Diwali, the festival of lights, is a time of joy and togetherness. Families and friends come together to celebrate the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. While the festival is known for its dazzling fireworks, beautifully decorated homes, and the exchange of gifts, it is also a time when sweet treats take center stage. In Bengal, the land of delectable sweets, Diwali is synonymous with an array of mouthwatering delights. In this article, we will explore some of the must-try Bengali sweets during this festive season.
Sandesh is one of the most beloved Bengali sweets. Made primarily from fresh paneer (chhena), it has a delicate, crumbly texture and a subtle sweetness. During Diwali, Sandesh is often shaped into beautiful, intricate designs and garnished with slivers of pistachio or saffron. The purity and simplicity of Sandesh make it a perfect sweet to celebrate the festival of light.
Rasgulla, although not exclusive to Diwali, is a perennial favorite in Bengal. Soft and spongy cheese balls soaked in sugar syrup, Rasgulla is a dessert that never fails to please. The light, airy texture and the sweet, fragrant syrup are sure to brighten up your Diwali celebrations.
- Mishti Doi
No Bengali meal is complete without a serving of Mishti Doi. This sweet yogurt is prepared by caramelizing sugar in the milk, giving it a unique flavor and a beautiful caramel color. Mishti Doi is a delightful way to end your Diwali feast on a sweet note.
- Kheer Kadam
Kheer Kadam is a heavenly Bengali sweet that consists of a central sphere made of khoya (reduced milk) and coated with a layer of sweetened and roasted paneer. The contrast between the soft, creamy center and the crumbly outer layer is a delightful experience. The name “Kheer Kadam” is derived from the Bengali words “kheer” (rice pudding) and “kadam” (a flower), indicating the sweet’s floral appearance.
Sondesh, not to be confused with Sandesh, is a special Diwali treat. These oval-shaped sweets are made from khoa (milk solids) and flavored with cardamom or saffron. They are often garnished with pistachios, rose petals, or silver leaf, making them look as beautiful as they taste.
- Cham Cham
Cham Cham is a cylindrical-shaped sweet made from chhena (paneer) and is soaked in a saffron-infused sugar syrup. Its rich, saffron color and delicate texture make it a popular choice for festive occasions.
- Malai Chomchom
Malai Chomchom is a close cousin to Cham Cham. These oblong sweets are stuffed with mawa (khoya) and dipped in a sugary syrup. They are often garnished with chopped nuts, adding a delightful crunch to the soft, creamy center.
Bengali sweets are a reflection of the rich culinary traditions of the region, and Diwali provides the perfect occasion to savor their exquisite flavors. Whether you have a penchant for the delicate simplicity of Sandesh or the indulgent richness of Kheer Kadam, there’s a Bengali sweet to suit every palate. This Diwali, treat yourself and your loved ones to these delectable sweets, and let the sweetness of these traditional delights illuminate your celebrations.