Sweets are the defining feature of any Indian state. Indians love their food but more than that, they love their sweet delicacies that differ from one region to the next, depending on the availability of resources. When it comes to treating your Tastebuds, Karnataka is full of surprises. In this land of incredible culture and rich heritage, the sweets add a hint of happiness to the whole experience. Try out some of the most popular and wholesome sweet delicacies that represent a diverse range of flavours and textures. The assortment of sweets found in Karnataka will definitely be a treat for foodies and travellers alike.
Here are the famous Sweets of Karnataka
You may have heard of regular or stuffed Parathas, but have you ever heard of sweet stuffed Parathas? Obbattu is one of the most loved sweet dishes of Karnataka. This traditional flatbread is the perfect balance of sweet and savoury. Other than Karnataka it is also lived across various states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa. The core ingredients for this are all purpose flour, Semolina, Chana Dal, Jaggery or sugar and green cardamom. Other than Obbattu, this sweet snack is also known as Puran Poli across India. Prepared during regular as well as special occasions, Obbattu tastes best when served with payasam.
Referred to as Gujiya in North India, Karjikai is one of the most beloved sweet snacks of Karnataka. The pastry is made out of wheat flour or all-purpose flour and it is shaped into a crescent moon. The filling is made by combining generous amounts of Jaggery, dal and coconut or you can just fill it up with anything you like depending on your preferences. This preparation is then deep fried in hot oil until golden crispy on the outside with warm flavour packed sweet deliciousness on the inside. Prepared during special occasions like pujas or festivals, Karjikai is also offered as Prasadam.
3. Mysore Pak
Mysore Pak is one of the most popular types of sweet that is loved and savoured throughout the world. Originating in the city of Mysore (hence the name), the Paak is made using ghee, gram flour, sugar and sometimes cardamom. A typical Mysore Pak tastes like a very dense cookie. Prepared to mark special occasions like marriages or even baby showers and festivals, the paak was the result of the Maharaja of Mysore’s experiments with different sweets as he was a big time foodie. This sweet dish has quickly gained rank for being one of the most famous sweets of Karnataka.
4. Dharwad Peda
With a history of almost 200 years old and tracing its roots back to the Dharwad city in Karnataka, this is a unique Peda famous for its interesting taste. Just like other Peda preparations, the Dharwad Peda is also made using just ghee, sugar and milk. But what makes it different is the use of only Dharwadi buffalo milk. These cows are raised by the people of the Bavali community that reside near the Dharwad region. To make the Peda the milk is stirred continuously very slowly over a long period of time with sugar being added to it gradually. This makes it into an almost condensed form. Definitely a must try.
5. Kesari Bath
The term Kesari means orange colour and in this traditional Karnataka sweet this name is given to the usage of Kesar that gives the whole meal its beautiful orange colour. The main ingredient of the sweet is semolina or Sooji and in many ways it can be deemed as being similar to the traditional North Indian Sooji Ka Halwa. The primary ingredients of this recipe comprises ghee, Rava, Sugar, Water and saffron. This sweet semolina pudding is sometimes topped off with roasted and sometimes sweetened dry fruits of your choice.
6. Belgaum Kunda
Originating from the city of Belgaum, Kunda is a favourite among the locals of Karnataka. The Kunda is made out of Khova which is a thickened form of milk derived from heating it slowly. The Khova is then boiled extensively to get rid of most of its water content so that it becomes concentrated. Sugar is also added gradually as the Khova is reduced in amount. In the final stages dry fruits and cardamom powder is added to give the whole preparation an aromatic as well as a tasteful punch of flavour. Since Belgaum is known as the sugar bowl of Karnataka one can definitely expect a great time when it comes to sweets.
7. Gasagase Payasa
Gasagase Payasa is an authentic traditional creamy dessert made using coconut milk and poppy seeds. Made during really special occasions such as festivals and other such events, it should not be confused with a regular vermicelli Kheer or traditional rice recipe. It has a very different taste, unlike any sweet dish you may have tasted. This flavour is derived from the use of poppy seeds. People sometimes also add something extra like powdered Jaggery giving it a slight brown tinge to the whole dish. The poppy is first grinded into an almost powdery form and sometimes even cooked in coconut milk instead of regular one.
