20 Indian Dessert Recipes You've Never Made Before (2024)

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20 Indian Dessert Recipes You've Never Made Before (1)Christina HerbstUpdated: Mar. 15, 2024

    Full of aromatic spices, topped with pistachios or soaked in rose syrup, these traditional Indian dessert recipes will light up your tastebuds with the wonderful flavors of India.

    20 Indian Dessert Recipes You've Never Made Before (2)VEENA NAIR/GETTY IMAGES

    Indian desserts have a different flavor profile than most Western desserts. Sweets range from spongy milk-based treats to ice cream drinks. The captivating flavors are enjoyed year round, but especially during Diwali. The “Festival of Lights,” which falls on November 12 this year, boasts a feast of Diwali food, snacks and Indian desserts. Get a taste with the treats listed below.



    Probably one of the simplest Indian desserts, or mishti, out there, sandesh is made of only three ingredients! All you need is milk, lemon juice and sugar to make these Bengali sweets. Pistachios are optional (but definitely recommended) for a pretty presentation and a little bite. Sandesh are the perfect addition to any holiday (especially on a Diwali sweets platter!) or celebratory food platter.

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    20 Indian Dessert Recipes You've Never Made Before (4)

    Srividhya Gopalakrishnan For Taste of Home

    Gulab Jamun

    Gulab Jamun is high on the list of the most popular Indian desserts! I mean, who doesn’t love donuts dunked in rose sugar coating? That sounds right up my alley. You can find gulab jamun at festivals and celebrations—it’s a common food to serve during Diwali.

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    Spice Craving’s modified rasmalai recipe makes it easier for you to make this popular dessert—her recipe shaves off about half the time it would take you to make the traditional dish. But no worries, her take is just as delicious with all the traditional rasmalai ingredients like rasgulla (chenna or paneer soaked in sugar), milk and spices like saffron and cardamom.

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    Think of Jalebi as the equivalent to American funnel cakes: fried, crispy and sugar-coated. They’re a common street food in India, typically sold in the Northern and Western regions. To much surprise, it’s also a popular breakfast food served with a glass of warm milk on the side.

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    Falooda is a popular ice cream dessert made with vermicelli, jelly, rose syrup, sabja seeds, milk and ice cream. There are many variations to this dish. Blogger Swasthi’s Recipes’ version is like an ice cream float.

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    20 Indian Dessert Recipes You've Never Made Before (8)

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    Kalakand is an Indian sweet cheese fudge. The texture is similar to an Italian cheesecake. It’s often flavored with cardamom, but there are mango and even rose variants of the treat. Swasthi’s Recipes’ quick version can be made in just 10 minutes!

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    20 Indian Dessert Recipes You've Never Made Before (9)

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    Nankhatai are shortbread biscuits that are popular in Northern India. They are eggless cookies that are crisp and light. While traditionally made with all-purpose flour, semolina, sugar and ghee, there are many variants of the snack that play around with flour and spice. Check out Swasthi’s Recipes version.

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    Anvita Bhatnagar Mistry for Taste of Home


    Grab your spoons for this Indian pudding. Served warm or cold, creamy rice kheer is a staple in many Indian homes. It’s easy to make, too—you can cook it in an Instant Pot!

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    Taste of Home


    This spiced, nutty custard is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Kulfi is very similar to ice cream, but just a tad thicker and creamier. You can even find other versions of kulfi on the market like mango and strawberry.

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    Chomchom, also known as chum chum or cham cham, is made by curdling milk, shaping them, and then coating them in sugar syrup. Popular garnishes include coconut and pistachios. Swasthi’s Recipes’ tops hers with chopped pistachios.

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    Rasgulla, a common East Indian delicacy, are bite-sized cheese balls soaked in floral sugar syrup. The secret to perfecting rasgulla is ice! Throwing a handful of ice cubes into your saucepan before straining will help get the perfect rasgulla texture. If you have extra rasgulla on hand, use them to make rasmalai.

