As Indians, don’t we all want a sweet dish at the end of dinner? And during festivals, it is our most favourite thing to do and we take it very seriously. Well, this is a list of some of the lip-smacking sweet dishes of Karnataka that you got to try when you visit there or can even be experimented with to add it in your dessert list post-dinner.
Just so you can imagine, a hot paratha (bread) with a stuffing prepared from dal and jaggery, served with hot ghee floating on the top. Very delicious! You can even add hot milk on top to escalate the taste. Well, an Obattu can have varieties of stuffing. Some parts of Karnataka even make it with a stuffing of peanut and also grated coconut. It just gets better with each bite.
Now imagine obattu but molded into a crescent shape, but this time, it is deep-fried. Where does the ghee go? Well, most of them, especially in North Karnataka, prefer to break it into half and pour hot ghee into each half and let it sink all in. Again stuffing varies, the most popular is the one which is stuffed with grated coconut, sugar, and sesame, making it crunchy.
3. Mysore Pak
This is a no brainer. Mysore Pak is a ‘must-try’, no matter what. Made up with an extremely generous amount of ghee, it melts in your mouth. History says that Mysore Pak was an accidentally discovered dish that was prepared during the reign of Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV in the Mysore Palace by his chief chef. It was King Wadiyar who named it Royal Sweet Mysore Pak. And then, of course, it was made available to the general public later on.
4. Dharwad Peda
Tiny sweet balls made from milk added flavor and powdered sugar on top are an absolute delight. Again, a must-try. You don’t want to miss this. Dharwad is a city in Karnataka from where this delicacy originates and it was indeed prepared from the milk of Dharwad Buffaloes. This also has a bit of history, it was prepared by a Thakur family who shifted to Dharwad from UP. Babu Singh Thakur’s Peda is a popular outlet that sells the original Dharwad Peda.
5. Kesari Bath
This is a classic sweet dish usually had for breakfast along with Upma. This combination is popularly known as Chow Chow Bath which is available in any restaurant you visit in Karnataka. It is also served traditionally on a banana leaf. Prepared from rava, ghee, sugar, nuts and, of course, kesar, it is a very easy sweet dish to prepare.
6. Belgavi Kunda
Belgaum is a city in Karnataka, therefore, the name explains it. Made from sugar, milk, and curd, Belgavi Kunda is an absolute delight to your taste buds. This sweet dish has a story, the man who created this happened to have forgotten that he had kept the milk to boil and it boiled for hours. By the time he realized, the milk had taken a solid-ish form and tasted sweet. He then added Kohwa into it which resulted in something that he named as ‘Kunda’.
7. Gasagase Payasam
Gasagase is poppy seeds in Kannada and Payasam is synonymous to Kheer. Popular in festivals, this one is also healthy. The Poppy seeds have a sort of calming effect which makes it apt during summer and helps you get a goodnight’s sleep. Ingredients are simple – poppy seeds, coconut, and jaggery. It is authentic and Kannadigas’ most celebrated sweet dish.
Kajjaya will just blow your mind. When you take your first bite, it is crispy at first and then as you chew, you realize it is extremely soft and juicy from the inside. Golden brown and deep-fried, you need skills to make this one. You need to get the consistency of the jaggery syrup and the rice-jaggery proportion right. It is most popular during Diwali, so you should catch hold of that South-Indian friend of yours.
Fried edible gum is what Karadantu means in Kannada. Filled with dry fruits, Karadantu has a very chewy texture. This sweet dish was discovered after a customer of Dundappa Kalaburgi who used to sell sweets suggested him to add dry fruits and nuts into the sweet to make it tastier. It originates from Gokak, Karnataka although Amingad, Karnataka also makes a variant of Karadantu which is also popular.
10. Rava Unde
This sphere of joy is made from semolina, coconut, sugar, nuts, and ghee. Rava is semolina and unde is basically ladoo. Every Kannadiga’s childhood is filled with memories of this sweet. They may look hard but will melt in your mouth. It is just gorgeous and addictive, so you might want to pack extra boxes.
Well, its high time you visit Karnataka and try them all out along with the other local delicacies of the state. It’s worth it and you can thank me later!