Diwali 2022: mithai shops in the UAE to sweeten the festival of lights

Eating and giving sweets are beloved traditions during the Indian festival

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In addition to decorative rangoli, new clothes and general merrymaking with friends and family, eating mithai (Indian sweetmeats) is a customary part of Diwali.

Sweets are a crucial element of the prayer ceremonies performed during the Indian festival of lights, and often kept out in silver platters all night to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, into the home.

Scroll through the gallery above to learn more about some of the traditional sweets eaten during Diwali

Diwali falls on October 24 this year, and sweetshops around the UAE are gearing up for a sugar-tastic season, with many offering decorative trays and gift-worthy hampers, as well as individual pieces.

Here are a few tried-and-tested shops to scope out.

UAE-wide

Bikanervala

On the menu: The quintessential gulab jamun aside, Bikanervala also stocks moong dal halwa, rasmalai and rasgulla, and other Bengali sweets.

Price point: From Dh4 for a plate of shahi gulab jamun

Locations: in Abu Dhabi at Madinat Zayed and The Galleria, Al Maryah Island; in Dubai at Al Barsha, Al Ghurair Centre, Al Karama, Business Bay, Dubai Hills Mall, JLT, Palm Jumeirah, Silicon Oasis, The Dubai Mall, Trade Centre and Umm Suqeim; and in Sharjah at Al Majaz.

Chhappan Bhog

On the menu: Gulab jamun and rasgulla are its two best-sellers, and the restaurant also does a mean rasmalai in saffron and cardamom flavours, plus piping hot carrot halwa.

Price point: From Dh3.50 for rasgulla

Locations: In Abu Dhabi at Al Markaziya, Al Reef, Mussaffah and Najda; in Dubai at Al Karama and Discovery Gardens; and in Sharjah at Abu Shagara and Al Ghuwair.

Indian by Nature

On the menu: The restaurant divides its mithais into the classic and signature collections. The former includes gulab jamun with pistachio, rasmalai with saffron and two types of halwa, while the latter takes in jalebi with rabri and malai apple phirni among other options.

Price point: from Dh10 for a plate of pistawala gulab jamun

Locations: In Abu Dhabi at Najda; and in Dubai at Al Karama.

Kamat

On the menu: A selection of traditional Indian sweets aside, Kamat has put together Diwali hampers with dry fruits, mawa-based sweets and even diya-shaped fudge.

Price point: From Dh7 for rasmalai, and Dh50 for a mithai box with 10 pieces of fudge

Locations: In Abu Dhabi at Al Wahda Mall; in Dubai at Business Bay, Dubai Internet City, Ibn Battuta, JLT, Mankhool and Qusais; and in Sharjah at Abu Shagara.

Puranmal

On the menu: Puranmal has one of the most expansive mithai menus in the UAE, listed by the piece and by the kilo, and taking in treats ranging from barfi, peda, laddoos and halwa to Mysore pak, cashew katli, malai sandwich and soan papdi.

Price point: From Dh7 for kurmura laddoo

Locations: In Dubai at Academic City, Al Barsha, Al Karama, Business Bay, DIP, Discovery Gardens, Emirates Hills, IMBZ, Jumeirah, Meena Bazaar, Ras Al Khor, Silicon Oasis, The Greens, Trade Centre; and in Sharjah at Abu Shagara and Al Nahda.

Regal Plus

On the menu: A multi-page mithai menu also awaits at “Regal Sweets”, as it’s colloquially known, with options ranging from motichur and besan laddoos to saffron-infused kaju katli and Karachi halwa.

Price point: From Dh7.50 for a kaju kesar pista roll

Locations: In Abu Dhabi at Al Markaziya; and in Dubai at Discovery Gardens and Mankhool.

Abu Dhabi

Mithaiwalas

On the menu: As the name suggests, the focus is firmly on mithais here (although a few savoury street food options are available), with treats ranging from black jamun and pink rasgulla to almond chamcham and saffron pakiza.

Price point: From Dh3 for a kala jamun and mawa sweet

Location: Al Markaziya

Sandesh Sweets

On the menu: Offering a concise but excellent selection, Sandesh serves individual helpings of gulab jamun, malai sandwich and cream rolls, plus milk cake, kaju katli, barfi, jalebi and laddoos by the kilo.

Price point: From Dh2 for a gulab jamun, and from Dh40 for one kilo of jalebi

Location: Al Markaziya

Dubai

Bombay Sweets and Bakery

On the menu: The shop sells mithais under five categories and all by the kilo: milk halwa, barfi, laddoos, cashew-based sweets and peda. Each is offered in various flavours such as fig halwa, coconut barfi, besan laddoo, dry fruit kaju katli and Mathura peda, to name but a few.

Price point: From Dh36 for a kilo of til laddoo

Location: Al Nahda

Shree Haldiram Restaurant

On the menu: The restaurant serves the top five traditional Indian sweets — rasmalai, rasgula, rabri, gulab jamun and jalebi — and allows patrons to pick and mix options to create their own platter.

Price point: From Dh4 for gulab jamun, and Dh35 for an assorted sweets platter

Locations: BurJuman Centre, JLT and Oud Metha

Shree Gangour Sweets - Desilicious

On the menu: The shop divides its offerings under hot mithais (malpua, coin jalebi, angoori gulab jamun) and Bengali sweets (kheer kadam, misti doi and sandesh).

Price point: From Dh4.5 for a regular gulab jamun and kheer kadam

Location: Oud Metha

Scroll through the gallery below to see last year's Diwali preparations across India

Updated: October 12, 2022, 5:41 AM
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