India will be marking its 75th Independence Day celebrations on August 15, 2021. To celebrate the remarkable occasion which was achieved by India after years of hardship, the central government has lined up various programmes to showcase the country’s development, governance, technology reforms, progress and policy. Before India gained independence, there was no concept of States and Union Territories and the British had almost dictatorially ruled most parts of the country. However, 28 States and 8 Union Territories have been added to the country since the last 75 years after India received freedom from British rule. As an ode to the wonderful occasion of India’s 75th Independence Day, let’s celebrate with a popular sweet from each of the States and Union Territories of India-
Ariselu from Andhra Pradesh
Prepared by mixing jaggery syrup and rice flour together and flavoured with ghee and cardamom, Ariselu is a delicious fried sweet that is easy to prepare at home. As sesame seeds are mixed into the sweetened flour balls before dipping it into oil for frying, the combination of the crunchiness and sweetness of Ariselu makes it a great snack to have during evenings with a cup of tea.
Khapse from Arunachal Pradesh
A traditional sweet biscuit of Arunachal Pradesh, Khapse is much lesser known but its preparation is interesting and complexive too. Prepared with flour, sugar, oil and milk, Khapse is an intricately patterned artistic biscuit which is a visual delight and tasty too but requires much preciseness to make it perfect.
Tekeli Pitha from Assam
As Tekeli Pitha is made in a kettle, it has been named from the utensil where it is made i.e. Kettle or as known in Assamese Tekeli. Prepared by putting a mixture of rice flour, jaggery and coconut in the mouth of a kettle and steaming it for a few minutes, Tekeli Pitha is not only tasty and healthy but also a very filling sweet. One Tekeli Pitha can greatly satisfy any hunger pangs.
Thekua from Bihar
A hardened fried sweet, Thekua is a highly popular sweet of Bihar and is prepared in large numbers during the Chhath Puja festival. Prepared with flour, sugar, ghee and flavoured with cardamom, grated coconut and fennel seeds before deep fried in oil, Thekua requires pressure to bite and its crunchiness is quite high.
Khurma from Chhattisgarh
A sinfully delicious sweet, Khurma is deep fried sweet coated with crystallized sugar. It is a tough sweet to prepare as the fried sweet should be correctly be allowed to cook in the sugar syrup so that it forms a wonderful coating of crystals around its outer portion. While the general process of frying the flour balls in oil is easy, it is the correct coating of sugar around the fried layer that makes it perfect.
Bebinca from Goa
A multi-layered pudding which is extremely gooey in the mouth, Bebinca is a popular sweet of Goa that is found in the dining tables during Christmas, Easter or any important festival in the state. Bebinca is prepared with flour, eggs, sugar, coconut milk and cardamom-nutmeg powder and requires much time to make.
Mohanthal from Gujarat
An extremely rich and delicious sweet, Mohanthal is widely consumed during traditional Gujarati festivals. Prepared with besan (gramflour) and ghee and flavoured with sugar syrup, saffron and cardamom powder, Mohanthal is further enriched by garnishing with dried fruits like pistachios and nuts.
Churma from Haryana
A very filling and rich sweet dish, Churma is prepared by crumbling a mixture of flour, semolina and ghee. After the mixture is kneaded with milk and fried in oil, it is grinded into a fine powder and flavoured with sugar, ghee and dry fruits before serving. Churma is generally eaten with Kadhi.
Mittha from Himachal Pradesh
An extremely sweet saffron rice dish, Mittha is an authentic Pahadi cuisine that should not be missed whenever you visit Himachal Pradesh. Prepared by layering rice mixture with fried raisins and cashew nuts, topped with sugar and saffron milk, Mittha is an enticing dish that will make the sweet memories of your visit to the pleasantly cool state more delightful.
Khaja from Jharkhand
A fried sweet that is syrupy and delicious with each bite, Khaja is a popular sweet that is not only popular in Jharkhand but almost all over India. It is more popularly brought during festivals. Prepared by making intricate folds of wheat flour dough and fried in oil and coated in sugar syrup, Khaja is not only a culinary delight but also a visual treat as its texture look like multiple golden brown layers have been smoothly folded together.
