It's time to indulge in Indo-Western fusion sweets. Go beyond the good old motichoor laddoos and gulab jamuns and pick motichoor doughnuts and chocolates in shapes of fire crackers to live up the Diwali fever.
Outlets like Dunkin' Donuts, Choko la, Haagen-Dazs and Yogurberry are trying to cash in on the festive season to offer quirky delights to engage youth in trying Indian flavours of international sweets.
"This is an attempt to offer something topical and in tune with the country's culture," Dev Amritesh, COO, Dunkin' Donuts India, told IANS.
Doughnuts, the sweet rings of dough said to have originated in the US, are usually topped with chocolate and colourful sprinklers.
But US-based Dunkin' Donuts, which opened shop in India only earlier this year, has introduced motichoor surprise, kesar pista delight, petal jamun, nuts n stars and coconut burst for the Diwali season.
The petal jamun is a flower-shaped doughnut topped with mango-flavoured icing and a small gulab jamun in the middle, while the coconut burst has a juicy rasgulla in the middle.
"The response is very positive," said Amritesh. "It is a good idea for corporate gifting, and we are getting orders of 100 to 300 packs. It has struck a chord with youth as well, as they like to try something new."
Kaveri Singh, a young college-goer says her grandparents haven't ever tried a doughnut. But she feels she can now tempt them into eating them with the kesar pista delight.
"It's a flavour they have enjoyed with kulfi for years; so I am guessing they might take a liking to doughnuts with this. And it's just something new, different from the usual barfis and laddoos," said Singh.
Choko la has launched chocolate crackers!
"The idea is to spread festivity and stay true to the essence of Diwali," Ravi Pahuja, COO of Choko la, told IANS.
Apart from the usual Diwali gift packs, his brand has launched limited edition mock firecracker-themed chocolates packaged in retro-styled boxes.
Choose from choko sparkles - edible chocolate sparklers made with pretzel sticks and dark chocolate; choko blast - dark chocolate fudge dunked dark chocolate; rocket rose - dark chocolate roses; and choko anaar - traditional Indian shape of flowerpot filled with rice crispies moulded in dark chocolates.
"The decision was to create something classic and take inspiration from boxes of firecrackers, found in the streets of India. These chocolates are our way of celebrating Diwali without really lighting firecrackers, it's a fun and festive twist to Diwali," said Pahuja.
Premium ice-cream brand Haagen-Dazs' festive delights include vanilla, chocolate or macadamia nut ice creams inspired by Indian barfi, and gulab jamun-inspired Belgian chocolate ice cream.
The makers describe it as contemporary and creative transformation of the traditional mithai.
For health conscious consumers, there are Red Mango's pistachio-flavoured yogurt and Yogurberry's fresh fruit yogurts such as honey and pistachio, strawberry and banana and special nut mix. You could add fresh fruit toppings and dry fruit toppings to create your own twist.
"This festive season we urge our customers to refrain from heavy Indian sweets and opt for healthier options while still indulging in your sweet tooth," said Ameer Husain of Yogurberry.
What are you waiting for? Go gorge!
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at email@example.com)