Looking For Vegan Desserts This Diwali? Here Are 6 Indian Sweets That Will End Your Search
Image Credit: Dairy-free sweets for those who want to enjoy a vegan Diwali.

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to sweets and desserts. Some people relish pastries and tarts more than barfis and kheer while some others can’t stop drooling just at sight of gulab jamuns and jalebis. Then there are those who love to pair two desserts together like gulab jamun with ice cream, jalebi with rabri, kulfi with falooda and so on. The range of sweets that can be seen on an Indian palate are crazy. There are the mildly sweet ones for people like me and then there are the sugar-loaded rich desserts for those with a sweet tooth. 

Amidst a host of such desserts, there is an emerging category that is quite new. Vegan or dairy-free desserts. Now, vegans are those who do not consume dairy-based products like milk, cheese, curd etc. and only follow a plant-based diet. Since numerous desi sweets make use of dairy in one form or another, the options for satiating the vegan sweet tooth become limited. 

However, with an increasing demand for a vegan gulab jamun or kheer, there are several variations that have come up. Here are some of the creative ways in which the traditional Indian sweets have been re- imagined. 

1.  Pear Rabri 

Rabri, for the unversed, is a creamy and thick Indian pudding that is rich in milk. Often times, rabri is used to complement another Indian sweet called jalebi. Poured over the hot and crispy jalebi, this thandi thandi rabri is just an ideal partner. If you are looking for a dairy-free option this Diwali, then you can opt for a rabri made with oats milk and flavoured with the fruit essence of pear. 

2.  Sesame Halwa 

Yet another household favourite Indian sweet, halwa is a thick Indian pudding which can be made from a variety of ingredients. Since winters are approaching, gajar ka halwa is a quintessential Indian dessert for the season. The use of ghee might make it a big no for some people. In order to satiate your halwa cravings, whip up this extremely easy sesame halwa that is gluten-free and suitable for vegans. You can top with honey and dates. Sprinkle some cashews for the crunch. 

3.  Sweet Potato Gulab Jamun 

The crispy sweet balls of mawa are smothered with sugar syrup and come in two different colours. While the traditional gulab jamun is delicious as is, for all the vegans out there, you need not fret. This Diwali, you will be able to enjoy this mithai in your own way. Try these sweet potato balls of gulab jamuns that are dunked in a cardamom-flavoured syrup. 

4.  Dates Ladoos 

The crunchy ladoos today have dairy content in some form or the other. While you see everyone else conveniently popping one or two in their mouth, you just stand there and stare at them but no more. The festive season seems incomplete without a ladoo so here is a dates ladoo version that is completely vegan and can be relished to the heart’s content. You can add peanuts for the crunch if you like. 

5.  Peanuts Chikki 

This has to be my top choice out of the lot. Though I’m not a vegan but chikki is a usual suspect in my Punjabi household in winters. Also called gur ki patti and by several other names in different parts of the country, chikki is a dry sweet which is crunchy and sticky. In fact, the peanut version of chikki is my absolute favourite. 

6.  Kozhukattai 

By the name you must have made out, it is a South Indian sweet meat. This is an inherently vegan dessert that consists of rice flour dumplings stuffed with jaggery and coconut. These bite-sized ladoo-like sweets once eaten, result in interplay of flavours in the mouth.