Mysore Pak from Karnataka
Originating in the city of Mysore in Karnataka, Mysore Pak is a soft spongy sweet which is quite easy to make. It is believed that Kakasura Madappa invented this sweet for a feast of the Mysore king Krishnaraja Wodeyar. Madappa, who was the chief royal chef of the king made this sweet at the last moment with the help of gram flour, ghee and sugar. When asked about the name of the new sweet, Madappa named it as Mysore Pak and it came to be famous since then.
Palada Payasam from Kerala
A rice pudding, Palada Payasam is a popular dessert made during Onam and weddings in Kerala. Prepared by boiling rice ada ( flakes), water , milk and flavoured with sugar, cardamom and dried fruits, Palada Payasam is a healthy and delicious dessert and is very filling too.
Mawa Bati from Madhya Pradesh
A fried sweet filled with khoya (milk solids) and coated in sugar syrup, Mawa Bati is widely found in the sweet shops of Madhya Pradesh. Due to the presence of mawa and being enveloped in sugar syrup after frying it, Mawa Bati feels soft to bite and is indeed delicious.
Modak from Maharashtra
A steamed rice flour dumpling filled with coconut and jaggery mixture, Modak is one of the most famous sweet of Maharashtra. It is widely consumed during Ganesh Chaturthi and is even placed in large quantities before an idol of Lord Ganesha as it is considered to be His favourite dish.
Madhurjan Thongba from Manipur
A lesser known sweet of Manipur, Madhurjan Thongba is an easier sweet to prepare in home. Prepared by frying besan (gramflour) balls and cooking it further in milk and flavoured with grated coconut and cardamom, Madhurjan Thongba is tasty, sweet and filling too.
Sakin Gata from Meghalaya
A sticky rice cake filled with sesame seeds, Sakin Gata is a popular sweet of Meghalaya and is mostly consumed by the Garo community. Prepared by soaking a local kind of sticky rice overnight, it is mixed with sugar and sesame seeds the next day. The mixture is then wrapped around banana leaves and steamed in a pot till it reaches its desired consistency.
Koat Pitha from Mizoram
A fried and a sweet fritter, Koat Pitha is widely enjoyed as a snack in Mizo households. The fritter is very easy to make as it all takes a batter or a mixture of powdered jaggery, water, mashed bananas, rice flour and salt to be fried in oil and served. With a crispy outer skin and gooey flavour inside, Koat Pitha can be enjoyed anytime with a cup of coffee.
Black Sticky Rice Pudding from Nagaland
As the name says, Black Sticky Rice Pudding is made with a local kind of rice and the dessert appears dark purplish in colour to the human eye. Due to the sweet flavour of the rice along with the rich taste of milk, Black Sticky Rice Pudding is quite delicious and healthy too.
Rasabali from Odisha
An extremely delicious milky sweet, Rasabali is believed to have originated in Kendrapada, a town in Odisha. Moreover, the sweet is also one among the 56 food items (Chappan Bhog) served as a holy offering to the Gods at Jagannath Temple in Puri. Rasabali is made by dipping fried chenna dumplings in milk favoured with saffron, cardamom and dry fruits.
Gajak from Punjab
A crispy textured sweet well loved by the Punjabi people, Gajak is mostly consumed during Lohri celebrations. Prepared by dipping fried sesame seeds in a mixture of ghee and sugar, Gajak are dried sweets which can be stored for some time and thereby its sweetness can be enjoyed for a longer duration.
Ghevar from Rajasthan
An extremely crispy sweet, Ghevar is mostly prepared during the time of festivals in Rajasthan. Prepared with flour, ghee and milk and further enriched with dried fruits, Ghevar is not only delicious but quite filling too.
Sel Roti from Sikkim
A sweet delicacy of Sikkim, Sel Roti is especially made during the Tihar festival. It is prepared by frying a batter of rice which is flavoured with ghee, cardamom powder and sugar. The pretty round shaped texture of Sel Roti also makes it a visual delight for any sweet lover.
