Raisins are often used in sweets to give some variety of texture and a punch of sweet and tart flavor. You can find them in recipes like kheer, ghughra, and savory snack mixes like chevdo.
I prefer golden raisins over black raisins in my recipes. These are the most traditional type of raisin for Indian recipes, and I feel they pack a more intense sweet and sour punch. You can always substitute black raisins for golden if that is what you have available. If you do, add a little amchoor to restore the tartness.
Golden raisins, or sultanas, are made from the sultana grape or its close relative, the Thompson seedless grape in the US. The Ottoman Empire popularized sultanas. Today they are commonly found in Middle Eastern and Indian dishes, everything from baked goods, salads, pilafs, and Indian sweets.
I often buy them from Trader Joe’s, but these are quite large. If I fry them, I leave them whole. Otherwise, I typically chop them to get them closer to the “normal” size. Sun-Maid makes golden raisins that are the right size.
Black raisins are typically made with the same kind of grapes as golden raisins. The difference is they are sun-dried as opposed to oven-dried. This process causes them to darken.