Diwali Sweets

Diwali Sweets

For your dining pleasure we have collected these sweets
recipes from all the different states of India


(Sweetened yogurt with saffron)

Serves 6-8

2½ cups plain yogurt (20 fl. oz.)
1 Tbsp warm milk
¼ tsp saffron
¼ tsp elaichi (cardamom) powder
½ cup sugar
2 tbsp raw pistachio nuts, skinned and chopped

1. Put the yogurt in a muslin bag and hand it up for 4-5 hours to drain whey. Soak saffron in milk for 30 minutes. Whisk the drained yogurt, sugar, saffron milk, and cardamom together until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Put in a dish and chill until set. Garnish with the nuts.

Cucumber Cake

Serves 4-6

2 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter)**
1 lb cream of wheat
1 lb cucumber (peeled and grated)
½ lb jaggery*
1/8 tsp sugar
¼ cup cashews, finely chopped
6-8 cardamoms, peeled and powdered
½ grated coconut.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Fry cream of wheat in 2 Tbsp. ghee until light brown. Add grated cucumber, jaggery, sugar, cashews, cardamom powder and 1 Tbsp of ghee. Mix well. Pour in greased pan and bake for 30-45 minutes in oven, until nicely browned.


(Whole wheat pudding)

Serves 4-5

1 oz. of chapati dough
½ cup all purpose flour
1 gallon milk
¾ cup sugar cardamom seeds*
few strands of saffron
(kesar), dissolved in 1 tsp milk
2-3 drops of Rose water

1. Shape the chapathi dough into rice grains by rubbing small bits of dough between thumb and forefinger (with the help of a little dry flour). Pithouries formed.

2. Meanwhile put milk in a microwaveable container and heat in the microwave on medium power for 45 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Add the rice shaped pithouries to boiled milk.

3. Continue cooking milk mixture until it becomes thick and creamy. About 20 minutes. Cool, Add sugar and remaining ingredients. Chill completely in the refrigerator before serving.


Serves 6-8

1 lb. Ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cardamom powder*

1. Knead cheese into a fine, smooth paste. In a wok over low heat, cook cheese and sugar, stirring continuously. When sugar has melted and cheese starts leaving sides add cardamom powder.

2. Remove from heat. While still warm, divide into 25-30 portions. Mold each portion into desired shape. Serve at room temperature.


(Indian funnel cake)

Serves 6-8

2 cups of skinned urad dal.
1½ cups of water
pinch of salt
oil for frying
6 inch square piece of cheese cloth/cake decorating bag
3 cups of sugar
¼ tsp saffron
orange food coloring
vegetable shortening for frying

1. Soak the dal in water for 4-5 hours. Drain. Grind the dal with very
little water, to a fine paste, add a pinch of salt.

2. Heat oil in a deep pan on medium heat. Make a small hole in the middle of the cloth and stitch to form a round button hole. Put the soft dough in the cloth and gather the four corners and gently squeeze into the hot oil, while moving your wrist to make a flower shape. Fry it until light brown. Remove, drain on a paper towel, and keep it aside. Continue until the dal paste has been used up.

3. Bring water to boil in a medium sized saucepan. Add sugar and let it melt. Then boil it for 4 more minutes. Check consistency by taking a little syrup in between 2 fingers, the fingers should separate easily and syrup should form one string, otherwise cook a little longer. Do not overcook the syrup. Add saffron and orange color to the syrup. Stir. Dip fried jhangries in warm syrup and soak for 2 minutes. Remove from syrup and arrange in a plate. Can be served at room temperature.

Kheer Mohan

(Stuffed cheese balls)

Makes about 20 balls

Paneer** of 1 gallon milk
½ cup khoya** ?
½ cup mixed nuts, crushed (almonds, pistachio, cashews and currants)
seeds of 2 cardamoms, crushed


4 cups sugar
4 cup water
4 strings of saffron* seeds of 2 cardamoms*

1. For filling mix khoya, crushed nuts and cardamoms. Set aside.

2. Divide paneer into 20 equal portions. Shape into balls. Make a well in the center of cheese ball and fill
with ½ tsp of filling. Close well opening with surrounding paneer. Balls should be smooth. Repeat the above process until all the cheese and filling are used up.

3. Make syrup by bringing all the syrup ingredients to boil, in a large saucepan. Boil for 12 minutes on medium heat. Put cheese balls into syrup. Cover and lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool.

