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Alternative namesPedha, Pera
CourseDessert, Prasāda, Sweet
Place of originIndian subcontinent (Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, India)
Region or stateIndian subcontinent, Mauritius, Fiji, southern and eastern Africa, the Caribbean, the Malay Peninsula
Main ingredientsKhoya, sugar

Peda (pronounced [ˈpeːɽa]) or Pera is an Indian sweet that originated in the city of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, India. Traditionally prepared as thick, semi-soft round balls, its main ingredients are khoa, sugar and traditional flavourings including cardamom seeds. It is brown in colour. Variant spellings and names for the dessert include pedha, penda (in Gujarati) and pera.

History & Etymology

The word pda is derived from the Sanskrit word Piṇḍa or Piṇḍaka[1] which refers to a lump of food and also a milk & flour-based sweet in the form of a lump. Piṇḍaka as a sweet finds mention in Ayurvedic & Pākaśāstra texts ranging from Charaka Samhita of the 4th century BCE to Bhojanakutūhala of 17th century CE. Charaka Samhita enlists piṇḍaka along with flour-based Indian sweets and describes them as heavy.[2] Bhojanakutūhala describes the preparation of the sweet using milk and sugar with the use of spices like cardamom, cloves and pepper.[3]

The sweet Doodh peda is mentioned in Sanskrit literature by different names like Dugdha Piṇḍaka and Kśīravațikă. For example, Ayurveda Mahodadhi by Acharya Sushena mentions its preparation in Kritanna Varga.[4] Another Ayurvedic treatise Brhadyogatarangini describes Kśīravați sweet which is presently called doodh peda.[5]

Modern variations of pedas originated in the city of Mathura in present-day Uttar Pradesh.[6] The Mathura peda is the characteristic variety of the city. From Uttar Pradesh, the pedas spread to many parts of the Indian subcontinent. Thakur Ram Ratan Singh of Lucknow who migrated to Dharwad (in the present-day Karnataka) in the 1850s introduced pedas there. This distinct variety is now famous as the Dharwad pedha.[7][8] Kandi pedal from Satara in Maharashtra is another variety of peda.[9] Dood peda, made famous by the Nandini Milk Co-operative in Karnataka, is another popular variety.


The calorie content of a peda can vary depending on the size, ingredients, and method of preparation. However, on average, a single peda can contain around 40-90 calories.[10][11] It also has a good amount of protein, fat, sucrose and lactose.[12]

Shelf life and storage

Pedas have a higher Shelf-life compared to few other milk-based sweets such as the rasgulla or the kalakand (last less than 2 days with refrigeration).[13] It is attributed to their high sugar and lower moisture content. It usually lasts 3 days without refrigeration.[14] In response to this challenge, techniques like vacuum and smart packing, adding anti-oxidants, and temperature control can increase the shelf-life of pedas.


Each region has its own method of preparation.[15] Some of the most popular types of peda are Doodh peda/Mathura peda from Uttar Pradesh, Kunthalgiri peda and Dharwad peda from Karnataka, and Lal peda from Eastern Uttar Pradesh.[16] In addition, there are variations with respect to flavor and texture- such as Plain peda, Kesar peda, and Brown peda. To embrace a healthier, low-fat lifestyle, there are now new varieties of pedas available, including hazelnut and walnut flavored options.[17] Other dairy products that share similarities with peda are Kunda,[18] Thabdi,[19] Bal mithai, and Kalakand. While pedas are commonly found in most sweet stores throughout India, there are also large-scale dairy producers such as Amul, Nandini and Mother Dairy that are involved in the production of pedas.[20]

Consumption customs

Pedas during Diwali

It is a dessert consumed on various occasions such as festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Rakhsha Bandhan, baby arrivals or weddings. It is distributed especially when a boy child is born.[21] It is also one of the most popular sweets offered to Krishna during Krishna Janmashtami, the festival that celebrates the birth of Krishna.[22]

In religion

As with laddus, pedas are sometimes used as prasadam in religious services.

