31 Exclusive Indian Desserts from All States and UTS Ranked from Worst to Best

Photo of 31 Exclusive Indian Desserts from All States and UTS Ranked from Worst to Best 1/1 by Prateek Dham
Gulab Jamun probably originated in the Middle East. Sorry.

Disclaimer: This is a list that owes its roots to my personal taste receptors. Everyone is welcome to debate.

Who says no to Indian desserts after that hearty during parties and family get-togethers. Festivals, birthdays, employment, wedding, anything and everything calls for a "muh meetha karwaao" ceremony. Hence, it comes as no surprise that almost every state and union territory in our country has special concoctions of its own.

I sat down and ate all of them at their respective dens, and came out with a personal list of what tasted the best and what not the best. So, here's my list of Indian desserts that you should try the next time you have a big fat dinner.

31. Babru

(C) Himachali Cuisine

Photo of Himachal Pradesh, India by Prateek Dham

Babru is made out of dough and sugar and is then fried. This Indian dessert is more like a functional need in the terrible cold of the state in winters. It’s made mostly only on birthdays and other special occasions.

30. Poornam Boorelu

(C) House Mom

Photo of Telangana, India by Prateek Dham

These balls are made out of dal jaggery and then dipped in urad dal batter, and finally deep fried. Sometimes, I found the outer layer soft, sometimes hard. Didn’t prefer either.

29. Sael Roti

(C) Wikipedia

Photo of Sikkim, India by Prateek Dham

Borrowed from Nepal, this is ring shaped doughnut has varied flavours of cardamom, banana, cloves, etc. Did not go down too well with me.

28. Modak

(C) Bayside Journal

Photo of Maharashtra, India by Prateek Dham

Yes, Lord Ganesha himself may be fond of these coconut ladoos but that’s possibly the only reason why these are so famous. A dessert is not meant to be so insipid.

27. Thekua

(C) Im Nepal

Photo of Bihar, India by Prateek Dham

Very very fatty (Yes yes I know, that’s what Indian desserts are supposed to be. But this is too much!) Thekua is nothing more than essentially dry fruits fried and served.

26. Moong Dal Halwa

(C) 1234Diwali

Photo of Chandigarh, India by Prateek Dham

Found everywhere, but preferred only when it’s served for free or at a wedding ceremony. In a land where there is rabri, lassi and a host of other Indian desserts available easily, moong dal halwa is a sad substitute.

25. Vettu Cake

(C) Natureloc

Photo of Kerala, India by Prateek Dham

It's primarily a tea time sweet only, but then I personally couldn't find any other distinct dessert exclusively out of Kerala. It's pretty nice though.

24. Koat Pitha

(C) My Cooking Journey

Photo of Nagaland, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Prateek Dham

Although many people argued that this sweet comes from Tripura and not from Nagaland at all, but then I found something else in the former state which I liked better than this. Will talk about it later in the list. Koat Pitha is made with a banana and hence it's too gooey for my taste.

23. Qubani Ka Meetha

(C) Jungle Key

Photo of Andhra Pradesh, India by Prateek Dham

One finds these at a lot at Hyderabadi weddings. The first time I saw it from afar, I thought I saw Gulab Jamun, hence I got really excited. But what I ultimately got was sweetened dry apricots. It's interesting, to say the most.

22. Chhena Poda

(C) Ambrosia

Photo of Odisha, India by Prateek Dham

It's a very innovative Indian dessert indeed. And what's more interesting is the fact that Odisha's cuisine otherwise essentially deals with the food that involves satisfying the functional needs. Chhena Poda is literally roasted cheese and hence considered a luxury.

21. Chhangban Leh Kurtai

(C) azassk

Photo of Mizoram, India by Prateek Dham

It's again considered to be a teatime snack only in Mizoram, but it's quite innovative considering so. Leh Kurtai is a dumpling or pudding made of kâwnglâwng or fazu rice flour boiled in a leaf.

20. Dehrori

(C) I camp in my kitchen

Photo of Chhattisgarh, India by Prateek Dham

It looks like something of a melange between jalebi and malpua, but dehrori doesn't live up to the glory of either. Maybe I'm not too fond of the liberal amounts of cardamom usually put in it.

19. Bebinca

(C) Bawarchi

Photo of Goa, India by Prateek Dham

It's quite a task to prepare Bebinca in the first place. With the traditional one having seven layers, it's usually made up of clarified butter, sugar, egg yolk and coconut milk. Tedious.

18. Khapse

(C) I camp in my kitchen

Photo of Arunachal Pradesh, India by Prateek Dham

Very famous in parts of Arunachal, khapse is nothing but a deep-fried pastry. Also found it to be less sweet than it should be.

