Chandrakala from Gangaur Sweets: Chandrakala is a crescent-shaped offering with a combination of dry fruits, coconut, khava and semolina at its core that screams festive. Gangaur Sweets on Russell Street makes one of the best versions of these little delights in the city.
Nariyal Modak from Chhappan Bhog: Though modaks have long been associated with Ganesh Chaturthi, the sweet is an apt choice for any festive occasion. The Nariyal Modak at Chhappan Bhog is made with freshly-grated coconut and jaggery enveloped in a mix of rice flour and mava. The store on Shakespeare Sarani has been around since the 1980s, serving premium quality sweets and savouries.
Ghewar from Haldiram’s: A must-try at Haldiram’s is the Ghewar — a Rajasthani delicacy of little discs made from ghee, flour, and sugar syrup. Among the other pop picks from the 80-year-old national food chain are Kaju Barfi, Baklava, Roasted Chana Ladoo, Pinni and Patisa.
Kaju Barfi from Gupta Brothers: Kaju Barfi or Kaju Katli is perhaps the most sought-after mithai on Diwali and Gupta Brothers is the go-to spot for the diamond-shaped sweet. Here, the Kaju Barfi is made traditional to the tee with cashew nuts and cardamom as primary ingredients. Available in multiple branches across Kolkata, some of the savoury items they are known for are the Club Kachori, Dhokla and Dahi Vada.
Gulab Jamun from Tewari Brothers: “All-time favourites at our sweet shops include Doda Barfi and milk cakes but the Gulab Jamun bags the top rank,” shared a representative of the Diamond Harbour branch. The gooey khoya at the centre of the Gulab Jamun and the saccharine rose-flavoured syrup are what make it so special. Best eaten when warm!
Gujiya from Nepal Sweets: Though Nepal Sweets at 16B Sarat Bose Road (near the Elgin crossing) is famous for its savoury snacks but during Diwali, Gujiya is what piques our interest. Much akin to Chandrakala, this crescent-shaped mithai looks like a dumpling. Made of flour, khoya and dry fruits, it hits that sweet spot every time you try one!
Imarti from Annapurna Sweets: Imarti — a flower-shaped sweet that resembles a jalebi or a jilipi is a festive favourite at Annapurna Sweets. The three-decade-old sweet shop chain, located across Kolkata, has been whipping up the sweet since its inception and has notched a huge fan following in the city. The crispy outer shell of the Imarti is always fried to a beautiful orange hue and ensures a vibrant addition to the festive spread.
Rasmalai from Bhikaram Chandmal: The creamy rasmalai is just perfect to end a festive spread on a much sweeter note. And Bhikaram Chandmal’s rasmalai is one that merits exploration. Made traditionally, the 125-year-old recipe is punctuated with interesting flavours of saffron, cardamom and dry fruits that leave you craving for more.