Desserts are part and parcel of an authentic Indian meal. Though similar in many ways, desserts across this culturally diverse country vary in taste and flavor. So here are a few picks from each state to pamper your sweet tooth.
1 Andhra Pradesh – Arisalu
Prepared on festive occasions, this combination of jaggery and rice deep fried in ghee or oil is one scrumptious feast to your taste buds. Even though the preparation time is long, the effort becomes worthwhile once you take a bite of this sweet.
2 Assam – Laru
Grate some coconut, add some powdered sugar and make some balls. That is all you need to do to make this traditional Assamese delicacy. Laru is a sweet, served during breakfast.
3 Arunachal Pradesh – Khapse
Though deep-fried, this sweet is still healthy. Made from Rajgara or red millet it is full of fiber and rich in iron. Sweet with a tinge of salt, they can be shaped whichever way we want.
4 Bihar – Thekua
Thekua or Kajuria is made from wheat flour, jaggery and coconut. Cardamom adds to the taste. Add dry fruits like cashews, raisins or dry dates. After shaping the dough, it is deep fried and served. It is also a well-liked Prasad in Chhath puja.
5 Chhattisgarh – Bafuari
Known for its mouthwatering taste, Bafuari is a dish typical to Chhatisgarh. It made from channa dal and is steamed not fried. Bafuari is a tasty light snack.
6 Delhi – Jalebis
Popular all over India, nothing beats the lure of the jalebis in the capital city’s streets. A great street food, jalebis are deep fried in searing hot oil. Made with Maida, it is an all-time favorite. Best served piping hot.
7 Goa – Dodol
Goa is an Indian state with influences from various cultures. The cultural infusion reflects in their cuisine too. Dodol consists of rice-flour, coconut, and jaggery. Comparable to pudding or jelly, it is prepared during Christmas. The preparation consumes an hour and definitely satisfies your sweet tooth.
8 Gujrat – Ghughra
Popular during Diwali, Ghughra is an aromatic sweet dish heavenly in taste. Fried in ghee, they melt in your mouth and leave you craving for more. Heavy on the stomach, this fried pastry consists of maida, rava, coconut and fine sugar.
9 Haryana – Raabri
This rich dish is enticing to every sweet lover out there. With milk being the main ingredient, it is easy but time-consuming to prepare. Condensed milk boiled in a kadhai until it becomes dense. Add cardamom and dry fruits for garnish. It is refrigerated and consumed a few days later.
10 Himachal Pradesh – Mittha Kaddu
Mittha kaddu translates to sweet pumpkin. Spicy and sour added to the sweetness, this sweetmeat is unique in every way possible. Flavored with coriander leaves, ginger and a pinch of sugar, it tastes best when savored in Himachal Pradesh itself.
11 Jammu and Kashmir – Kashmiri Phirni
Soft and creamy, this dish is best served chilled. It tastes like a piece of paradise itself. Authentic Kahmiri phirni is made with grounded rice blended with saffron. Luscious, it is topped off with dry fruits.
12 Jharkhand – Malpua
Fluffy in texture, Malpua is a traditional dish made with rice flour and sugar. Fried with ghee, it is soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. This savory can be paired off with rabri, to make it all the more enticing. Dubbed the Indian pancake, it is to be dipped in sugar syrup before eating.
13 Karnataka – Mysore Pak
As the name suggests, Mysore Pak has its origins in Mysore, Karnataka. Mysore Pak is prepared with loads of ghee and besan (gram flour); cardamom is to be added for taste. Easy to make and heavenly to eat, this dessert has thousands of South Indians swooning over it.
14 Kerala – Palada Payasm
Prepared during regional festivals like Onam, this traditional dish is sweet and delicious. From God’s own country, it is everything you look for after a scrumptious meal. The rice ada used is made of raw rice and a generous amount of ghee. It is to be added to palada made of milk and sugar, giving us the palada payasm.
15 Madhya Pradesh – Shrikhand
This dessert is prepared by sieving yogurt, which makes it automatically healthy. The only other ingredient used is sugar and maybe saffron for flavor. It is popular in Maharashtra and Gujarat, as well.
16 Maharashtra – Puran Poli
Good doesn’t even begin to describe this Maharashtrian sweet. Maharashtrians take great pride in their culture, and their cuisine is no exception. Rotis made of wheat flour are to be stuffed with jaggery and sweet lentil; they melt in your mouth. It can be had for breakfast too.