17. Bhutta Kheer


Photo of Madhya Pradesh, India by Prateek Dham

Yes, we get kheer all over and especially up in the north where milk products are staple additions in sweets, but kheer made out of corn is something we'll probably just find in MP.

16. Awan Bangwi

(C) Tripura.org

Photo of Tripura, India by Prateek Dham

Quite a cumbersome task to make this too. Awan bangwi usually involves soaking the rice overnight in water before it can be further processed in the morning. Ginger and other dry fruits are also an integral part of it.

15. Malai Ghewar

(C) Rajasthanforyou

Photo of Rajasthan, India by Prateek Dham

There's probably no Indian dessert that you can't get in Rajasthan, somewhere or the other. But it's really malai ghewar that is quintessentially Rajasthani in every respect. Made out of flour, mawa and malai, this is sinful.

14. Madhurjan Thongba

(C) Varada's Kitchen

Photo of Manipur, India by Prateek Dham

Dumpling only, but this time made out of besan and immersed in milk to serve. I found this extremely tasty but then it's probably not very thoughtful as a dessert.

13. Singodhi

(C) Twist of Food

Photo of Uttarakhand, India by Prateek Dham

Is it a paan? Is it a kulfi? No, it's singodhi! Or however you spell it, because I don't have a clue. I won't be surprised if you are from Uttarakhand and still haven't heard of this because it is primarily made in the Kumaon region only.

12. Pal Poli

(C) My cooking journey

Photo of Tamil Nadu, India by Prateek Dham

A fried poori dunked in sweetened milk. Yes, that's it. But, by golly, do they make it delicious! Saffron, almonds, pistachios, and everything nice.

11. Narikolor Laddu

How could any laddoos not make it to this list? And nothing more stereotypical to Assam than these coconut laddoos. Very easy to make, but very tough to say no to.

(C) Indobase

Photo of Assam, India by Prateek Dham

10. Choorma

(C) Navy Foods

Photo of Haryana, India by Prateek Dham

Coming down to the serious business now–the top 10. First up is this gem of an easy innovation called choorma fr0m Haryana. Although hugely popular in Rajasthan as an accompaniment to dal-baati, but it's Haryana's desi ghee that does magic to this mashed wheat flour.

9. Mysore Pak

(C) Appeti

Photo of Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

Probably our most exported sweet abroad, Mysore Pak is massively popular. Lots of ghee, sugar, cardamom, gram flour, and these heavenly bricks are ready.

8. Pukhlein

(C) Ribbons to Pastas

Photo of Meghalaya, India by Prateek Dham

You probably haven't even heard of these, but then even I hadn't before I lost myself in these divine jaggery-based Indian desserts in the land otherwise famous only for its rains.

7. Malpua

(C) India Marks

Photo of Jharkhand, India by Prateek Dham

Not very different from Pukhlein in preparation, but far more widely accepted and consumed, Malpua is an Indian version of western breakfast pancakes, but far more sinful in nature and taste.

6. Basundi

(C) Nestle

Photo of Gujarat, India by Prateek Dham

You could call it Gujarati kheer, but only Gujaratis can make kheer as good as this honestly. Basundi is sweet thickened milk with nutmeg, cardamom and dry fruits fit to feed a whole nation.

5. Balushahi

(C) All Recipes Here

Photo of Uttar Pradesh, India by Prateek Dham

Probably first made in Bihar (Harnaut, to be precise), but culturally made popular by Uttar Pradesh, Balushahi is a timeless dessert made out of maida flour, fried in ghee and then dipped in sugar syrup.

4. Shufta

(C) Indobase

Photo of Jammu and Kashmir by Prateek Dham

When it comes to cuisine, Kashmiris are always right up there. Their desserts are never far behind either. Shufta is possibly the least fatty sweet in this entire list, but one of the most delicious. It is essentially dry fruits in sugar syrup.

3. Kulfi

(C) Recipes Hubs

Photo of Delhi, India by Prateek Dham

Well well, who does NOT love a good kulfi? It is a testimony itself to such a high ranking here. This is the Indian dessert that doesn't melt as fast due to its density made by milk and cream.

2. Mishti Doi

(C) Bengali Cuisine

Photo of West Bengal, India by Prateek Dham

We could probably enlist every Bengali dessert there is in this list, but if I had to choose one I'd choose mishti doi and NOT the roshogulla because it's still debated whether the latter was actually from Bengal or from Odisha. Hence, the winner is this creamy heaven in a pot.

1. Amritsari Jalebi

(C) Cooking Shooking

Photo of Punjab, India by Prateek Dham

If I'm writing an article about anything related to food, Punjab has to be at the very pinnacle at all times. And Amritsari jalebi is God's own nectar in labyrinthine alleys. One doesn't just eat jalebi, one surrenders his soul to it with the very first bite.

Did I miss out on your favourite Indian desserts? Help me find it in the comments section below then!

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