5 Karnataka sweets that should be in your Diwali gift box

Discover where to shop for delicious Karnataka sweets including Holige, Kayi Kadubu, Mysore Pak, Dharwad Peda, and Kardant, in Bengaluru for Deepavali, adding an authentic touch to your celebrations

November 10, 2023 01:03 pm | Updated November 11, 2023 01:13 pm IST

Karnataka sweet gift box by Anand Sweets

Karnataka sweet gift box by Anand Sweets | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Deepavali, the festival of lights, embodies joy and celebration, symbolizing the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. Among its most cherished traditions is the sharing of sweets.

In 2023, mark November 12 on your calendar, as Diwali falls on a Sunday, granting you the luxury of Friday evening and Saturday to indulge in your Diwali sweet shopping. As you plan for this year’s festivities, why not curate a Karnataka sweet box for your loved ones? Karnataka, renowned for its rich culinary heritage, boasts a tempting array of sweets that are unique to the state, including holige, kayi kadubu, Mysore pak, and more.

Here are some delightful Karnataka sweets you can grab at the last minute in Bengaluru to add an authentic touch to your Diwali celebrations.

Holige (Obattu)

Bele holige at Oota, Whitefield

Bele holige at Oota, Whitefield | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

When it comes to sweets, the all-time favorite treat served in Karnataka during Diwali is undoubtedly holige, also known as obattu in certain regions of the state. Holige is a sweet flatbread concocted from maida, blended with small measures of wheat flour, salt, and turmeric. It is typically filled with ingredients, such as dal, jaggery, or coconut.

“The name of this sweet varies based on the specific part of Karnataka where it’s prepared. In the bordering areas with Andhra, it’s referred to as obattu, while in the rest of the state, it goes by the name holige,” says chef Mandaar Sukhtankar of Oota, Whitefield.

During the Deepavali season, you can find three distinct variations of holige that are popular. There is the shenga holige, made with peanuts, the kai holige, features a combination of coconut and jaggery and the belle holige, made with dal and jaggery, stands out as a top choice across Karnataka.

Where to buy: Oota, Whitefield Price: ₹265 per serving

Kayi Kadubu

Kayi kadubu at Oota, Whitefield

Kayi kadubu at Oota, Whitefield | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Another beloved sweet in Karnataka during Diwali is the kayi kadabu, a dumpling made from rice or maida and filled with coconut and jaggery. These kadabus come in two distinctive shapes: one resembling a karanji or gujia, and the other resembling a modak.

“Both styles are typically filled with a mixture of coconut, jaggery, and elaichi, or they can also feature a filling of dal, jaggery, and elaichi,” says Mandaar. The outer covering can be made from rice flour or occasionally from maida. If it is a fried kadabu, it is usually encased in maida, while for steamed kadabus, the covering is made from either maida or rice flour.

Where to buy: Oota, Whitefield Price: ₹265 per serving

Mysore Pak

Mysore pak at MTR Sweets

Mysore pak at MTR Sweets | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Mysore pak, celebrated as the monarch of southern Indian sweets, is a beloved treat in Karnataka households during the festive season. Its origins can be traced to the 19th century when the royal chef Kakasura Madappa created this dessert in the Royal Palace of Mysore for Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV, the reigning monarch of erstwhile Mysore.

Drawing from his culinary prowess, Madappa fashioned a soft pak (mixture) by skillfully blending besan (gram flour), sugar, and ghee. This sweet became an instant hit and was swiftly accorded the esteemed title of the “royal sweet.” The king held such an affection for this creation that he chose to name it after the city of Mysore itself.

“During Diwali, our stores see an uptake in our Mysore pak,” says Hemamalini Maiya, managing partner, MTR.

Where to buy: MTR Sweets Price: ₹950 per kilogram

Dharwad Peda

Dharwad peda

Dharwad peda | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

Dharwad peda has a rich history spanning over 150 years, attributed to the Thakur family, who relocated from Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, to Dharwad in Karnataka during the early 19th century due to a plague outbreak in their hometown. Ram Ratan Singh Thakur, a pioneering confectioner, commenced the production and local distribution of pedas. He made them using the milk of Dharwadi buffaloes, a breed nurtured by the Gavali community in and around Dharwad.

The family upholds a longstanding tradition of safeguarding the peda recipe as an exclusive trade secret, passing it down through generations. Babusingh Thakur’s initial single-store venture, which had operated for numerous decades, subsequently expanded to include outlets in Dharwad, Hubli, Bengaluru, Belagavi, and Haveri.

Where to buy: Dharwad Babu Singh Thakur Pedha Price: ₹750 per kilogram


Karadant at Anand Sweets

Karadant at Anand Sweets | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Kardant, also known as karadantu, originates from Gokak in the Belagavi district of north Karnataka. Traditionally prepared with dried coconut, nuts, seeds, and edible gum, it offers a chewy texture. The name kardant, in Kannada, means fried edible gum.

This sweet has been a staple in the city’s local markets since pre-Independence days, containing nourishing ingredients like raw coconut, jaggery, and finely chopped nuts such as almonds, pistachios, and cashews. Amingad town in Bagalkot district, Karnataka, is also well-known for the karadantu produced in its sweet shops.

Where to buy: Anand Sweets Price: ₹1,040 per kilogram

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.