17 Manipur – Khamen Athoomba Ashinba
As complicated as it sounds, it is surprisingly simple to make. Fried tomatoes are added in sugar syrup with a dash of kali jeera powder.
18 Meghalaya – Pukhlein
A perfect dessert for the abode of clouds, it comprises of rice and wheat flour- the combination of which is then deep-fried on medium flame. Served hot, it complements the climate of the state. A must have when you travel to Meghalaya.
19 Mizoram – Chhangban Leh Kurtai
Is a mouthful to pronounce, yes? However, a mouthful of this will not affect your calorie intake. Meaning, it is a healthy sweet for those untimely carvings Steamed dish.
20 Nagaland – Koat Pitha
From the seven sisters, comes another healthy dessert, Koat Pitha. Especially relished during the Bihu festival it is to be made from bananas and jaggery. Mix mashed bananas with jaggery and fold rice flour over the mixture. Deep fry on medium heat and it is ready to serve.
21 Odisha – Chhenna Poda
Indianised cheese cake, chhenna poda is Odisha’s favorite sweet to feast on. It translates to burnt cottage cheese. Panner, sugar and cashew nuts are kneaded and baked to get a crunchy brown crust on the cake.
22 Puducherry – French Baguettes
When the French colonized Puducherry, they left behind their culture and traditions. Over time, the citizens of Puducherry adopted them and gave it a special tinge. Adding Indian spices like saffron gives the traditional French recipe a very desi twist.
23 Punjab – Kheer
Essentially made from boiling rice and jaggery, this dessert is popular in the whole country. It is made during Navratri, but anytime you have the craving for something sweet, but are too lazy to put in a lot of work, this is your go-to dessert. Rice substituted with sabudana is another variant. It is definitely worth a try when made with authentic Punjabi gusto.
24 Rajasthan – Moong dal Halwa
Classical Rajasthani dessert, moong dal halwa is made from frying moong dal in ghee and adding it in milk. Enjoyed in the frigid winter nights of the desert, it tastes best when hot.
25 Sikkim – Sael Roti
Though a traditional Nepali savory, it is quite a well-known household recipe in Sikkim. Ring-shaped, its main ingredients are Rice flour, water, sugar and butter. Taking just under 10 minutes to prepare it makes this dish all the more interesting. Whipped batter is poured into the oil using a bamboo stick, and the crispy treat is ready.
26 Tamil Nadu – Pongal
Roast moong dal and add jaggery. Cook the ingredients in a pressure cooker. Mash the rice and add dry fruits for garnishing. This lip smacking sweet is a popular traditional dish from Tamil Nadu. It is a specialpreparation during the Sankranthi that is celebrating the harvest season. There are various versions of Pongal, and all of them are equally tasty.
27 Telangana – Bhakshalu
Passed on through generations, bhakshalu is a household delicacy made for any occasion. Also called bobatlu in Andhra, jaggery is stuffed in Bengal gram to make a flat disk shaped sweet. Roasted in ghee, it melts in your mouth and you can never stop at one.
28 Tripura – Awan Bangwi
Unique to Tripura, this paper-thin dish is prepared using guria rice, coconut, ginger and onion. It tastes best with Wahan Moseng, which is a pork-based preparation.
29 Uttar Pradesh – Gujia
Khoya is wrapped inside maida flour and deep-fried in ghee. Recent recipes also offer baking as an option. When stored in an airtight container, these last for weeks. Gujia is amazing and yummy to eat these will satisfy your sweet tooth without a doubt.
30 Uttarakhand – Jhangore ki Kheer
Jhangore is barnyard millet. Add that to milk and simmer for 30 minutes. Add sugar and kerwa, and voila, you have a bowl of the delicious Jhangore ki Kheer ready. The kerwa gives it a delicate sweet essence, making this dish a must try for every food lover.
31 West Bengal – Rasgulla
Bengalis take pride in their culture. Be it literature or food. Rasgulla is the most famous dessert of West Bengal, and not tasting it would be a shame. Spongy, soft and juicy this Bengali sweet requires only three ingredients- milk, lemon, and sugar. The chenna balls after becoming fluffy are allowed to soak in sugar syrup. It tastes so delicious. Yum!