Ghevar To Puga: The 8 Interesting Regional Sweets Of India
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Every state in India has a special sweet that is exclusively made in its area and has some historical or religious significance. Some sweets celebrate the onset of a particular season, like gond ke laddoo during the winter season, whereas others are made to please the gods on a particular occasion. The sweets are very different from each other and are enjoyed by everyone, irrespective of their cultural background. Let us today discuss some of the most interesting regional sweets of India that are exclusively made in certain parts of the country.

* Alwar Kalakand

This is a part of Alwar's identity and was invented back in 1947 by Baba Thakurdas. Kalakand is known as "Alwar Kalakand," and it's a source of pride for the locals in Rajasthan. Traditionally, crafting this sweet demands prolonged effort, involving hours of milk reduction with frequent stirring. The rigorous process of turning milk into solids makes home preparation daunting. However, modern adaptations suggest using paneer to streamline the process. This is a must for people who are travelling to Rajasthan and want to eat something delicious.

* Mysore Pak

Mysore is the city of Royals. Mysore Pak is another royal dish that was introduced by the royal family of Mysore in India. This sweet, like most other Indian sweets, is made out of ghee, cardamom, and gram flour. This dish was prepared for the first time by a royal cook named Kakasura. Since then, it has been a very important part of the cuisine of Mysore. If you want to taste the authentic Mysore Pak, then there is no other place than Mysore that you should go to.

* Ghevar

Ghevar is another Rajasthani sweet dish prepared to celebrate the onset of Saavan, which is the monsoon season in India. It is specifically made during the monsoon and can be called a monsoon-specific sweet. It has a porous, web-like structure that is made out of all-purpose flour batter and sugar syrup. After frying it in desi ghee, it is topped with lots of khoya and dry fruits. Ghevar is one sweet dish that is not easy to make, as one has to be very skilled to make it the right way.

* Agra Petha

Another wonder in Agra that you shouldn't miss out on as a tourist, besides the Taj Mahal, is the Agra petha. Petha is a sweet dish that is prepared out of an ash gourd, also known as a white pumpkin. It is hard on the outside and jelly-like on the inside. There are so many flavours of petha that you will find in Agra, unlike other states of India. Flavouring ingredients like cardamom seeds, pistachios, nuts, and saffron are also used to elevate the taste. Some of the most famous flavours of Petha that you can find in Agra are paan, chocolate, and kesar.

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* Neyyappam

This is a delicious dish from the southern part of India. It is specifically made in Kerala and is one of the most popular sweet dishes among the people there. The sweet dish is made out of ghee, coconut pieces, jaggery, rice, and cardamom powder. It is circular in shape and brown in colour. The best part about Neyyappam is its shelf life, as it can be stored in airtight containers for up to a week. The best place to enjoy this delectable sweet is Thiruvananthapuram.

* Adhirasam

This is undoubtedly the most enjoyable sweet dish in Tamil Nadu and is famously known as the desert of the gods. It is a traditional Indian sweet made from rice, jaggery, ghee, and spices like cardamom, sesame, pepper, and ginger powder. This doughnut-like treat is a significant part of festivities during Deepavali and Ganesha Chaturthi, serving as offerings in homes and temples across Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Historical inscriptions from the 16th century refer to its preparation with rice flour, jaggery, butter, and pepper. The elaborate cooking process involves soaking, grinding, fermenting, and frying the dough to a golden brown hue. 


* Dharwad Pedha

Dharwad Peda originated in Dharwad, Karnataka, by the Thakur family over 175 years ago, who had migrated from Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, to Dharwad in the early 19th century due to a plague outbreak. Ram Ratan Singh Thakur, the family's first confectioner, crafted this sweet delicacy using milk from Dharwadi buffaloes raised by the Gavali community. The secret recipe has been meticulously guarded and passed down the family line. Initially exclusive to Dharwad, the pedas are now available across Karnataka, including Bengaluru and Davanagere. Its unique flavours are challenging to replicate. The preparation involves thick milk, cardamom, and sugar, though the exact method remains a closely held secret.

* Pugga

Pugga, or til bugga, is a traditional fudge-like sweet made from sesame seeds, jaggery, and cardamom powder. It is a special sweet tied to Sakat Chauth, or Ganesh Chauth, a Hindu celebration dedicated to Lord Ganesha, which falls on the fourth day of Krishna Paksha in the month of Magh as per the Hindu Calendar. During this observance, women keep a fast, motivated by their desire for their children's happiness and prosperity. The tradition has a significant story associated with it, emphasising a mother's love and sacrifice. Women perform special prayers in the morning, prepare pugga, which is til he laddoo, at home, and offer a portion of this sweet, along with fruits, radish, and sugarcane, symbolising blessings to the divine and the needy. The fast concludes by presenting the pugga and water to the moon and eating the sweet to end the fast.

These sweets mark seasons, religious celebrations, and royal legacies. These yummy sweets showcase different flavours that come from places like Rajasthan, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and more. Their historical roots and unique preparation methods contribute to their exclusivity and local pride, emphasising the cultural richness of India's culinary heritage.  Each sweet, from Alwar Kalakand to Pugga, has its own story connected to Indian traditions and the way of life in those parts of the country. It's like taking a bite out of history and culture!