6 Special Festive Sweets of India

India is a land of festivals and celebrations. The diversity of the vast country is reflected in its festivals. Paraphernalia of customs, decorations, traditions, rituals, and food are associated with these festivals. Indeed, food is an essential feature of any festival in India. Special festive sweets of India associated with festivals make you long for these occasions to recur year after year.

People enjoy festive meals in the company of family and friends. No such celebration is complete without a serving of festive sweets. What better way to keep the feast top-notch than to include festive sweets of India?

My friend Vidya insta@foodn_foodonly who has a deft touch at culinary arts has been helpful with the listed festive sweets of India.

Kaju Katli or Cashew Burfi

Come Diwali and it is time to binge on Kaju Katli along with a few other Diwali treats. The festival of light, Diwali, or Deepavali is celebrated all over India. Multicolored lights and fireworks arouse a festive mood across households and streets. Among the special festive sweets of Diwali, Kaju Katli has become a common sight these days.

Basic ingredients and preparation

The delicacy requires relatively fewer ingredients like cashews, sugar, water, rose water, and butter.

Smoothly powdered cashew without spoiling its texture is blended well in a mixture of sugar, water, and rose water. Once these ingredients are well-blended, clarified butter is added.

By heating in low flame, it attains a pasty and soft consistency. The dough then can be transferred to a butter paper greased with butter. The final touch is given by applying more butter and rolling it over with a paper to give an even shape.

Sliced usually into diamond-shaped pieces, and after cooling down it is ready to serve.


The sweet associated with Holi is Gujiya. Known by different names like Gunjiya, Gughara, and Pedakiya, it is a sweet, deep-fried dumpling. The festival of colors becomes all the sweeter with each serving of Gujiya.

Basic ingredients and preparation

To make the dough all-purpose flour, clarified butter, and water are used.

For the filling, khoya or milk solids, semolina, cashew, almonds, clarified butter, powdered sugar, cardamom powder, saffron strands, cardamom powder, water, and salt to taste.

Finely chopped pistachios to garnish.

All-purpose flour is crumbled and kneaded adding butter and water.

khoya is roasted until it becomes crumbly and is kept ready. And semolina is sautéed in butter. Chopped almonds and cashews are also roasted on low flame. khoa and semolina mixture are blended with cardamom powder and powdered sugar to complete the filling.

A sweet syrup is made using sugar, water, saffron, and cardamom powder.

A small portion of dough is flattened and stuffed with the filling kept ready. Using a Gujiya mold, the dumplings are prepared and deep-fried in oil. The dumplings are then dipped in the sweet syrup. As they cool down garnish them with chopped pistachios. Certainly, it is one of the tastiest festive sweets in India.

Gheear / Gheeyar

Gheear or Sindhi jalebi is a very popular yet rare delicacy available only during the Holi festival. It is a larger and crunchier version of jalebi.

Thanks to Apoorva Batra @_crypticsoul_, one of our authors on the team, we have a sight of this sweet delicacy.

Basic ingredients and preparation

All-purpose flour, corn starch, yogurt, saffron, cardamoms, baking powder, salt, sugar, yeast, pistachio, orange food color, and oil to fry.

The batter is prepared with flour, salt, baking powder, and corn starch. Adding enough water and the color essence, it is left for fermenting overnight.

Sugar syrup is prepared by adding cardamoms and saffron.

In a flat-bottomed frying pan sufficient oil is heated and the batter is squeezed in from the container. Make sure to squeeze it down in the round Gheeyar shape. After frying them enough, it is dipped in the hot sugar syrup and garnished with crushed pistachios.

Sheer Khurma

Eid is made more special and sweeter with a good serving of Sheer Khurma. Translated from Persian, Sheer means milk and khurma means dates. The sweet delicacy is one of the unavoidable festive sweets of India as part of Eid celebrations.

Basic ingredients and preparation

Dry dates, other dry nuts, and fruits like pistachio, almond, cashew, raisin, vermicelli, butter, cardamom, saffron, sugar, and milk are used for preparation.

