From classic kaju katli to regional specialities like chumchum, we channel the desi vibe towards the best sugary treats in town.While interesting fusion flavours and luxe chocolate boxes might be all the rage, there’s nothing like going classic to get you in the right celebratory mood. We recommend that you splurge desi style with the beautifully prepared and packaged sweets that no Diwali would be complete without. For the eco and health conscious, you’ll also find organic and low sugar alternatives. By Maegan Dobson Sippy
Pick and mix
Maiyas is the one-stop shop for anyone who needs guidance on what to pick up for the festive season—with helpful staff and informative labels. We rate their special Mysore pak very highly. It has almost double the amount of ghee of the regular version, so it melts in your mouth. Also try the dry fruit ladoos packed with almonds, cashew nuts, dates and coconut shavings. Prices start from `330/kg. At Maiyas, Jayanagar.
City of joy
Asha Sweets, with over 50 years of experience cooking up mithai in the city, have perfected Bengali delicacies such as chumchum, kala jamun and malai sandwich. Try the kheer kadam, made up of two layers: a dry rasgulla core, that is then coated in freshly-prepared kheer, delicately flavoured with rose essence. Special combo boxes with dry fruits are also available, from `900/kg. At Temple Road, Malleswaram.
Bhagatram tops the list for South Indian sweets. We recommend the kajjaya, a sweet traditionally prepared in Karnataka as an offering to the Gods, that combines sesame seeds, poppy seeds and jaggery with soaked raw rice. Also worth a try is their obbattu, a sweet flat bread that’s particularly delicious served with freshly grated coconut. Bhagatram are also famed for their gulab jamun and jalebi, so don’t leave without stocking up. Gift boxes start at `330/kg. At Commercial Street.
Anand Sweets introduce new offerings in keeping with Diwali traditions every year, and this time the Almond Ballotins box is particularly spectacular. Priced at `895, it comes with almond domes in rose, saffron, pistachio, almond and chocolate flavours, presented in a beautiful gold box adorned with an auspicious embossed peacock. With kaju being a seasonal favourite, the Cashewnut Indulgence box is another good buy. Elaborately presented in a container that allows you to peek through to the goodies within, it contains cashew sweets topped with dry fruits, rose, almonds, cucumber and fennel seeds, and is priced at `725. At Kora mangala.
With all organic ingredients, including ghee made from desi cow’s milk, Swarg offer an environmentally conscious alternative. If you’re counting the calories then this is also the brand for you. Rather than using white, refined sugar, all of the mithais are made from either khandsari sugar or jaggery. We love the mothichur ladoos, which get their distinctive colour from carrot and beetroot extracts, as well as their milk kulfi, which is beautifully presented in an earthenwear pot. Delivery is available citywide and gift boxes start at `700/kg.
Seeing is believing
You eat first with your eyes, and presentation is all the more important when buying sweets to gift. Kanti Sweets has some of the most intricately designed kaju varieties that we have set our eyes on, all at `700 onwards. A box made up of the kaju apple , kaju phool and kaju anjeer roll would almost be too beautiful to eat. We’d also recommend their khajur burfi (`520/kg) which utilises the natural sweetness of the figs, and therefore has less sugar than most other sweets. At CMH Road, Indiranagar.
With a name like Kesar Sweets, it’s
unsurprising that this shop in Whitefield is the best place for all things saffron. Indulge in their kesar laddu (Rs. 440/kg), kaju burfi (Rs. 760/kg) and kaju kesar burfi (Rs. 820), or box up a mixture of all three for the perfect gift. They’re also well-known for their sugarless sweets and are happy to advise diabetics on the best options. Off ITPL Main Road, Whitefield. Details: 9886327139