Temple Sweets

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

temple sweets are confections offered to gods and goddesses at their temples’ altars throughout India. Food (cooked or raw) that is offered to the deities is called bhog. After the priest has presided over the gift-giving ceremony and presented the offering, the blessed food comes back to the devotees as prasad. This practice of sharing foods with the immortals has long been the central idea of communal kitchens in temple complexes. Hindu gods and goddesses are known for their sweet tooth and fondness for milk products. See hinduism. Lord Krishna in his childhood often stole butter, and his disciple in Bengal, Chaityana, shared his tastes, particularly when it came to kheer (milk pudding). Another Hindu god with a fondness for sweets is Lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesha, the elephant god, is renowned for his prodigious appetite for modaka and laddu. See laddu and modaka.