Skip to Content

Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2672

Chennai Sweets Add Flavor To American Diwali

By Prakash M. Swamy
Chennai, 05 November, (

More than 3000 kilograms of pure ghee sweets specially made for Indian Americans were airlifted to 21 states in the US in the last five days to help them celebrate Diwali in traditional style with Indian flavor. They were delivered to the doorsteps in less than 48 hours across the US, thanks to the support of US Border and Customs that recognized the importance of celebrating Diwali with India-made sweets.

Balaji Pattappa, owner of Pattappa Catering Service and third generation catering contractor has rented Hemamalini Kalyana Mantap, a huge marriage hall in the heart of Chennai with over 200 expert cooks who have specialized in making traditional sweets. They make over 50 varieties of mouth-watering traditional sweets such as mysorepak, Rava laddu, cashew cake, sonpapdi, chocolate cake and Badam Halwa to name a few. Also the cooks make at least 20 varieties of savories like mixture, murukku, karasev and omapodi in the hygienically tested specially erected kitchen certified by the Corporation of Chennai.

Parents and relatives of those living in the US and 40 other countries make the purchases at the counters and hand them over to the specially set up DHL Courier counter staff in the same premises who helps the customers airlift to any part of the US and other nations with ease seamlessly. Typically the gift boxes are delivered in 48 hours to the doorsteps of the recipients.

Pattappa has been a household name in catering in Chennai for the past 70 years and takes care of marriage cooking of VVIPs like movie starts, governors and chief ministers. They are known for their quality and hygiene and realizing the demand for quality sweets abroad the company has launched NRI services for the past 15 years by hiring a marriage hall.

“We were supplying Diwali sweets to residents of Chennai for the past several decades. Now that every household has someone in the US or other Western nations, parents and relatives requested us to deliver the same quality sweets to those living abroad and we tied in with the DHL to make the delivery,” Balaji Pattappa said in an interview. Tamil Nadu is the home of traditional South Indian sweets.

Ramanathan Sankaran, a retired banker whose son lives in Edison, NJ said:” My son has asked me to send 100 one kilo boxes of assorted genuine ghee sweets so that he can distribute them to his friends and coworkers. He has been doing this for years and the sweets arrive fresh well in time for Diwali. They have become a big hit in his company and got him a very good name.”

Dr. Kartik, a physician says he gifts a unique sweet item called “Therattupal” made out of boiling milk at high temperature, to his friend John Joseph in Long Island. “This and other kind of traditional sweets like maaladu and nukkal are not available anywhere in the US and hence they become special when we gift to our friends.”

“We also serve the needs of local customers who come in large numbers. On an average we sell about 3500 kilos of sweets to lcoal customers. All the visitors - whether they buy sweets or nor - are served with sumptuous breakfast, lunch, evening snack and dinner to celebrate the festive season. After all Diwali is a festival of celebrations and what better way than to take care of people’s pallets,” said Balaji Pattappa.

“As a policy we never use preservatives, colors, chemicals, or reuse cooking oil. We only use the best ingredients and in house ghee and oil that are of highest standard. These sweets are prepared in such a way that it has a shelf life of two weeks. We also serve corporate who make bulk orders like 5,000 boxes of sweets for their customers and well-wishers,” Balaji Pattappa said. “We do not advertise the sale and all the sale happens through referral only as we do hundreds of wedding each year.”

D Saravanan of DHL Express Services, who has set up a special counter to ship the gift boxes abroad, said they adhere to all the norms of FDA and hence face no problems when the shipment arrives in the US. “They are especially double packed and create special invoice, list all the contents for easy clearance at airports. We never faced a single issue so far,” he said. “To help NRIs celebrate Diwali we are offering a 50 percent discount on shipment and charge only Rs 1,524 to send a kilogram of sweets for two-day delivery anywhere in the US as against the normal rate of Rs 3,000 a kilogram.”

On an average 3,000 to 4,000 people visit every day during the five-day sale that ends of Diwali eve. Balaji Pattappa has been chosen this year to serve the guests and musicians at the prestigious Music Academy during its December annual music season. He is planning to set up a branch in New York to cater to Indian weddings and other family events with high class authentic South Indian catering.

- Asian Tribune –

Handmade Jangiris ready for delivery in the US

DHL team on hand to arrange seamless delivery of sweets to US residents

Customers waiting to place orders

specially made gift boxes

Mounds of freshly made savories
Assorted sweet gift box

Balaji Pattappa with gift box ready to be shipped to the US
Table full of freshly made laddus
Handmade Jangiris ready for delivery in the US
diconary view
Share this