The festival of lights will be celebrated in 2 weeks in Mauritius.
In many Hindu homes, the preparations have already started with the usual deep cleaning, dusting and scrubbing and getting new clothes to celebrate the victory of good over evil. Diwali is also an occasion to get new household items, gifts for the family - a way to start life afresh. The most important aspect of the festival are the lights but the sweets are just as important.
In Mauritius, people from every background love celebrating Diwali because everyone gets to enjoy the variety of sweets that the Hindu community distributes to their family, friends and neighbours.
The sweets take a lot of preparation and a big chunk of time. From making the list of sweets to be prepared, getting the ingredients for each of them and the actual confection. As these are sweets not prepared regularly, every year there is a sharing of recipes. Many chose to prepare the sweets a few days before the festival or on the eve - for the ones that go stale faster. Nowadays, some even opt for ready-made sweets from various shops specialised in these delicacies around the island, Bombay Sweets, Anand Sweets, Ashoka Sweets, Milan Sweets among others.
Below are some of the most common sweets prepared. Most Mauritians are familiar with these, their names are how they are referred to in Mauritius.
The sphere-shaped sweet originated from the Indian subcontinent. It is made up of gram flour, ghee, sugar and other ingredients that vary by recipe. Some like to add chopped nuts and dried raisins. The mixture is then made into balls. Besan Laddoo has a long shelf life and are among the first sweets to be prepared. Get the recipe here: https://restaurants.mu/en/recipe/besan-ladoo-recipe.html
Also a sweet from the Indian subcontinent, barfi is milk based. There are a variety of barfi and they all come in different shapes. The preparation of the sweet requires skill and patience to achieve the perfect texture and taste. You can try this Coconut and Pistachio Barfi for a variation of plain milk barfi: https://restaurants.mu/en/recipe/coconut-and-pistachio-barfi-recipe.html
Khaja is a sweet of Indian / Nepali origin. It can be made plain or sweetened. Prepared with flour and made into layered dough then fried in oil or ghee.
This solid, milk-based and sausage shaped sweet also originates from the Indian subcontinent. It is made from milk powder, deep fried then dipped in a sugar syrup. Mauritians love gulab jamun. They are usually the first thing that will be eaten from the diwali packs made for distribution.
The shortbread biscuits made from rice flour and sugar and ghee originated from South Asia. It is one of the few sweets that are baked instead of fried for the celebration of Diwali.
Also of Indian subcontinent origin- the Rasgulla is similar to gulab jamun except that it is round and spongier. Rasgulla also absorbs a lot of syrup, so if you are trying to cut your sugar intake, avoid these. Otherwise you can get the recipe here: https://restaurants.mu/en/recipe/gulab-jamun-rasgulla-recipe.html
This is a must in the list of sweets and cakes to make for Diwali. A dough made of sweet potato is filled with shredded coconut and is deep fried.
There are many other sweets that are prepared for Diwali, but these are among the most popular and most liked. Whether you buy or make the sweets, the beauty of the festival of light is of love and sharing.//= $no_script_html_string ?>