We take a quick glimpse at an assortment of festive desserts from across India that are so full of flavour, they always uplift the mood and spirit of our celebrations.
During each festival, a variety of sweets are prepared and served in every Indian home. While we are well-versed with the desserts made in our culture, most of us are unfamiliar with the traditional, festive fare that is savoured in other parts of the country. In this article, we endeavour to give you a glimpse at the delicious variety of sweet treats India calls its own.
1. Kheel Batasha, Delhi
- Celebration in Delhi is incomplete without this snack. Considered to be auspicious, the puffed rice and crystalline sugar combination is offered with prayers and served as prasad to all family members.
2. Pinni, Punjabi
- Pinni is a Punjabi festive favourite. It is made with whole wheat flour, semolina and dry nuts. Lip-smacking and sweet, this winter laddu is a true delight to the taste buds.
3. Makhana Kheer, Bihar
- This unique festive sweet dish is made of puffed lotus seeds, milk, cardamom seeds, shredded almonds and pistachios. Delicious and easy to prepare, this dish is usually prepared during the festive season in Bihar.
4. Mawa Kachori, Rajasthan
- Mawa Kachori or Mawe ki Kachori is a pastry filled with an aromatic mixture of mawa and nuts. Crunchy, sweet and colourful, this Rajasthani snack is a delight to have during festive celebrations.
5. Karanji / Neuri / Gujjia, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, North India
- This delicious dumpling or sorts is a popular Indian snack. It’s called Karanji in Maharashtra, Ghughra in Gujarat, Neuri in Goa and Gujjia in North India. It is a deep-fried treat stuffed with a delightful mixture of khoya, dry fruits, desiccated coconut, etc. Totally yum, this divine snack is loved by kids and adults alike.
6. Anarsa, Maharashtra and Bihar
- Traditionally prepared in Bihar & Maharashtra, Anarsa is a pastry-like snack that’s made from soaked powdered rice, jaggery/sugar, poppy seeds and ghee. Extremely tasty and luscious, this delicacy makes you crave for more!
7. Singhal, Uttarakhand
- Singhal is a traditional festive sweet from Kumaon, Uttarakhand. It is made with semolina, yogurt and banana. Mildly sweet – this fritter dish is lightly sprinkled with sugar and served with adrak chai or qahwa.
8. Thenkuzhal Murukku, Tamil Nadu
- Thenkuzhal Murukku (similar to a North Indian chakli) is a delicious snack from Tamil Nadu. It’s made of rice, urad dal flour, cumin seeds and asafoetida (hing). Crispy and crunchy, this South Indian snack is really addictive. One bite will have you hooked.
9. Unniyappam, Kerala
- Unniyappam is an inevitable festive snack dish of Kerala. Resembling a laddu, it is made of rice, sugar, jaggery and ghee this dish feels like a bite of heaven.
10. Pulihora, Andhra Pradesh
- Pulihora is a popular rice preparation of Andhra Pradesh. It is made of rice, tamarind, jaggery and peanuts. Sweet and slightly tangy, this dish is a wonderful gastronomic delight during festivals.
11. Ukkarai, Tamil Nadu
- In Chettinad, Ukkarai is one of the mandatory sweets prepared on auspicious days. Made of kadala paruppu (split Bengal Gram) and jaggery – this is best savoured with tea.
12. Mishti Doi, West Bengal
- Mishti Doi is a classic dessert from the Indian state of West Bengal. It’s made of milk, curd and jaggery. Traditionally made during winters and festive seasons, this dish is just irreplaceable and irresistible in taste and savour.
The market is flooded with sugary goodies and chocolates. However, nothing beats the taste and authenticity of traditional Indian sweets because they are always backed with a sound ecological and health reason to savour it. So, this festive season, ditch cakes, ice creams and chocolates and brighten up your platter with these lip-smacking traditional specials! Unique, exotic and appetizing, these sweets will definitely make you go weak in the knees.