Kuswar or Kuswad is a set of festive sweets and snacks made and exchanged by Christians of the Konkan region in the Indian subcontinent for the Christmas season or Christmastide. These goodies are major parts of the cuisines of the Goan Catholic community of Goa in the Konkan region, and the Mangalorean Catholic community of Karnataka.[1] There are as many as 22 different ethnic recipes that form this distinct flavour of Christmas celebration in Goa and Mangalore.[2] Kuswad is also made and exchanged by Karwari Catholics of Carnataca and the Kudali Catholics of Sindhudurg, in the Konkan division of Maharashtra.

Koswad in Bombay metro

Koswad, derived from the Indo-Portuguese term consoada, refers to the dinner served on Christmas Eve; it is synonymous with the Christmas spirit of "sharing" for the Bombay East Indian Catholics in their native Maharashtri Konkani dialects. Koswad ranges from kidyos and nevryos, to Christmas cakes, duck roasts, marzipan & other delicacies.[3][4][5]


See also: Goan Catholic cuisine

Kolkola or Kulkuls
Nevrio or Neuries
Baath (coconut-semolina cake)

The kuswar of Goan Catholics contains as many as 22 different traditional recipes that give a distinct flavour to Christmas celebration in Goa.[6]


See also: Mangalorean Catholic cuisine

Mangalorean Catholic Kuswar in Bombay (Mumbai)

The kuswar of Mangalorean Catholics also has traditional recipes. Neuero or Neuries are puffs stuffed with plums, nuts, and fried theel (sesame) and sugar. Kidyo or Kulkuls are curly concoctions dipped in sugar treacle, Pathekas are savoury of green nandarkai bananas. Simple salted or sweetened Tukdi (Diamond Cuts), theel Laadus and Golios are other items found in kuswar. Macaroons[dubious ] is what Manglore is famous for and the subtle flavoured Rose Biscuits are a favourite. The Rich Plum Cake takes the better part of a week to make. Candied fruit, plums, currents and raisins are cut and soaked in rum. Flour is sieved and gently warmed in the sun. Nuts are shelled and chopped and families make the cake together. Jobs are allotted; one whips up the eggs while another creams the butter and sugar, cake tins are lined, and a strong pair of arms are requested to do the final mixing and stirring. The Mitais, Mandas, Ushae, Pitae & Manni are well-known, sweet dishes included in the kuswar.[8]

Mumbai (Bombay), Thana (Trombay) & Vasai (Bassein)

The koswad of Bombay East Indian Catholics also includes recipes like thali sweets, donuts, date rolls etc. These are not found among Goans of southern Konkan, Mangaloreans or Karwaris of Carnataca & Damanese of Damaon, Dio & Silvassa.

See also


  1. ^ MichaelLuu (25-12-2021), KFC, apples as gifts, Kuswar: Unusual Christmas traditions these people swear by. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  2. ^ Metro Plus Mangalore, Santa, cakes and kuswar[usurped]. [25-11-2006]. The Hindu. Archived from the original[usurped].
  3. ^ "Peek into the Christmas Kitchen of an East Indian". 16 December 2017.
  4. ^ "16 Christmas Destinations in India with Unique Customs and Culture! – Orange Wayfarer". 17 December 2018.
  5. ^ "How the East Indian community, considered Mumbai's original inhabitants, is celebrating Christmas". 25 December 2016.
  6. ^ Sharon Fernandes (14-12-2014), Kusvad at Mãe’s. The Indian Express.
  7. ^ Joanna Lobo (19-12-2020), For Goan Catholics, Christmas is incomplete without the sweets. Condé Nast Traveller.
  8. ^ Pai, RoseMary Albuquerque (2006). "Mangalorean Catholic Cuisine". The Summer Sands Online newspaper. Archived from the original on 25 January 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2009.