Indian desserts are called Mithai, and they are not only authentic but also have their own unique flavor profile. Ranging from halwa to kheer to ladoos, gulab jamun, shrikhand, and other milk sweets, the list is endless. Just one bite and you are transported to an addictive culinary land. Indian desserts are served in many restaurants and are easily available at retail stores. But it is best to try and make these recipes yourself as you can control the amount of sugar and you also know that you are using natural ingredients.
Top 7 Best indian desserts
1. Suji Halwa
It is also known as sheero. This is one of the most beloved and classic halwas. Suji (semolina) halwa is perhaps one of the easiest to make as it’s made within minutes. Suji is toasted until golden brown and added into a sugar syrup and topped with nuts. It is served as prasad (a religious blessing) after Hindu temple events. It is also served with breakfast item like chola bhature.
Recipe of making Suji Halwa:
- Sugar – For 1 cup of sooji or rava, I add ⅔ or ¾ cup of sugar. So the suji halwa has less sweetness or is just sweet. 1 cup of sugar gives a very sweet taste.
- Ghee – I also add ⅔ cup ghee for 1 cup of suji. For me, ⅔ cup is a good amount of ghee. Reduce or increase the ghee if you prefer.
- Water – I add 2.5 cups water for 1 cup of suji. Though you can even add 2 cups of water. The amount of water can also be increased depending on the quality of the rava and if you want a pudding-like smooth consistency.
2. Gajar Halwa
In Hindi, gajar means carrots. A quintessential winter delight and the ultimate comfort halwa. Gajar halwa originated in Punjab. Bright orange in color, this Indian pudding is made by slow-cooking grated carrots in ghee, milk, sugar, and cardamom. Before serving, it is topped with chopped nuts and khoya or mawa (dried evaporated milk solids).
Recipe of making Gajar Halwa:
- Step 1: Mix carrots and milk in a pan, bring to a boil. Cook on low flame, stirring occasionally, until milk dries up.
- Step 2: Add Nestlé MILKMAID and continue cooking on low flame, stirring occasionally, until it dries up.
- Step 3: Add ghee and cook for another 10 minutes. Garnish your gajar ka halwa recipe with cashewnuts, almonds, kishmish and serve hot.
3. Chana Dal Halwa
Chana Dal Halwa is a popular indian desserts which is made during celebrations and get together in the house. During the Indian festivals like Diwali, Baishaki and Holi Chana Dal Halwa is made. Chana dal has rich flavour than other pulses, which lend itself well to the preparation of a mouth-watering punjabi style chana dal halwa. Soaked and ground dal is sauteed till a rich aroma is achieved and then prepared into a traditional chana dal halwa flavoured with cardamom and saffron. One of the perfect indian desserts for entertaining.
Recipe of making Chana Dal Halwa:
- In a kadai heat ghee and add soaked chana dal paste and keep sauteing.
- Cook on low flame for 14-15 minutes. Until it’s light golden brown in color.
- In a pan, add white sesame seeds and dry roast it. Once it cools down, transfer it into a grinder jar and grind into fine powder.
- Now, add powdered sesame seeds into the kadai and mix well.
- Add jaggery syrup and mix it well. Cook till it thickens and ghee leaves the sides of the pan.
- Add cardamom powder, black pepper powder and mix it well.
- In a pan, add chopped almonds, pistachio and toss well.
- Once the halwa is done. Transfer it into a serving bowl.
- Garnish it with tossed nuts and serve hot.
4. Gulab Jamun
Gulab Jamun is a very popular indian desserts made from deep fried balls of milk based dough that are soaked in sugary syrup. It is a favorite dessert of ours, and we often serve it for weddings, birthdays, festivals, parties or even as a post-prandial treat. Gulab jamun can literally be translated to “rose berries,” and are so named because the sugar syrup is scented with rose water and the fried dough balls are a similar size to a dark purple berry known as black plum or java plum.
Recipe of making Gulab Jamun:
- Take 1 cup khoya or mawa (200 grams) in a bowl. Soft khoya also known as ‘daap ka khoya’ or ‘chikna khoya’ is used. This is a soft khoya, so it mashes and kneads very well.
- Mash khoya very well, ensuring there are no lumps or small bits lurking.
- Then add ¾ cup (100 grams) grated paneer, 2 tablespoons fine rava (semolina), 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon cardamom powder to the mashed khoya.
- Mix well.
- Add 1 tablespoon milk and gather together to form a dough with milk. Don’t knead, just gently mix.
- Mix 1.75 cups (250 grams) sugar in 1 cup water.
- I used raw sugar here, which contributes to the dark color of the syrup.
- Add rose water and stir. Set the sugar solution aside.
- After 30 minutes, make small balls from the dough without cracks. Cover the dough balls and set aside.
- Heat oil until it is medium-hot. Lower the heat to a medium-low or low and wait for a minute. Then gently place a single dough ball in the oil.