It is believed to be Krishna’s favourite sweet and is widely consumed during Krishna Janmashtami. There is a popular story that has been passed down for ages of how peda was first made. Krishna’s mother Yoahoda forgot to turn off the milk that she was boiling. By the time she remembered it, the milk had thickened considerably. To salvage it, she decided to add sugar and give it to Krishna.[23] It is believed that Krishna liked it so much that the tradition of offering peda to Krishna began in Mathura, the birthplace of Krishna.[24]


  1. ^ Platts, John T. (John Thompson) (1884). "A Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English". Retrieved 1 May 2023. पेड़ा [Prk. पेंडओ = S. पिण्डकः], s.m. A ball or lump of leavened dough; — a kind of sweetmeat (made of curds).
  2. ^ (24 May 2021). "The group of Cooked foods (Kritanna) [Chapter 27k]". Retrieved 1 May 2023. Virudha-dhana [virūḍhadhānā], Shashkuli [śaṣkuli], Madhu-krodas [madhukroḍa] with Pindakas [piṇḍaka], Pupa [pūpa] and Pupalika [pūpalikā] and other preparations of flour are extremely heavy.
  3. ^ (3 August 2014). "Pindaka, Piṇḍaka, Piṇḍakā, Pimdaka: 16 definitions". Retrieved 1 May 2023. Piṇḍaka (पिण्डक) refers to a type of dish featuring milk (kṣīra) as an ingredient, as described as described in the 17th century Bhojanakutūhala...Boil milk with sugar until it is condensed. Add cardamom, cloves and black pepper into this mixture. This preparation is called as piṇḍaka. This preparation is comparable with the famous sweet 'peḍa'.
  4. ^ MD(Ayu), Dr J. V. Hebbar (31 August 2017). "Milk Peda (Doodh Pedha) Recipe, Benefits As Per Ayurveda". Easy Ayurveda. Retrieved 1 May 2023. In Ayurveda Mahodadhi, vaidya Susena over the chapter of Kritanna Varga, mentions the qualities of a preparation named ksira vatika.
  5. ^ Journal of the Oriental Institute, M.S. University of Barida, Baroda. Oriental Institute, Maharajah Sayajirao University. 1959. The Brhadyogatarangini describes स्नेहदुग्धसक्तक, क्षीरवटी, क्षीरमोदक, स्वादुलड्डुक, दुग्धमण्डक, दुग्धकरञ्जिका and क्षीरशाकम्
  6. ^ Sanjeev Kapoor. Mithai. Popular. ISBN 9788179917121.
  7. ^ "Pedas, anyone?". Deccan Herald. 13 May 2008. Archived from the original on 19 April 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2008.
  8. ^ Ashwin Rajagopalan (26 January 2016). Dharwad Peda: A Regional favourite From Karnataka's sweet repertoire, NDTV.
  9. ^ 13 products have potential for GI registration
  10. ^ "Nutrition peda". Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  11. ^ "Healthy Indian Sweets | Healthy Living". IndiaTimes. 3 November 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  12. ^ Londhe, Gajendra; Pal, Dharam; Narender Raju, P. (1 June 2012). "Effect of packaging techniques on shelf life of brown peda, a milk-based confection". LWT - Food Science and Technology. 47 (1): 117–125. doi:10.1016/j.lwt.2011.12.025. ISSN 0023-6438.
  13. ^ "Now 'best before' dates for all of your favourite sweets". Business Today. 28 September 2020. Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  15. ^ Modha, H.M (2014). "Process standardization for the manufacture of Thabdi Peda". Journal of Food Science and Technology. 52 (6): 3283–3290. doi:10.1007/s13197-014-1391-x. PMC 4444861. PMID 26028709.
  16. ^ Jha, Alok (2014). "Physico-chemical and sensory changes during the storage of lal peda". Journal of Food Science and Technology. 51 (6): 1173–1178. doi:10.1007/s13197-012-0613-3. PMC 4033750. PMID 24876652.
  17. ^ "Indian sweets getting healthy makeover as consumption pattern changes". The New Indian Express. 7 November 2021. Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  18. ^ "Kunda: A sweet story from Karnataka". 12 June 2012.
  19. ^ Hirpara, Parth (2020). "Development of Thabdi milk sweets of Gujarat State, India utilizing Ghee residue as an ingredient". Journal of Applied and Natural Science. 12 (4): 575–581. doi:10.31018/jans.v12i4.2414. S2CID 228082810.
  20. ^ "Top 10 Best Dairy Companies In India In 2023 - Inventiva". 20 September 2022. Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  21. ^ Malkarnekar, Gauree (19 November 2017). "Pedas for boys, jalebis for girls: In Goa, even sweets have gender". The Times of India.
  22. ^ "Why are milk delicacies offered to Lord Krishna? Popular milk recipes prepared on Janmashtami". The Times of India. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  23. ^ "Mathura ka Peda: How to make Lord Krishna's favourite sweet - How to make Mathura ka Peda: How to make Lord Krishna's favourite sweet - Times Foodie". Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  24. ^ Kitchen, Indi (23 November 2021). "Easy and Tasty Mathura Peda Recipe | Mathura Peda | Mathura ke Pede - Indi Kitchen". Retrieved 23 February 2023.