Vermicelli is sautéed in butter and kept aside. Later, dry fruits and nuts are pan-fried in butter before adding milk. As you stir it in low flame, add cardamom, saffron, sugar, and salt to taste. Finally, add the vermicelli and as the watery content becomes thick, it is time to turn off the flames. You can enjoy it hot or cold.

Poori Halwa Chana

It is one of the famous festive sweets of India, mainly in the Northern states. Navaratri in Sanskrit means nine nights, the festival honors the Hindu goddess Devi Durga. On the occasion of Navaratri, after the 8-days of fasting, the devotees break their fast, consuming Poori Halwa Chana. Well, it is not exactly a sweet dish though.

Basic ingredients and preparation

For Chana preparation, dry curry, black chickpeas, green chilies and ginger, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, dry mango powder and other spices, and coriander leaves.

Next preparation is Halwa – butter, semolina, sugar, almond, raisin, and rose water.

And then comes Poori with flour, and salt.

After kneading well batter is prepared for the Poori. From the batter, a small portion is flattened and oil sautéed until it becomes puffed up.

The dry channa is made without onion, tomato, and garlic hence no gravy. After the peas are boiled well, adding other ingredients, it is cooked well.

Halwa is prepared with semolina mixed with sugar, almond, raisin, and rosewater.

People eat poori with both halwa and chana. In each bite, you can feel the combination of sweet(halwa), tangy (dry mango powder used in chana), and spicy flavor.

Palada Payasam

The State festival of Kerala is Onam, and the festive feast is a key part of the celebration. The menu for the feast is incomplete without the sweet delicacy of Palada Payasam.

Basic ingredients and preparation

Milk, rice, water, sugar, cardamom, butter, cashew, and raisins.

By slow-cooking milk and sugar, you prepare the base for this sweet delicacy. Sugar is caramelized to get the pink shade. Ada is cooked rice added to milk and boiled until it achieves a rich and fragrant consistency. With the rest of the ingredients added, it is time to savor another festive sweet of India.



A Travel enthusiast and Foodie, craving to explore the intricate beauty of nature and its gift of delectable treats. Pens down his thoughts and experiences to present a delightful journey for his readers

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15 thoughts on “6 Special Festive Sweets of India

  • May 12, 2022 at 2:45 pm

    I love Indian sweets, I had a friend when I was working, I called her my second mum, who would make the most amazing food and sweets

  • May 12, 2022 at 5:17 pm

    These sound so fragrant and aromatic. I haven’t tried any of these before but certainly would love to!

  • May 12, 2022 at 5:31 pm

    I’ve had most of these sweets and I LOVE THEM…I never tried Gheear, i wonder where I can find it.

  • May 12, 2022 at 5:33 pm

    I am from India, and I have travelled extensively across India for one and a half years! My hometown being Kolkata, I know how important sweets are in the Indian culture!

  • May 12, 2022 at 7:06 pm

    I have never tried out any Indian sweet foods before. I really like ghe sound of the gujiya

  • May 12, 2022 at 10:59 pm

    Most of these I’ve never heard of, but they all look delicious! I’d want to try all of them, but can’t decide which would be best to try first.

    • May 13, 2022 at 1:38 am

      These sweet treats sound delicious. I have never had these or any Indian sweets before. I will have to change that.

  • May 13, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    I enjoy Indian food! I would try all of these Indian sweets!

  • May 13, 2022 at 2:12 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen or tasted these, and to be honest if you hadn’t said thy were sweets I would have thought they were savoury looking at them x

  • May 14, 2022 at 12:20 pm

    I have never had any of these sweet treats before, but I would really love to try them! Thank you for sharing.

  • May 17, 2022 at 7:56 pm

    The burfi sounds very good. I haven’t had any of these desserts and I enjoy trying new foods.

  • July 29, 2022 at 4:57 pm

    I like traditional Indian sweets and Snaks, Thanks for sharing the wonderful Tips..


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