The world of Indian desserts witnessed a major change when the trusted local halwai was overtaken by branded, multi-store chains such as Haldiram’s and Bikanervala. Though this was more than half a century ago, there is once again a similar uprising, albeit a quieter one and for a more discerning audience. A number of luxury mithai makers have stepped onto the scene, taking the basics such as besan laddoo, khoya barfi, kaju katli et al a notch higher by introducing sweets such as 24 carat gold varq Pistachio Laddoo, Caramel Pedha, and Besan Truffle.
Handcrafted, innovative, and blending Indian traditional with international flavours, these luxury mithai brands have been seen taking over the weddings of Shloka Mehta and Akash Ambani, and Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal. So we rounded up the five must-try brands for your dose of luxury mithai this rakhi.
While their name may be Gur Chini, the brand focuses on using healthier sugars for all their offerings. With two permanent stores in Delhi and presence across India and abroad, they are known for treats like Bavarian chocolate barfi, South American almond tacos, and pistachio paan, all made using the stevia plant for sweetness. They also use jaggery from sugarcane, palmyra, date plam, and nelon; four types of honey — Manuka, Buckwheat, Garchia, and Rosemary; and different dates such as Khadrawi, Kustaw, Deglet Noor, Medjool. Keeping sweets natural and healthy is their motto, and their low- and no-sugar options carry that even further, never compromising on taste.
Started by Sid Mathur of Impresario Hospitality (of Social and Smokehouse fame), Khoya seeks to bring back ancient Indian recipes of mithai while adding the modern tweak of thoughtful packaging (reminiscent of elegant French charm if you ask us). But don’t just go by its boxes – the mithai inside features exquisite concoctions like beetroot laddoo, alphonso coconut laddoo, mango barfi, paan peda, and rose petal besan laddoo. With two stores in Delhi, Khoya is your go-to for understated elegance (other than the mouth-melting mithai, of course). Their Rakhi specials include malai and kesar ghewar, and assorted boxes available for pre-order on +91 99100 96940.
This brand celebrates the age-old art of making mithai, believes in ethically sourced produce, employs no artificial additives (only natural flavouring), and uses entirely recyclable boxes. Their packaging is done with as much care as the making of mithai (their boxes have names like Petit 4, Sparkler, Famille, Savoury Square, and Rectangle Fix) The brainchild of chef duo Ashay Dhopatkar and Neha Lakhani, the former says that they always wondered why an Indian sweets couldn’t be given the same finesse and importance as its French counterpart. “Going forward, we want mithai to be just as relevant and admissible as its French counterparts like Belgian Chocolate or a classic French macaron,” adds Dhopatkar. And this led to their delectable sweets like Besan Truffle (besan laddoo with dark Belgian chocolate truffle filling), Caramel Pedha (Mathura ka peda with a dulce de leche centre), and Malterine Marmalade (tangy malta and tangerine with gurmandi almond paste) amongst others. Their Rakhi specials include thalis and gift boxes available for order at +91 97111 55655.
Inspired by everyday objects, Berfila follows the belief of ‘quality, care, and creating unique products’. The newest kid on the block, it was started last year and operates out of a home kitchen in Gurgaon. With a focus on gifting, their design is muted finesse, with fun flavours thrown in like fudges in flavours of bubblegum, matcha, jamun & lemon, mango, strawberry; white chocolate and raspberry motichoor laddoo, ghiya barfi. They also have regular mithai such as coconut laddoo, milk cake, kalakand, khoya barfi, and such. Their Rakhi specials of 16 and 9-piece sweets available at +91 9999721481 and +91 8375997836.
If millennial luxury mithai is what your’e looking for, Nihira is the answer. Motichoor laddoos in flavours such as wine, champagne, and lavender; blueberry, elderflower, and cheesecake barfi; jalapeño and cheese namak paare — you can’t give this menu a miss. Using only organic ingredients, Nihira celebrates the fact that ‘mitha’ is the centre of any Indian auspicious occasion, supplementing these with their handcrafted mithai. Their Rakhi specials can be ordered by contacting them at +91 97171 22667.
With all brands taking into consideration customisation requests and delivering to several locations across India, this new face of luxury mithai is one that definitely needs to be experienced.