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    A popular Indian sweet for Hindu festivals like Diwali, Holi and Rakshabandhan, peda are made of milk solids and fragrant, aromatic seasonings like saffron and cardamom. It’s another fairly easy Indian dessert you can whip together in under an hour. Neha Mathur from Whisk Affair claims she hasn’t bought peda from the store ever since she first tried this recipe.

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    20 Indian Dessert Recipes You've Never Made Before (15)

    Courtesy Eat More Art By Sonal


    Ladoo, also known as laddu, are soft dessert balls commonly served for Diwali. This besan ladoo recipe gets its golden color from roasting ghee (clarified butter) and besan (chickpea flour) over heat.

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    Soan Papdi

    Flaky, light soan papdi first originated from the Northern region of India. Nowadays, it can be found in Indian sweet shops across the country. Traditionally, it was sold loose in paper cones, but you’ll find it more commonly cut into squares like in this soan papdi recipe.

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    Gajar Ka Halwa

    If you’re gluten-free or paleo, you’ll have to give this gajar ka halwa recipe a try. This decadent Indian carrot pudding is super flavorful. In India, you’ll often see gajar ka halwa served in the North regions during the winter and Diwali seasons.

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    Barfi is a word used for several variations of similar sweets. It is often used for flatter, milk-based sweets and are usually cut into squares, diamonds or circles. You’ll often find nuts—like cashews, pistachios and peanuts—spices like cardamom, rosewater and sometimes fruit.


    Mysore Pak

    Melt-in-your-mouth Mysore pak is often made one of two ways. The first (and most popular) version is crumbly with a stiffer texture; the other being a bit softer and creamier. This Mysore pak recipe marries the best of both: it’s buttery smooth while still keeping its shape.

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    Taste of Home

    Mango Lassi

    Mango lassi is the perfect summer drink that mango lovers everywhere will love. It’s sweet and refreshing. This recipe only has six ingredients.

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    Filled with jaggery, cardamom and poppy seeds, modak is a small, sweet dumpling typically served at Ganesh Chaturthi. They’re typically shaped using a special modak mold, but if you don’t have a mold on hand, Piping Pot Curry has the best method on how to create that classic modak shape by using your hands and a toothpick.

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    The best way to describe malpua? Fried pancakes dunked in sugary, sweet syrup. And just like American pancakes, malpua tastes its best hot off the stove.

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    Next: check out this popular Indian street food,chaat.

    Originally Published: January 25, 2021

    20 Indian Dessert Recipes You've Never Made Before (23)

    Christina Herbst

    Christina is a Social Media Editor for Taste of Home. She enjoys trying out local restaurants and coffeehouses and adding copious amounts of garlic and cheese to any recipe she can get her hands on. In her free time, you can find her hunting down one-of-a-kind furniture pieces at thrift and vintage stores and DIYing trendy home decor crafts.

    20 Indian Dessert Recipes You've Never Made Before (2024)


    What is the most popular Indian dessert? ›

    Gulab jamun is one of the most popular Indian sweets appearing at festivals, birthdays and weddings. While soft little dumplings soaked in syrup exist around the world, what sets gulab jamun apart is that the dumplings are made from milk.

    What is the only dessert in India? ›

    A delicious combination of milk and rice, Kheer is officially the one dessert that every Indian makes for their guests. Kheer is made by boiling rice in water mixed with milk until it becomes thick, then adding sugar and garnishing it with nuts or raisins.

    What is the traditional sweet of India? ›

    NameMain ingredients
    Gulab jamunFried milk balls soaked in sweet syrup, such as rose syrup or honey.
    ImartiSugar syrup, lentil flour.
    JalebiDough fried in a coil shape dipped in sugar syrup, often taken with milk, tea, yogurt, or lassi.
    Kaju katliCashews, ghee with cardamom and sugar.
    23 more rows

    What is the ancient Indian dessert? ›

    Kheer is one of the most ancient Indian desserts, and it's found all over India with some regional variations.

