November 10, 2023
CM Content Team
Amongst the many festivals celebrated in India, Diwali holds a special place. Known as the ‘festival of lights,’ it is celebrated with great joy and much fanfare all over the country. It is all about ‘badhaai’ (wishes) and ‘mithai’ (sweets).
While there are many mythological associations and stories associated with Diwali but in general, the festival symbolises the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. During the five-day festival, people light up their houses with diyas and lights, distribute gifts, and indulge in a range of decadent goodies and make Diwali sweets.
Diwali and sweets go hand-in-hand, and friends and families satiate their sweet tooth cravings. The sweets not only add charm to the auspicious occasion but also elevate the festive spirits. So, if you are intrigued about Diwali sweets, here are some of the best Diwali sweets you must try this season.
Halwa is a beloved classic. It is a broad term used for puddings. Amongst the many puddings made in India in different states, gajar ka halwa (carrot pudding) or sooji halwa (semolina pudding) are the most popular ones. The latter is also known as Sheera.
Halwa, in general, is a north Indian dish and is known for its chewy texture, and delightful flavour. One mouthful of Halwa will make you feel like you are in a food heaven. Made with a generous amount of ghee, sugar, milk and dry fruits, halwa is the perfect Indian sweet.
Speaking of Indian sweets for Diwali, Gulab Jamun is one of the most popular delicacies. These tiny balls are made of utter goodness and deliciousness. Gulab Jamun gets its name from two words: Gluab, the rose flavoured syrup and jamun, a small, plum-like fruit that closely resembles the sweet in appearance and sweetness.
Gulab Jamun is also a north Indian dish but is widely consumed across the country. It is so loved by everyone that the sweet has become an integral part of any special occasion. The dish is made from khoya, sugar, and spices like saffron and cardamom.
The khoya is missed with flour and kneaded into small balls, which are then deep-fried in ghee or oil and left to soak in a light sugary syrup flavour with saffron, and rose petals.
Jalebi is one of the most popular Indian sweets, and is loved by everyone. A wonderful sweet dish to have anytime of the day; it is usually an integral part of the Diwali meal. Made with all-purpose flour, its unique spiral shape makes it look appealing to the eyes, and the crispy, sticky texture is a delight to eat.
Jalebi is fried in hot oil or ghee until it becomes crisp and then soaked in sugar syrup. Often served with rabri, a milk-based sweet, you can even have Jalebi alone and it tastes equally delightful.
A delicacy from the east, Rasgulla is one of the most-loved sweets in India. The soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture of Ragullas make it a delight to eat, and whether you have a sweet tooth or not, you cannot stop at just having one, we bet!
Made with chenna, it is incredibly soft and spongy. Shaped into small spheres, the Rasgullas are soaked in sugar syrup until the syrup permeates through the dough. Once you pop it into your mouth, you get an instant burst of sweetness, filling your heart with immense joy.
Karanji is a unique Diwali sweet; it has both savoury and sweet components. A popular dish in Maharashtra, Karanji is also known as Gujiya in northern parts of India. It is basically a fried dumpling with savoury pastry and sweet filing.
In Maharashtra, the filling is usually made of sweetened coconut and spices. In the southern parts of India, a similar dish is found with filling of split chickpeas mixed with jaggery. While in the south, the outer pastry is steamed and is made of rice flour, in other parts of the country, the pastry is deep fried and is made of all-purpose flour mixed with semolina.
The crunchy outside and the soft and gooey inside provides a perfect textural contrast and a single bite into it will feel like a riot of flavours in your month.
Another delicacy from the western parts of India, especially Maharashtra, Puran Poli is a sweet flatbread, which looks like a normal chapati but has a sweet stuffing. It is made with wheat flour, ghee, and stuffed with crushed lentils, jaggery and sugar.
Just like chapati, the dough is flattened, and it is then stuffed and rolled out again. The flatbread is then cooked on a griddle until it is golden brown. While cooking, a dollop of ghee is applied on both sides. The addition of ghee elevates the taste and flavour to the next level.
If you are visiting any south Indian state, especially Tamil Nadu and Kerala during Diwali, you must definitely try having payasam. An incredibly popular sweet, there are different versions of payasam but most of them have rice in some from.
While the south Indians call it payasam, its equivalent in the north is called kheer. It is basically a rice pudding which is made by boiling rice in milk and sugar together. Some versions also have tapioca or vermicelli or both. The mixture is then flavoured with dry fruits, desiccated coconut, and spices like cardamom.
Shahi Tukda literally means a piece of royalty. A sweet fit for the kings, it has royalty written all over it. Originating in Hyderabad in the royal kitchens of the erstwhile kings in the region, Shahi Tukda is everything you want a Diwali celebration sweet to be.
It is rich, decadent, crunchy, any creamy. What makes the sweet a delight to eat is the addition of Rabri and the generous topping of nuts.
This deceptively simple looking dish is extremely popular in the eastern states like Odisha, Assam, Tripura, Jharkhand, and West Bengal. Some food historians suggest that its origin lie in Burdwan, a small town in West Bengal.
Lyangcha is similar to Gulab Jamun in colour and taste, but it has a unique elongated appearance. It is made of khoya and flour, and the cylindrical shaped dough balls are deep fried until golden brown and then soaked in rose and cardamom flavoured sugar syrup.
Mohanthal is a decadent sweet popular in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Made with sweetened gram flour, and ghee, it is slow cooked until the flour thickens and then studded with different nuts like pistachios, almonds, and cashews. The sweet has a fudge-like texture, and every bite makes you feel blessed.
So, there you go, you have a list of most popular Indian sweets for Diwali. Which of these tasty indulgences are you most excited to try? With Diwali coming up, you can try making these delicacies at home and you can give your friends and family a ‘sweet’ surprise!
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