From Shufta to Sael Roti: 9 Little-Known Treats to Gorge on During Diwali

Bringing the spotlight back on traditional sweets--recipes that have been handed down several generations


Diwali is infectious, and we’ve been infected! We’re bringing the spotlight back on traditional Diwali sweet dishes--recipes that have been handed down several generations. In fact these Diwali sweet dishes often celebrate the local produce of different regions. Scroll down for to spark ideas for Diwali sweet dishes.

1. Shufta
Place of origin:
Jammu and Kashmir
Shufta is a mixture of dry fruits and spices coated in sugar syrup. Assorted dried fruits are soaked in water for a few hours and then added to tiny pieces of paneer and coconut that have been fried in ghee. To this is added sugar, and this is stirred in a pan till it coats the mixture. Over this, a spice mix of black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, dry ginger powder and saffron is sprinkled, and mixed together. Make this warm and hearty sweet dish a part of your Diwali sweet dishes as it is also packed with nutrients to beat the winter chill!


2. Babru
Place of origin:
 Himachal Pradesh
There is a sweet and savoury version of Babru, a popular, but lesser known Himachali dish. The sweet variant is similar to malpua. Since the preparations for Babru are elaborate, people now prefer buying it from the local halwai. The mithai is a traditional favourite and finds a place of pride during all special occasions and will be a perfect addition to your Diwali sweet dishes.

From Shufta to Sael Roti: 9 Little-Known Treats to Gorge on During Diwali

3. Pinni
Place of origin:
“Pinni, is a popular traditional sweet of Punjab and graces many festivities. It is made by roasting wheat flour, gram flour and urad dal flour in ghee. To this sugar and dry fruits are added, and this is rolled into oblong balls,” says chef Prem K Pogakula, executive sous chef, The Imperial, New Delhi. Why should you add it to your Diwali sweet dishes? Pinni has a long shelf life, and in a powdered form it is called panjiri.

From Shufta to Sael Roti: 9 Little-Known Treats to Gorge on During Diwali

4. Bal mithai
Place of origin: 
If you’re in Uttarakhand, don’t leave without Bal mithai. Your Diwali sweet dishes will be incomplete without this one. Made of milk that is condensed with cane sugar, this rich dish looks like chocolate fudge and will leave you wanting for more.

From Shufta to Sael Roti: 9 Little-Known Treats to Gorge on During Diwali

5. Balushahi
Place of origin:
Uttar Pradesh
Most of us have feasted on this Indian version of glazed donut as kids. These crunchy, fluffy round sweets, dipped in sugar syrup are popular in most parts of the country—under different aliases. Include this one in your Diwali sweet dishes and it's sure to win many fans.

6. Sael roti
Place of origin:
Sikkim is a rice-eating state and the sweets here are mainly rice flour-based. Digging into its origins, we came across one story that traces the origin of the Sael roti to Nepal. It was brought to Sikkim, Darjeeling, Siliguri and adjoining areas by its Nepali-speaking communities. Sael is made with mixing rice flour with sugar and cardamom powder into a runny consistency and pouring it in circular rings in hot oil or ghee. It is a local favourite for Diwali. Bring in some North East flavour to your Diwali sweet dishes.

7. Chhena poda
Place of origin:
This Odiya dessert should be on everyone’s Diwali sweet dishes list! According to local lore, chenna poda was made by accident, when a homemaker decided to mix some sugar in leftover cottage cheese and kept it in a warm oven. The next day, she found it had set into a cake-like delicacy! Nobody’s complaining!

Chak-hao Kheer - Indian Diwali Sweets

Chak-hao kheer
Image courtesy: Souvik Mukherjee

8. Chak-hao kheer
Place of origin: 
“Chak-hao amubi or chak-hao kheer is a traditional dish of Manipur. It is prepared from the chak-hao or black rice which is rich in proteins, iron and fibre. The rice has to be soaked overnight so that it cooks quickly. The dessert has a husky texture and tastes a little different from other rice. The kheer gets the purple tint from the black rice which makes it look exotic,” shares Priyanka Mukherjee, blogger, Giggling Spoons. This one is sure to add an exotic touch to your Diwali sweet dishes.

9. Mysore pak
Place of origin
: Karnataka
“This dessert has its origin in Mysore, in the Mysore palace during the reign of Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV. The cook made it from gram flour, sugar and loads of ghee. And when he couldn’t think of any creative name, he simply named it Mysore Pak. It is one of those sweets that people love to gift,” says Marena Jerrish, blogger, Mareena’s recipe collections. If this is in your Diwali sweet dishes, you won't be able to have

Give a twist to the traditional mysore pak recipe with this cheesecake recipe:

From Shufta to Sael Roti: 9 Little-Known Treats to Gorge on During Diwali


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