Every happy occasion calls for a mithai or sweet in an Indian household. Here is a list of lesser-known sweets, some of which date back to 500 BCE.

A native of Nagaland, Nap Naang is made from glutinous or sticky black rice, giving it a distinct nutty taste. The pudding is rich in fibre and complex carbohydrates, making it a rare guilt-free delicacy

Nap Naang

Made of parwal, a variety of gourd is an unusual but devoured delicacy of Bihar. Stuffed with khoya, the desert is perfect for those who like their mithai mildly sweet.

Parwal Ki Mithai

Dating back to the 16th century, Adhirasam is also known as Sirsa in Chhattisgarh, anarsa in Marathi and arisa pitha in Odia. It is made of rice flour, jaggery, butter and pepper and comes in the shape of a vada.


Pootharekulu is prepared with a particular kind of rice batter called jaya biyyam which is stuffed with dry fruits and gur or jaggery. It is a unique-tasting sweet that originated in a small village in Andhra Pradesh.


Another gem from South India is Elaneer Payasam. A quick version of kheer, it is made with tender coconut pulp mixed with condensed milk.

Elaneer Payasam

Originating from West Bengal where roshogolla and sandesh are all the rage, Shorbhaja is a wondrous sweet dish.  It is a modified version of sandesh made with condensed milk mixed with leftover sandesh that has been deep-fried in oil or ghee.


A delicacy of Chattishgarh, Dehrosis are dumplings made of rice and curd, which are then deep-fried in ghee and sweetened with chashni or sugar syrup. Served with buttermilk, the dish also acts as a coolant during summer.


Made predominantly in West Bengal and Assamit, it is prepared with a sweet stuffing of jaggery, preferably nolen gur, khus khus or poppy seeds, khoya, sesame seeds and coconut. It is mostly prepared to celebrate the Makar Sankranti festival and Bihu festival


Patoleo is a steamed sweet that is cooked by spreading rice paste over a turmeric leaf stuffed with Goan coconut jaggery, freshly grated coconut and cinnamon powder. The Goan delicacy, mostly prepared during the monsoons, is a must-try.



A dish originating from Northeast India, mainly Manipur, deep-fried gram flour or besan dumplings covered in a base of sweet condensed milk enriched with bay leaves and cardamom. It can be served with grated coconut or dry fruits.

Madhurjan Thongba