From Subhash Halwa To Nehru Laddoo, Indian Sweet Shops Once Named Sweets After Freedom Fighters

by Tejashee Kashyap
From Subhash Halwa To Nehru Laddoo, Indian Sweet Shops Once Named Sweets After Freedom Fighters

India’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule was a defining chapter in its history. Beyond history books and monuments, these freedom fighters have also found a unique place in the world of sweets, where confectioners have immortalised their legacy through delectable treats.

Tracing the History: How Certain Sweets Were Named After Freedom Fighters

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Indian sweets played a surprisingly significant role in this struggle, with ingenious minds employing them as a covert means of communication. To convey messages, freedom fighters used code names and symbols cleverly hidden within the sweets. Various flavours and ingredients in the sweets acted as indicators of specific messages. For instance, the use of saffron in “Rasgulla” could represent a warning to stay alert.

Through means of all these, some store owners became so involved that they began renaming their most well-known dishes. Back then, you could find sweets like Subhash halwa and Nehru laddoo—after the names of the leaders. Even now, the Tiranga Barfi finds its prominence. Even now, stores begin offering Tiranga Barfi on holidays like Independence Day.

It served as a means of resistance against British colonial rule, symbolizing the defiance of the Indian people. These confectionery tributes subtly conveyed a message of solidarity and patriotism, instilling a sense of pride and nationalism in the masses.

Also Read: From Laddus To Rasgullas, Indian Sweets Were Once Used As Code Messages For Freedom

Are These Sweets Available Now?

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As we delve into the world of sweets named after freedom fighters, we discover a fusion of history, courage, and culinary artistry. These confectionery tributes not only satisfy our taste buds but also serve as a reminder of extraordinary individuals. But, do these sweets still find prominence?

Prior to the 1980s, people would buy these sweets for their own use, and on Independence Day, many schools and other institutions would place large orders for them, but today, a lot has changed.

Ram Bhandar, a sweet shop in Thatheri Bazar, Varanasi is renowned for having introduced candies with names of national freedom fighters. 1942, the year of the Quit India Movement, saw the introduction of Tirangi Burfi, Gandhi Gaurav, Vallabh Sandesh, Subhash Bhog, Jawahar Laddu, Moti Paak, and Priyadarshini by the late Madan Gopal Gupta.

According to an article published by Hindustan Times, the valour of these sweets is somewhat disappearing. Back then, the Indian city of Varanasi used to be the hub of sweets named after luminaries of India’s freedom which are also vanishing.

Have you ever come across sweets named after freedom fighters?

Cover image credits: Canva