Ashoka Halwa from Tamil Nadu
A dessert which is characterized mostly by its bright orange colour, Ashoka Halwa has its origins in Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu. Prepared with Moong dal, wheat flour, ghee and sugar, Ashoka Halwa is a great dish to be enjoyed during festivals.
Khubani Ka Meetha from Telangana
A dessert that is sweet and tangy in taste, Khubani Ka Meetha is made by slow cooking apricots in water with a touch of sugar so that the texture appears like that of a jelly. As Khubani is the Urdu term for apricots and Meetha means sugar, Khubani Ka Meetha means a sweet dish that is made from apricots.
Awan Bangwi from Tripura
A unique sweet dish of Tripura, Awan Bangwi is a cone shaped rice dessert prepared in banana leaves. After a mixture of glutinous rice is enriched with dry fruits, ginger and ghee, it is put in a cone shaped banana leaf, sealed and steamed for a few minutes and then served.
Bal Mithai from Uttarakhand
Popular in the Almora region of Uttarakhand, Bal Mithai is prepared by roasting khoya and coating it with granulated sugar. Although it is simple to prepare, Bal Mithai is not only delicious but its exquisite looks like that of a luxurious chocolate block also appeals to the eye.
Balushahi from Uttar Pradesh
Looking like the Indian version of doughnuts, Balushahi is a popular dish enjoyed during the time of festivals in Uttar Pradesh. It is prepared by mixing flour with ghee and curd and frying it before dipping in a solution of sugar syrup flavoured with saffron and cardamom. Before serving, the small doughnut shaped sweets are garnished with a good amount of dried fruits.
Rosogolla from West Bengal
Known as the king of all sweets, Rosogolla is a classic sweet of West Bengal. Its simplicity in appearance and extreme deliciousness have made it one of the most famous Indian sweets globally. It is prepared by boiling chenna balls in sugar syrup. Rosogulla is a common sweet found to be present in every Indian wedding menu.
Nariyal Laddu from Andaman & Nicobar Islands
An island and a coastal region where coconut is a major commercial crop, Nariyal Laddu is thereby the popular sweet of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Prepared with grated coconut and sugar, Nariyal Laddu is widely found and savoured in this island.
Pinni from Chandigarh
A round shaped sweet which is extremely rich and filling, Pinni is commonly enjoyed in winters. These delicacies are made of wheat flour, semolina, ghee, jaggery, coconut, milk and dry nuts.
Ghari from Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu
A famous Gujarati sweet, Ghari is prepared by enclosing a rich mixture of almonds, pistachios and khoya inside flour balls and fried in ghee. The dish was believed to have been made by the cooks of Tatya Tope to provide strength to the freedom fighter’s soldiers. The sweet is also eaten by some people with a hope that it would give peace to the soul of a dead person.
Kaju Katli from Delhi
As Delhi is a melting pot of the diverse culture of India, every sweet is popular in this union territory. However, Kaju Katli is the widely loved sweet. Prepared by using a mixture of powdered cashewnuts and sugar, Kaju Katli is widely sold across sweetshops and are top preferred sweet that is gifted to someone.
Kashmiri Roth from Jammu & Kashmir
A flattened piece of sweet, Kashmiri Roth is a traditional dish of the Kashmiri Pandits and is generally prepared during Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. Prepared with flour, ghee, sugar, black cardamom pods, milk, yogurt and white poppy seeds, Kashmiri Roth is also a great snack that can enjoyed with an evening cup of tea.
Apricot Jam from Ladakh
With the landscape of Ladakh filled with beautiful apricot orchards, Apricot Jam is one of the best loved desserts of the union territory. While visiting Ladakh, you will find jars of apricot jams filled in a number of shelves of the shops there.
Kilanji from Lakshwadeep
A lesser known sweet dish of Lakshwadeep, Kilanji is prepared by cooking a batter of rice, eggs and water. The thin rice pancakes are then enjoyed with a banana and coconut milk pudding
Crème Brulee from Puducherry
Due to the strong French influence still found in Puducherry, the classic French dessert that is cream brulee is widely found and consumed in the union territory. The rich vanilla custard is very creamy and the best part is that it can be enjoyed only after the caramelized sugar layer atop it has been broken.