The festival of lights, joy and sharing happiness is here, and what better way to send you our greetings than to make the festive food available for you, at your doorstep! We’re back after a short pause, and this Diwali, we bring to you some of the most scrumptious Indian sweets and desserts that you can munch upon!
Here’s a list of sweets that we feel you need to get your hands on and cannot be missed, this festive season!
Gujiya- A specialty of Diwali, it is a deep fried sweet snack, mainly prepared in parts of North India. Made with love and a filling of coconut and jiggery, this sweet batter is dipped and fried in sugar syrup
Basundi- A specialty of Maharashtra, Gujrat and Karnataka, it is sweetened dense milk made by boiling milk on low heat. A perfect confectionary for the winter, it is also known as Rabdi in North India.
Ghevar- A sweet that distinctively hails from Rajasthan, Ghevar is mainly prepared with Khoya having variants including plain Ghevar, Mawa Ghevar, Malai Ghevar.
Imarti and Jalebi- Imarti or Jhangri is a dessert well known in North India and is made by deep frying the batter of urad flour forming a circular flower shape and soaked in sugar syrup.
Most popular during the festive season is Jalebi, also known as Zulbia, is a sweet popular in countries of South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Halva- Halva refers to many types of dense, sweet confections, served across South Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Balkans, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Malta and the Jewish world. Most types of halva are relatively dense confections sweetened with sugar or honey. Their textures, however, vary. For example, semolina-based halva is gelatinous and translucent, while sesame-based halva is drier and more crumbly. Types- doodhi halva, gaajar halva, moong dal halva, beetroot halva, pumpkin halva, aloo halva, sooji halva, fruit halva, dates halva and many more.
Modak- An all-time favorite, A modak is a sweet dumpling popular in Western, eastern and Southern India. It is called modak in Marathi, Oriya and Konkani as well as Gujarati language, Kozhakkatta in Malayalam, modhaka or kadubu in Kannada, modhakam orkozhakkattai in Tamil, and kudumu in Telugu. The sweet filling inside a modak is made up of fresh grated coconut and jaggery, while the soft shell is made from rice flour, or wheat flour mixed with khava or maida flour. The dumpling can be fried or steamed. The steamed version, called ukdiche modak, is eaten hot with ghee. Modaks have a special importance in the worship of the Hindu god Ganesh; modak is believed to be his favorite food.
Mysore Pak- Mysore pak was first prepared in the kitchens of the Mysore Palace during the regime of Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV, by a palace cook named Kakasura Madappa. Madappa made a concoction of gram flour, ghee and sugar. When asked its name, Madappa having had nothing in mind, simply called it the ‘Mysore pak’. Pak (or paka, more precisely), in Sanskrit and other Indian vernaculars, means sweet. It is traditionally served in weddings and other festivals of southern India.
Malpua- Malpua is a pancake served as a dessert or a snack, popular in India and Bangladesh. It is also served to Jagannath in his Sakala Dhupa (morning food served to the lord). During Paush Sankranti, Malpuas are prepared in Bengali homes. Malpuas along with mutton curry is served in many non-vegetarian Maithil homes during Holi and Diwali. The batter for malpua in some areas is prepared by crushing ripe bananas or (in Bangladesh) coconut, adding flour, and water or milk. The mixture is sometimes delicately seasoned with cardamoms. It is deep fried in oil, and served hot. The Bihari version of this dish has sugar added to the batter prior to frying, while the method prevalent in Odisha has the fritters dipped in syrup after they are fried. Malpua is popular in Bangladesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Maharashtra and Nepal where it is served during festivals along with other sweets.
Phirni- Phirni is an easy traditional Indian rice pudding like dessert. Phirni / Firni is prepared with full cream milk, basmati rice and sugar as main ingredients. The cooked rice milk mixture is poured into small earthern clay pots garnish with mixed nuts and edible silver leaf. Phirni or Firni is made for festivals like Holi, Diwali and Ramzan.
Ras Malai- Ras malai consists of sugary white cream, or yellow-colored (flattened) balls of chhana soaked in malai (clotted cream) flavored with cardamom. It is cooked in sugar syrup and milk with saffron, pistachios and kheer as stuffing. Homemade ras malai is usually made from powdered milk, all-purpose flour, baking powder and oil, which are kneaded to form a dough, molded into balls, and dropped into simmering milk cream. Ras malai is believed to have originated in West Bengal and was invented by K.C. Das in the year 1930. It is one of the most famous desserts in that region.
May the festival of lights bring love, joy and power to all your lives. Until next time, do not forget to eat good food and stay healthy.