Kajjaya or Anarsa can be found in almost every household across Karnataka. This is a traditional deep fried South Indian sweet prepared from grounded rice and Jaggery. Not only is this sweet made to mark some important festival like Diwali or other events it is also prepared as a regular evening tea time snack. Almost every state in south India has their own version of Kajjaya that may differ in taste and texture. The rice batter is combined with Jaggery paste which is then deep fried in piping hot oil. Although difficult to make for beginners, once you get a hang of it, it’s totally worth it.
Karadantu is a healthy traditional dessert which is authentically made in Karnataka. Made primarily in north Karnataka, the recipe involves the use of dry coconut, edible gum and a host of assorted dry fruits. Made for women to deal with the post pregnancy blues it is also prepared during some special occasion or the other. It can come under the category of a healthy protein bar and it can include any flavour of dry fruits without sugar you like. The health benefits associated with this sweet are numerous and makes for the perfect healthy alternative to regular sweet packed desserts of Karnataka.
10. Rava Unde
Rava Unde or Rava Ladoo is an authentic and super traditional sweet found hugely all over South India and not just restricted to Karnataka. The main ingredient is semolina or Sooji and coconut flakes. For making this the coconut flakes are combined evenly with the Rava and then allowed to rest for a couple of hours. Before turning it into laddoos this Rava coconut mixture is then toasted on low flame. It is then mixed with ghee / Jaggery and dry fruits which not only packs the Laddoo with flavour but also gives it a crunchy and chewy texture.
11. Dumrot/Khasi Halwa
This has to be one of the most unique types of sweet delicacy that you may have ever tasted. This is also another way of learning that the people of Karnataka try to add some amount of healthful goodness to anything they cook. Made out of ash gourd vegetable and sugar, this is a very popular Udupi recipe. The entire preparation is extremely time consuming where the ash gourd is grated and very slowly stirred for a long period of time until it is browned and caramelized. It goes best with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and even Gulab Jamun sometimes.
12. Besan Ladoo
Besan Ladoo is loved by people from all over the subcontinent. The prime ingredient being besan or chickpea flour. This traditional Indian Ladoo is made across the country and loved by everyone. Using just 3 ingredients of Besa, ghee and sugar these small delicious sweet Ladoos are also sometimes topped off with dry fruits. Served as Prasadam in many temples this Ladoo preparation is made during special occasions or just to have after dinner. The roasted chickpea flour is combined with ghee and sugar and made into small balls. It can be stored in an airtight container to keep it more lasting.
13. Avarebele Halwa
Avarebele is a unique sweet that cannot be found anywhere else other than Karnataka. The star of the dish are the hyacinth beans which are famous for their versatility. It is used in making both sweet as well as savoury snacks. Avarebele Halwa is a crunchy, wholesome and delicious Halwa that is eaten even at breakfast and enjoyed by people of all ages. The beans are soaked for a couple hours before roasting and then cooking it. If you are travelling anywhere in Karnataka, trying out this sweet dish should be a must!
The sweet in Karnataka is not Justa about Rava, coconut flakes and ghee, the Chiroti is an interesting flaky pastry sweet dish. The main ingredients for this humble sweet delicacy are Maida, sugar and ghee. People also like making it with semolina to adds some extra crunchiness. This authentic premium south Indian dish is mainly made for special occasions like marriages, Brahmopadesham feast and other such special events. After it is fried until golden brown, powdered sugar is dusted on top of it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What Is Karnataka Famous For?
Ans. Karnataka is famous for Mysore silk and sandalwood.
Q. When Is The Best Time To Travel To Karnataka?
Ans. Anytime of the year. The best time would be from October to March.
Q. What Are The Hill Stations In Karnataka?
Ans. Coorg, Chikmagalur, Nandi Hills, Br Hills, Kemmanagundi etc. are some of the most famous hill stations of Karnataka.
Q. What Are Some Must Try Foods In Karnataka?
Ans. Korri Gassi, Neer Dosa, Mysore Masala Dosa, Coorg Pandi Curry, Kane Rava Fry, Mysore Pak etc. are the most famous foods in Karnataka.
Q. Which Is The Coldest Place In Karnataka?
Ans. Sampakhanda is the coldest place in Karnataka.