4. Serve at room temperature.

Pal Poli

(Crepes in milk)

Serves 16

3 cups all-purpose flour
water to make a firm elastic dough
1 quart milk
1 cup sugar
10 cardamoms, powdered
¼ tsp saffron, soaked in hot water
oil for deep frying
almonds, shredded and fried

1. Make a firm dough with floor and water. Cover and set aside.

2. Boil milk in a heavy saucepan and keep simmering until thickened and reduced. Add sugar, cardamom and saffron.

3. Meanwhile, divide the dough into 1 to 1-½ inch-diameter balls and, using flour to dust the board, roll out into a thin 6″ round. Fold in half and seal edge with water. Deep fry in hot oil. Drain on paper towel. Poli made.

4. Place polis in a shallow dish. Pour the hot milk over the polis and garnish with almonds. This dessert can be served hot or cold.

China Grass

(Agar-agar pudding)

Serves 4-6

2 Tbsp china grass (agar-agar)
¾ cup water
1½ cup whole milk
seeds of 2 cardamoms crushed
2-3 drops of rose water
3-4 drops of food color
6 tsp sugar

With a pair of scissors cut the china grass into 2 inch pieces. Put china grass and water in a large saucepan and cook on the medium heat. Cook until the chine grass melts (about 10 minutes). Add milk and cardamoms and cook for another 5 minutes. Cool. Then add rose water and food color. Stir well. Pour contents onto a cookie sheet. Garnish with nuts. Refrigerate to set (about 2 hours).


(Cream of wheat cake)

Serves 6-8

1 cup cream of wheat
½ cup shortening
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1½ cup sugar
2 cups coconut milk, extracted from a fresh coconut
4-6 strands of saffron, dissolved in 1 Tbsp warm milk

1. Roast the cream of wheat in 2 Tbsp shortening. Add the beaten egg, sugar, coconut milk (keeping 4 Tbsp of coconut milk aside) and saffron. Set aside. Heat the remaining shortening. Remove from heat and stir in the cream of wheat mixture. Heat the mixture again, and stir until it thickens.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the above mixture into 19″ pie dish. Pour the 4 Tbsp of coconut milk on top. Bake a crisp golden brown. Approximately 20 minutes. Cool. Serve.


(Home made ice creams with bean strings)

Serves 10-12

1 gallon whole milk
2-3 cardamoms seeds crushed
½ cup almonds and pistachio nuts coarsely chopped
½ tsp saffron, dissolved in 2 Tbsp of milk
1 14 oz. can condensed milk
8 cups water
2 oz. bean thread (falooda)
4 drops yellow food color
4 Tbsp sugar
¼ cup Rooh Afsa (rose syrup)

10 ice cubes, crushed

In a large thick bottomed saucepan, boil milk, on medium heat. Keep boiling milk until it reduces to ½ gallon. Stir frequently so that no milk sticks to the bottom of a the pan. Add cardamoms, saffron and nuts.

Cook for 5 more minutes. Then add, condensed milk, Stir and remove from heat. Cool. Put in Kulfi molds (or popsicle molds). Freeze overnight to set.

In another saucepan, boil 8 cups of water. Add food color and sugar and bean threads. Cover and turn off stove. Cool to room temperature.

To serve

Remove kulfi from mold. Slice with a sharp warm knife. On individual serving dishes, put sliced kulfi, cover with a little falooda. Cover falooda with crushed ice and add 4-5 drops of Rooh afsa to the crushed ice.

Gul Gulay

(Fried Indian Donuts)

Makes 30 balls

2 cups sugar
1 ¼ cups water
juice of 2 lemon
¼ cup baking soda
1 ripe banana-optional
2 cups all purpose flour
oil for frying


1. In a medium saucepan bring sugar and water to a boil. Add lemon juice and continue boiling for about 7 minutes. Dissolve baking soda in 2 Tbsp sugar syrup. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl sieve flour. To flour add liquid baking soda. Stir 2 cup of syrup at a time into flour. Mix well in between. Continue until a thick batter is formed. (If banana is being used mash and add to batter). Set aside for 1 hour.

3. Heat oil in wok. Fry by dropping tablespoonfuls of batter into hot oil. Remove with slotted spoon. Drain on a paper towel.

Serve hot.

Recipes are from the Book DAVAT (A Grand Feast from India)
courtesy of the Association of Asian Women in Ohio.


Share this;

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.