Dilpasand: Bengaluru’s Iconic Tutti Frutti Delight
Image Credit: Instagram/@cookingfromheart; Dilpasand

Neighbourhoods in Bengaluru are dotted with small and big bakeries, many of which boast a legacy longer than we can imagine. Over decades, generations of bakers in the city have taken care of the daily supply of bread, cakes and biscuits in their respective localities. Naturally, these bakeries are also synonymous with some special after-school sweet and savoury treats that people have fondly been eating and talking about, so much so that these small eats have now become an intrinsic part of the city’s popular food culture. While Khova Naan, Benne Biscuit, Khara Biscuit, Egg/Veg Puff, Palya Bun, Plum Cakes, Congress Bun, Nippattu and Masala Rusk are among the top sellers, there is another sinful bakery item that Bengalureans cannot do without - the Dilpasand.

Such is the charisma of this crumbly treat that its heady sweet aroma is enough to make you stop by a bakery, even if you were not planning to. Loaded with tutti frutti, cashews, almonds, cardamom, sugar and butter/ghee, Dilpasand is an irresistibly delicious and wholesome pie-like snack that the people in the IT city love to relish with some chai or filter kaapi. There is another version of it, called the Dilkhush, which also adds dry coconut along with the other fillings. The ingredients for the dough include milk, sugar, dry yeast, maida, oil and salt. 

Dilpasand resembles the traditional British Mince Pie. While its crust and the method of preparing this snack is the same, the stuffing of course has changed over time. This brings us to delving a little into how this decadent treat became a part of Bengaluru’s bakery trail. Many believe that the flaky, fragrant pie was introduced to local bakeries during the Colonial Rule, but there are other versions of the story too. It is also said that the old-style Dilpasand recipe is exclusive to South India. In Tamil Nadu, this sweet treat is called the Thengai Bun.  

Today, the Iyengar Bakery Dilpasand is considered a living heritage in Bengaluru. The tutti frutti and coconut fillings are said to be the creations of this legendary bakery chain that still enjoys a loyal fanbase in the city irrespective of the many cafés, patisseries, bistros and pubs that have mushroomed here in recent years. 

In 1898, HS Thirumalachar - an entrepreneur from Hassan - founded the first Iyengar bakery in Bengaluru’s Chickpet area. It was called the BB (Bengaluru Brothers) Bakery. In the beginning, only confectionaries were sold at the outlet. Later, he befriended an Englishman who used to regularly visit the bakery, and he learnt the nuances of baking. Over time, the bakery gained popularity, offering an assortment of breads, buns and biscuits to its customers. In the 1970s, it was rebranded as the Bengaluru Brahmins Bakery. Currently, you’ll find Iyengar bakeries across South India - Mysuru, Hyderabad and Chennai - as well as in Pune. 

Along with a few other favourite bakery items, Dilpasand stood the test of time to remain an iconic, traditional, local dessert that Bengalureans across age groups still love to indulge in.