Food Secrets: 20 Delectable Indian Sweets You Probably Haven’t Heard Of, But Must Try Right Away!

“Life is uncertain.  Eat dessert first.”- Ernestine Ulmer

Indian sweets enjoy a legendary reputation across the world. India is home to a number of delicious sweets that play a vital role in every Indian celebration. While gulab jamuns, rasgullas and kaju katlis may be the most popular sweets in the country, there are many unique sweet gems that still remain unknown to most.

We bring you some of the most delectable yet little-known sweets of India – each with its own distinct texture, taste and richness. So if you have a sweet tooth, indulge in these uniquely delicious treats for a perfect ending to your meal!

1. Elaneer Payasam

Elaneer Payasam Recipe

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A very simple and quick-to-make variation of the traditional kheer, Elaneer Payasam is a popular dessert in Kerala and southern Tamil Nadu. Made from tender coconut pulp and condensed milk, this unique preparation is an incredibly tasty experience for a creation as simple.

Get the recipe here.

2. Sarbhaja

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Bengali sweets are famous for their unforgettable taste and and Sarbhaja is a little known gem in this legendary list. Even in Kolkata, there are just a handful of shops that make this rare delicacy during the Durga Puja festival. Made entirely from condensed milk that has been deep fried, the super delicious Sarbhaja is definitely not for the calorie-conscious.

Get the recipe here.

3. Kharwas

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Kharwas is the Marathi name of a sweet steamed pudding made from the colostrum milk of a cow. Steam cooked in a water bath, Kharwas simply melts in the very first bite. Also known as Posu and Ginnu, this unique dessert packs in a lot of nutrition.

Get the recipe here.

4. Gokak Karadantu

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Karadantu, which translates to ‘fried edible gum’ is unique to the Gokak region of Karnataka. Fried in pure ghee, karadantu is a unique and flavourful concoction of jaggery, raisins, cashew nuts, almonds, kaarika (dried dates), copra, peanuts, nutmeg and other such dried fruits and edible gum that can keep you chewing away for hours.

Get the recipe here.


You May Also Like: Food Secrets: Eat Your Way Through Thindi Beedi, Bengaluru’s Favourite Eat Street


5. Parwal Mithai

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A delicious sweet made of tender cooked pointed gourds with a delectably soft khoya stuffing, Parwal Ki Mithai is a much loved delicacy in Bihar. And yes, it tastes just as good as it looks.

Get the recipe here.

6. Chena Poda

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A quintessential cheese dessert from Odisha, Chena Poda literally means burnt cheese – chena means cottage cheese and poda means burnt. Home-made cottage cheese is well-kneaded along with dry fruits and sugar, then it is slowly baked till its turns a beautiful golden brown colour. The heavenly taste of caramelized sugar and cottage cheese elevates the experience of consuming this sweet to a sinful level.

Get the recipe here

7. Ada Pradhaman

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Kerala’s Onam celebrations are incomplete without the heartwarmingly rich Ada Pradhaman. It is made with homemade rice flakes (ada) and tapioca pearls (sago) cooked in a mouthwatering mix of jaggery syrup and coconut milk. This is one traditional dessert you simply should not miss.

Get the recipe here.

8. Bebinca

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Bebinca may not be the quickest dessert to make but it’s absolutely lip-smacking. Painstakingly prepared with each layer being baked separately, this traditional Goan sweet is a slice of soft, yummy goodness. Warm Bebinca with ice-cream is a combination hard to resist!

Get the recipe here.

9. Raskadam

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When one layer of a Bengali sweet is often enough to send you into foodie heaven, Raskadam is a sweet dish made of two decadent layers. The outside layer is made of soft crumbly khoya and powdered sugar while the inner layer is made up of tiny rasgullas. Go figure!

Get the recipe here.