- Once the jamun start to have tiny golden spots, keep on rotating them in the oil so that the balls are evenly browned. Since I was taking the photos, I browned a few of them more.
- Remove the fried dough balls and then place them on paper towels to remove extra oil.
- Place the hot fried dough balls in the sugar syrup. Continue to fry the rest of the dough balls in batches, giving them a quick drain on paper towels before adding them to the sugar syrup while they are still hot.
- When all the gulab jamun are placed in the sugar syrup, then keep the whole pan on a low flame for 1 to 2 minutes. Heating helps the jamun to absorb the syrup and become soft.
- Serve gulab jamun warm or at room temperature. You can also chill them and serve.
Kheer especially rice kheer is everyone’s favorite indian desserts. Simply delicious, comforting, creamy and rich this rice kheer makes for a perfect indian desserts anytime you crave for something sweet. This north Indian rice pudding is easy to made and needs only a handful of basic ingredients. The “kheer” word is derived from the sanskrit word “skheer” meaning milk.So milk is the main ingredient of making kheer.
Recipe of making Kheer:
First soak 1/4 cup raw rice in water till immersing level. You can use basmati rice instead of raw rice. Soak in water for 30 mins.
Rinse rice 2-3 times, strain and set aside.
In a large pot – add 4 cups milk ie 1 litre milk.
Let it come to a rolling boil.
Simmer for 5 mins, meanwhile keep stirring and scarping the sides to collect the malai and add it to the boiling milk itself.
Now add soaked, drained rice to the milk. Give a quick mix.
Cook until rice turns soft, try to press the rice with a spoon if its mashable then rice is cooked perfectly.
Now add 1/4 cup sugar.
Add 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder and few strands of saffron.
Simmer until kheer becomes slightly thick. Meanwhile keep stirring in between scrap the sides and add the malai to the kheer.
Mash the rice slightly.
Add 1 tablespoon chopped mixed nuts. You can add more also if you like, we love to sprinkle the nuts while serving so I add very little. If you prefer you can even roast the nuts in ghee and add.
Now add 1 teaspoon rose water(optional) and switch off.
Switch off when it is still slightly runny as it thickens with time. Rice Kheer is ready to serve.
Serve Rice Kheer hot or cold as per your preference.
6. Besan Ladoo
Besan Ladoo is a popular indian desserts made from besan, powdered sugar and butter (ghee). Also known as Besan ke Laddu these are round sweet balls made by roasting gram flour and ghee together and then adding sugar to make a thick pasty dough – that is then formed into delicious. Make this indian desserts during festivals like Diwali or Ganesh Chaturthi. There are many varieties of ladoo, but besan ke laddu is one of the most popular indian desserts, especially during festivals like Diwali.
Recipe of making Besan Ladoo:
Step 1: Roast the besan
Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan, preferably nonstick. Add the sifted besan. Keep the heat on medium and stir continuously for about 11 to 12 minutes. You know the besan is roasted enough when it has a nutty aroma and golden brown color.
Step 2: Sprinkle with water
The secret to this recipe’s grainier texture is to sprinke a tablespoon of water at this stage, and then stir continuously for 1 to 2 minutes. You don’t want to undercook or overcook the besan (overcooked is the worst!). The key is to stir continuously.
Step 3: Take the roasted besan off the heat
Once the mixture is ready, turn off the heat and transfer the besan to a large plate or platter. Don’t keep it in the pan, since the heat will cause the besan to keep cooking.
Step 4: Add the sugar
Once the mixture cools down (not completely cool, but lukewarm), add the sugar, cardamom powder and 1/2 tablespoon of chopped pistachios. Mix well with both hands. If it looks too dry, add a bit more ghee.
Step 5: Form into ladoos
Form the mixture into golf ball–sized ladoos using the palm of your hands. If it feels too soft to form into balls, refrigerate it for 5 to 10 minutes first. As the mixture cools, the ghee will help solidify it. Garnish the ladoos with the remaining chopped pistachios, almonds and dried rose petals, and enjoy!
Sometimes called traditional Indian ice cream, kulfi is a frozen dairy dessert that comes in a variety of flavors. The dense, creamy custard is slow to melt in the Indian heat and comes in flavors ranging from saffron and mango to vanilla and rose.
Ingredients of Kulfi:
- The main ingredients in kulfi ice cream are full fat milk, and khova, which is essentially milk thickened up by heating it.
- Condensed milk and milk powder add that creamy texture that’s so typical of kulfis and add sweetness too.
- Saffron strands or kesar is what gives this dish that royal colour and taste.
- A pinch of cardamom powder complements the dairy products so beautifully.
- We’ve used chopped almonds in the kulfi. You can use any other nuts like pista and cashews – lots of crunch and nutty taste!
Recipe of making Kulfi:
- Heat and simmer full fat milk until it thickens up.
- Add khova to the reduced milk
- Next, add condensed milk
- Add the flavouring agents – cardamom and saffron
- Freeze them in kulfi moulds for 10-12 hours
- Garnish with chopped nuts and serve!