Indian weddings are incomplete without sweets. Although, various new desserts have made way into the Indian wedding scene, mithais rich is ghee and sugar have been and will be important for the big day. We look at some of the traditional sweets of different communities that are a must for wedding.
South Indians do not opt for extravagance when it comes to weddings but are sure to follow all the rituals and traditional ways. And, most important is the seer varisai or the wedding gifts of which sweets constitute a major part. “Sweets like manoharam or sugar cashew nuts are built up in the shape of a long cone, wrapped in coloured paper and presented as paruppu thengai. These are given in twos or fours and considered to be an auspicious sign and thus are a must,” says Nerul resident Ambika Ramanarayanan, adding, “Mysore pak, laddoo, appam or athirasam, murukku are other sweets that constitute the seer varisai.”
Vashi resident, Maitreyee Basu asserts that celebrations for Bengalis are incomplete without two things; fish and a slew of melt-in-the-mouth sweets that are made of chenna. “A wedding is incomplete without mishti doi, rasmalai, rasmadhuri and rasgullas. Varieties of sandesh are made like mixed fruit sandesh, chocolate sandesh, mango sandesh, rose sandesh, notun gurer sandesh and many more of the like. Other sweets like lancha are also made available during weddings.”
Punjabis are without a doubt people who love to be extravagant and go the extra mile to enjoy to the fullest. And, this they do by exchanging a variety of sweets dripping with desi ghee, sugar and jaggery. “The Punjabi wedding bhaji is compulsory and it includes mathhi, gud pare, shakkar pare, matri (namak pare), panjiri etc. The reason this is kept is because Punjab is an agriculturally rich land and these things can be given in plenty by even a poor man to ensure that the new relation starts on a sweet basis,” says Koparkhairane resident Ritu Sanan. She adds that since marriage is a union of not only two people but two families, Punjabis do not compromise on sweets like kaju katli, motichoor laddu, patisa etc.
Gujarati weddings also have several pre-wedding rituals that emphasise on exchange of sweets simply to celebrate the happy occasion. “From jaan i.e. when the groom comes to the bride’s house to officially seek the mother-in-laws blessings, till the end of the wedding, friends and relatives see no reason to not exchange sweets. While earlier, sweets used to be prepared in bulk in the house itself, today people have the caterers prepare the traditional Gujarati fare like basundi, mohan thaal, halwa, sheera and pedas, besan ladoo among other delicacies,” says Trupti Kapadia, a resident of Airoli.