    What is the king of dessert in India? ›

    "Laddu" is often referred to as the "King of Sweets" in India, and it is a very popular sweet dish that is made from flour, sugar, and ghee. It is a spherical-shaped sweet that is often offered as a prasad (offering) to deities and is also served during festivals, weddings, and other special occasions.

    What is India number one sweets? ›

    Badam ka Halwa

    One of the all-time favourite Indian sweets, badam halwa is made for any and every occasion, and sometimes for no reason at all ! Grandmas unfailingly advice their grandchildren to have a spoonful of this wholesome badam ka halwa every morning, all through the winter as it keeps the body warm.

    What are the forgotten desserts of India? ›

    Malpua, Elaneer Payasam, Sarbhaja, Thaen Mittai, and Kharwas are some of the oldest sweets that have gained a legendary reputation worldwide. Although they have been quite popular in the past, they seem to be increasingly replaced by other, more popular varieties.

    What dessert is India known for? ›

    5 Most Popular Desserts In India
    • Gulab Jamun. Jalebi is a popular sweet treat made by deep-frying a fermented batter of all-purpose flour and yogurt, then soaked in sugar syrup. ...
    • Jalebi. ...
    • Rasgulla. ...
    • Barfi. ...
    • Gajar ka Halwa.
    Jun 24, 2023

    What do Hindus eat for dessert? ›

    Indian sweets are diverse and range from simple to complex recipes. They are made from a variety of ingredients, such as milk, sugar, ghee, flour, and nuts. Some of the popular Indian sweets include rasgulla, gulab jamun, laddoo, barfi, jalebi, peda, and halwa.

    What is the oldest Indian sweet? ›

    Malpua, a sweet deep-fried pancake dipped in sugar syrup, is one of India's most popular and oldest desserts, having been around for hudreds of years. Malpuas are essentially consumed on special occasions such as Holi, Janmasthami, or any rituals that include fasting.

    What is the national snack of India? ›

    What is the national snack of India? India doesn't have a national snack, however, golgappas are top of the mid choice for anyone looking to get a quick snack. They are called puchka in West Bengal, Gupchupp in Andhra Pradesh, Golgappa in Delhi, and Paanipuri everywhere else in the country.

    What is India's most Favourite sweet? ›

    Packed with authentic local experiences, unforgettable activities and one-off accommodations, they're a world away from the everyday.
    • Laddu. Laddu is the most popular festive treat in India. ...
    • Gulab jamun. ...
    • Gajar ka halwa. ...
    • Sandesh. ...
    • Rasgulla. ...
    • Kaju barfi. ...
    • Kulfi. ...
    • Jalebi.
    Oct 22, 2023

    What is the flaky dessert from India? ›

    Soan papdi (also known as san papri, shompapri, sohan papdi, shonpapdi or patisa) is a popular dessert in the Indian subcontinent. It is made of gram flour (besan), all-purpose flour, ghee, sugar and milk. It is usually cube-shaped or served as flakes, and has a crisp and flaky texture.

    What are some Indian sweets? ›

    I can't wait to see which recipes you try first!
    • Kalakand. ...
    • Badam Burfi. ...
    • Mango Coconut Burfi. ...
    • Mango Shrikhand | Creamy Mango Yogurt dessert. ...
    • Jalebi - Crispy. ...
    • Gajar Ka Halwa | Carrot Halwa. ...
    • The BEST Mango Cheesecake. ...
    • Air Fryer Donuts.
    Apr 25, 2022

    What are some common desserts in India? ›

    • Jalebi.
    • Rasgulla.
    • Rasmalai.
    • Gulab Jamun.
    • Besan Ladoo.
    • Kaju Katli.
    • Rava Ladoo.
    • Moong Dal Halwa.

    What is gulab jamun made of? ›

    Gulab jamun is a classic Indian sweet made with milk solids, sugar, rose water & cardamom powder. It is a very famous Indian dessert & is enjoyed in most festive and celebration meals. Traditionally gulab jamun is made using khoya i.e milk solids as the main ingredient.

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