming of those flaky, milky sweets!