Sweeten Your Navratri With These Desserts From 5 Indian States
Image Credit: A platter of Indian sweets, hmhub.in

The ten-day-long Hindu festival, celebrating the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon king Mahishasura, initiates a grand festive mood across India. No one wants to disrupt the emotional bond this festival and sweets create. Without sweets, there can be no celebration. In practically every Indian state, households associate sweets with this festival which is known by different names in different regions. For North-Eastern and Eastern parts, it is Durga Puja, down south it is Dasara, the Northern, North-Western and Western regions identify it as Navratri. And Dussehra is the most common name of this festive extravaganza. 

While eastern states like West Bengal go on a grand celebration, the western, southwestern and southern states have their exclusive sweets that take centre stage of these festivities. 


Mango shrikhand

The Durga Puja celebration is observed as Navratri in Gujarat. The festival is centred mainly around the well-known dance called garba. Locals perform this high-energy dance, and the soirees last till the wee hours. Eat apple barfi, peda, shrikhand, rajgira laddoo, and Shakkaria no Shiro (sweet potato halwa) if you're craving something sweet after an intense garba. Give them a try because they are simple to create at home.

Tamil Nadu

The highlight of Navratri south is Golu, an arrangement of celebratory dolls and figurines on step-like constructions. It narrates a religious story. Payasam, a popular sweet treat in Tamil Nadu, plays a significant role in the prasadam served during Navratri. Vermicelli, milk, sugar, and cardamom powder are the main ingredients of the traditional payasam recipe. Other variations make it with moong daal or aromatic rice. When people visit as guests to see their Golus, the host welcomes them with sundal, fruits, and this delicious payasam.

West Bengal

Coconut laddoo

The state is famed for its sweetmeats. A trip to any part of West Bengal won’t be complete without tasting the mindboggling range of indigenous sweet something. When it is about Durga Puja, the state goes all out on such decadent delicacies. The list of sweets to try during this festival is endless. But one must not miss a few unique ones, such as sor bhaja, norom paak er sondesh, chom chom, komola bhog, sitabhog, and lobongo lotika. Narekel naaru, or coconut laddoo, is another staple during Durga puja. Though it has been prepared at home, one can also get them in shops. 

Andhra Pradesh

This southern state is known for its decadent traditional desserts and sweets. Every festival has an inclusion of sweet something. Durga puja gets more extensive as Dasara here, which is the last or tenth day of this festival. Nevertheless, the previous nine days have their significance. Usually, each day a special kind of sweet is offered to the goddess. If you are in this state during this festive period, try paramannam, annam payasam, or bellam paramannam. It is a creamy dessert made with milk, rice, clarified butter and dry fruits. A few other sweets are Kajjikayalu, Gavvalu, Kakinada khaja, Burelu, Kobbari Kova and sweet pongal.


Kakara pitha, Image Source: themishtibox.com

This is another state where Durga puja is celebrated extravagantly. Especially the twin cities Cuttack and Bhubaneshwar attract the most crowd who come here to witness the grandeur. Apart from the state's signature sweets like chena poda, chena goja, rasabali, rasogolla, the highly-cherished pitha, Kakara gets special attention. It comes in flat and filled varieties. Rice flour, semolina, wheat flour, or maida make the outer layer. While grated coconut, cottage cheese, and sugar or jaggery go as the stuffing. These are then fried in clarified butter. Kakara pitha is offered to the Goddess Durga on Mahastami or Mahanabami.