Your annual excuse to load up on sweets

There are so many ways you can indulge in the Deepavali festivities this Nov 6, such as bulk-buying Kolam (brightly-colored rice) for your home decor, watching fireworks and joining in the everyday puja prayers; but one sure way to satisfy both your heart and stomach this festive season is Indian sweets, also known as mittai. If you aren't in with the locals to get intel on the crop of trusted home-based businesses they get their Diwali goodies from, try these stalwart Indian eateries and sweet shops instead. Best part: You can get your fix of Indian goodies there all year round and in bulk.

Banana Leaf Apolo

Banana Leaf Apolo

Known for their authentic banana leaf serving style, this 44-year-old establishment also serves a good range of both Southern and Northern Indian food at modest prices. At Banana Leaf Apolo, the highlight of their dessert menu is the rasmalai, a Bengali sweet made of fluffy Indian cottage cheese (chenna) balls that are soaked in condensed milk and stewed in milk flavored with saffron, cardamom and pistachos. It is often served during weddings and on special occasions. No Indian wedding to attend? Banana Leaf Apolo restaurants will do you a solid. 54 Race Course Rd.

Bismillah Biryani

Bismillah Biryani Restaurant

At pared-back industrial-chic Bismillah Biryani, which does a more modern and less decadent twist on the cuisine, the kulfis are very much well-loved and raved about. Kulfi is the Indian version of ice cream—and the best way to hit back at Singapore’s heat. Although eggless, the popular dessert is creamier and denser than its Western counterpart; and with crowd-favorite flavors like mango and saffron. At Bismillah Biryani, there's only one flavor—Pistachio, but it's so well-received that the restaurant now sells them in a set of six for $15; perfect for huge parties. 50 Dunlop St.

Ganesan Villas

Nestled in the heart of Little India, within the Little Indian Arcade, is a treasure trove of traditional sweets with an even mix of savory snacks. The storefront is unassuming, but sees heavy foot traffic from loyal patrons in search of jalebi, ghee balls, badusha (glazed doughnuts) and other colorful treats. #01-08 Little India Arcade, 48 Serangoon Rd.


Moghul Sweet Shop

Just a stone’s throw away from Ganesan Villas lies Moghul Sweet Shop, another go-to for Indian sweets. Typically regarded as the first sweet shop that specializes in North Indian sweets, Moghul Sweet shop also offers a wide variety of decadent treats that are guaranteed to spoil your sweet tooth. The owner does take care to use pure cow’s milk in his sweets which makes them all the more rich and buttery. #01-16 Little India Arcade, 48 Serangoon Road. 

Shahi Maharani

Shahi Maharani

An elegant, romantic Northern Indian restaurant located at Raffles City, Shahi Maharani has thoughtfully curated a list of Diwali sweets you can purchase as gifts for friends. Amongst them is a modern twist on the traditional Ladoo, or Laddu, a sweet dish made of chickpea flour and sugar, roasted in ghee, until golden-brown. The roasting is said to bring out a nutty fragrance; under-roasting can lead to a lacklustre flavor, whilst over-roasting can result in charring. So don’t bother trying to do this yourself, because you can pick up some dark chocolate and hazelnut ones at Shahi Maharani. If you find your sweets craving insatiable, their desserts menu is well-stocked with rasmalai, various delectable kulfis, and jalebis as well as a dessert platter fit for royalty. #03–21B, 252 North Bridge Rd.


Song of India

Song of India

Singapore's only one-Michelin-starred Indian restaurant, The Song of India has done up a mittai menu just for Deepavali, one that is both authentic and innovative, with a slight slant towards fusion. The sweets are all lovingly handmade with natural ingredients, and crafted to be less sweet than your run-of-the-mill factory makes. Think bursts of flavors like Yuzu, Warm Ginger and Saffron; and for something nutty and tart, the Pink Hibiscus, Wild Raspberry and Pistachio. Equal attention is paid to the packaging, so ornate that it feels like our version of mooncakes. If you're stressing out over what to gift friends or how to please your posh mother-in-law, this stalwart Indian restaurant is a reliable choice. 33 Scotts Rd.

Yantra by Hemant Oberoi

Yantra by Hemant Oberoi

Conveniently located in Tanglin mall, Yantra, is a go-to for an experiential, fine Indian cuisine meal. They serve up an expansive buffet on weekdays and the restaurant is all decked out in plush velvet-cushioned seats and dark panels, a great place for family gatherings and catching up. At Yantra, jalebi is served fresh, sweetened with condensed milk and colored with turmeric powder and saffron. #01-28/33, 163 Tanglin Rd. 

Zaffron Kitchen

Zaffron Restaurant

The very modern Zaffron Kitchen in the East has earned its spot on the Bib Gourmand for good reason. Apart from dishing up satisfying, honest-to-goodness traditional Indian food, they also serve Moong Dal Halwa—a hearty aromatic classic made of lentil that is sauteed til soft, blended into a paste and then flavored with saffron milk and sugar. Topped with saffron strands, nuts and dried raisins, it is served with butter, sugar and a side of Movenpick’s vanilla ice cream and roasted pistachios. 135/137 E Coast Rd.