10. Putarekelu

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A wafer-like sweet created in Atreyapuram village of Andhra Pradesh, Putarekelu or Paper Sweet is made with transparent rice paper rolled in ghee and sugar. Stuffed with jaggery and nuts in the middle, the many textures and delicious flavours make this sweet as visually appeasing as it is delicious to devour.

Get the recipe here.

11. Dehrori

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A festive delicacy from Chattisgarh, Dehroris are dumplings made of rice and curd that are deep fried in ghee, sweetened by sugar syrup and topped with a sprinkling of roasted nuts. This sweet is typically accompanied with a glass of buttermilk and is known to regulate body temperatures in the dry and arid summers of Central India.

Get the recipe here.

12. Maa Vilakku

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A unique sweetmeat from South India that is offered to the deities every year, maa vilakku is essentially a rice flour lamp! It can be consumed only after an offering is made to the Gods. Made up of a smooth, soft dough of rice flour mixed with jaggery and flavoured with cardamom powder, it is consumed only after an offering is made to the Gods.

Get the recipe here.

13. Khas Khas Halwa

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Khas Khas Halwa is the cousin of traditional suji ka halwa, only much more interesting in terms of flavor, texture and appeal. The golden hues of this rich, warm and nutritious dish made from poppy seeds, will make your heart melt, just like that. Khas Khas Halwa is mostly made and eaten during winter in North India.

Get the recipe here.

14. Malaiyo

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A foaming and fizzing seasonal sweet that delights every local of Varanasi with its deliciousness, Malaiyo is exactly what dreams are made of. Only few sweetmakers in Varanasi are dexterous and experienced enough to use raw milk,  dew drops and a dash of cardamom seasoning to make these soft, airy sweets.

See how its made here.

15. Pitha

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Deceptively delicious, Pitha is one of Assam’s most loved sweetmeats. An integral part of Bihu celebrations, Pitha is made with glutinous bora rice, or sun-dried xaali saul rice, or both. The many versions of Assamese Pitha are Til pitha, Ghila pitha, Sunga pitha, Tekeli pitha, Xutuli pitha, and Dhup pitha.

Get the recipe here.

16. Purnam burelu

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Purnam Burelu are sweet dumplings made especially during Sankranti, Ganesh Chaturthi and Dusshera festival in the Andhra region. Served as a sacred offering to deities, it is made by shaping a sweet ball from chana dal and jaggery that is dipped in the dosa batter and deep fried to a golden brown colour. A festive indulgence not to be missed!

Get the recipe here.

17. Naap Naang

25) Black Sticky Rice Pudding or Naap Nang from Nagaland

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Naap Naang is a very unique and delicious sweet dish made in Nagaland. A pudding made from black sticky rice and subtly flavoured with sweet nuts, the super nutritious Naap Naang is full of fiber and can be consumed even by diabetics. This is because black sticky rice is a complex carbohydrate that slowly releases sugar on digestion.

Get the recipe here.

18. Patoleo

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Patoleo is a unique, aromatic, steamed sweet made by spreading rice paste over a turmeric leaf and filled with a stuffing of Goan coconut jaggery, powdered cinnamon and fresh grated coconut. A much-savoured traditional delicacy, this healthy dessert is made during the monsoon months in Goa.

Get the recipe here.

19. Madhurjaan Thongba

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Madhurjan Thonbga is a Manipuri Athoomba or dessert. Sweet besan dumplings are dropped in thickened sweetened milk that has been flavoured with bay leaves and cardamom. Served warm with a garnish of grated coconut, this Manipuri delicacy leaves you wanting more.

Get the recipe here.

20. Sel Roti

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Sikkim’s Sel Rotis are crispy rice doughnuts that can satisfy the sweetest tooth. The soft texture of the interior complements the hint of crunchiness on the exterior perfectly to make a dessert which is absolutely scrumptious. This traditional sweet is also widely eaten in Nepal.

Get the recipe here.


Also Read: Street Eats : A Foodie’s Guide to Sarafa Market, Where Indore Comes Alive Every Night


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