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14 Indian Dessert Recipes You’ve Never Made Before

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.

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Sandesh Indian DessertCourtesy spiceupthecurry.com

Sandesh

Probably one of the simplest Indian desserts 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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Gulab Jamun Indian DessertsCourtesy Meeta Arora/Piping Pot Curry

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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Rasmalai Indian DessertCourtesy Aneesha Gupta/Spice Cravings

Rasmalai

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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Jalebi Indian DessertCourtesy vegrecipesofindia.com

Jalebi

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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How to make kheer Indian Rice Pudding Kheer in a bowlAnvita Bhatnagar Mistry for Taste of Home

Kheer

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

Kulfi

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. Before you dive into the crazy stuff, you’ve got to try this classic kulfi recipe first.

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Rasgulla Indian DessertCourtesy palatesdesire.com

Rasgulla

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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Peda Indian DessertCourtesy Neha Mathur/Founder at Whiskaffair

Peda

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 storebought peda ever since she first tried this recipe.

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Besan Ladoo Indian DessertCourtesy ministryofcurry.com

Laddoo

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

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Soan Papdi Indian DessertCourtesy awesomecuisine.com

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 Indian DessertsCourtesy Nisha/Honey What’s Cooking

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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Mysore Pak Indian DessertCourtesy Carameltintedlife.com

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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Modak Indian DessertCourtesy Meeta Arora/Piping Pot Curry

Modak

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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Malupa Indian DessertCourtesy Neha Mathur/Founder at Whiskaffair

Malpua

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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Christina Herbst
Christina is an Assistant Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in content creation and SEO optimization. She enjoys trying out local foodie restaurants and coffeehouses and adding copious amounts of garlic and cheese to any recipe she can get her hands on.

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