1. Food

Sweets and Desserts

Most Indians will confess to having a sweet-tooth. Can you blame them? The delicious variety available is too much to resist!

Top Christmas Sweets and Snacks
Indian tradition demands that neighbors exchange platters of sweets and snacks with each other on Christmas day, so preparations start at least a month in advance! Here's a list of some of the most popular Christmas goodies made in India during this festive season. Make up batches of your favorites and spread the joy.

Badam Barfi - Almond Fudge
Delicious Badam Fudge or Badam Barfi is a regal dessert but is so easy to make! It is so delicious everybody will think you spent hours slaving over it. Here's how you make it...

Badam Halwa - Badam Ka Halwa
Badam Halwa is a regal dessert fit for Kings! Treat your family and friends to it and they will love you for making the effort...

Shakkarpara - Shakkarpare - Shakarpali
Shakkarpara is a terrific snack to have with a cup of tea! It is often made in India at festival time - Diwali or Christmas. Here is the recipe...

Panjiri - Punjiri - Panjeeri
This delicious Indian dessert is usually given to new mothers, as an aid to lactation. It is said to increase milk supply! Learn how to make it...

Sooji Ka Halwa - Semolina Halwa
Easy to make and so delicious, Sooji Ka Halwa is a personal family favorite! This is my Father's recipe... nobody makes Sooji Halwa like my Dad!

Phirni
Creamy Phirni is a North Indian dessert, delicately flavored with cardamom and saffron. Fruit pulp can be added to this basic recipe for a delicious twist on an already yummy dessert! This is my paternal Grandmother's recipe.... Enjoy!

Mama's Christmas Cake
This is my Mother's recipe for Christmas cake and though I may be biased, it is the best in the world! She's been making it for years and I have never come across anyone who did not love it at first bite.

No-Cook Chocolate Easter Eggs
I used to make these delicious Easter Eggs as a kid so you can imagine the recipe is pretty simple! You need to make them ahead so factor in the extra time required.

Marzipan Shapes
This is a favourite Goan sweet made specially for Christmas. Marzipan can be made into all sorts of shapes, depending on how artistic you are and how creative you feel!

Laddoo Recipes
A Laddoo is a round ball-shaped Indian sweet. Base ingredients range from grain flours to vegetable and fruits. Laddoos make for a nice bite-sized treat!

Halwa Recipes
The Arabic word Halwa (pronounced hull-waa) comes from the root word Hilwa which means sweet. It is therefore used in connection with most sweets, desserts or candy. In India though, the word Halwa is used to describe certain sweets with the consistency of a thick pudding. They are usually rich and loaded with dried fruits and nuts. Halwas are decadent and guaranteed to satisfy the pickiest of de…

Rabdi-Rasgulla - Rabgulla
Succulent Rasgullas in decadent Rabdi! Interested? Learn how to make it, here...

Kajoo Barfi - Cashew Fudge - Kaajoo Ki Barfee
In India, Kajoo Barfi is often presented to guests on auspicious occasions like the birth of a child, weddings, a promotion at work, at the passing of an important exam etc. It is fairly easy to make! Here is the recipe...

Til Ke Laddoo - Sesame Laddoo
This dessert is especially popular during winter months as sesame as thought to have heating properties! Here's how you make Til Ke Laddoo...

Milk-based Indian Sweets and Desserts
Most Indians will confess to having a sweet-tooth. Can you blame them? The delicious variety available is too much to resist! Indian desserts are made with ingredients ranging from fruits and vegetables to grains and legumes! Here are some made predominantly with milk and milk products.

Charlene's Super Easy Mango Kulfi
This recipe for this delicious dessert is so simple, kids can make it!

Peanut Brittle - Shengdana Chikki
This tasty dessert is very simple and quick to make!

Shahi Falooda
This delicious, chilled dessert is perfect for the summer. It used to be very popular in Mumbai (Bombay) and its surrounding cities, but is now well-known and loved all over India!

Shahi Anjir Ice Cream
Creamy ice cream flavored with figs and honey!

Sitaphal Ice Cream - Custard Apple Ice Cream
I love the slightly grainy texture of Sitaphal Ice Cream! This recipe is so simple to make, my brother and I would often treat ourselves to it as kids. My Mom would come into the kitchen and see us hard at work, making our own dessert!

Sitaphal Cream
I have lost count of how many times I would travel almost an hour from home (in Bombay), just to eat Sitaphal Cream at the famous Haji Ali! Sitaphal Cream is the kind of dessert that makes you feel you've died and gone straight to heaven!! I feel like I need not say more on the subject. Try it!

Shrikhand - Sweetened Yogurt
I first tasted Shrikhand when I moved to Pune, a big city in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, with my family. I have loved it ever since. Ideally Shrikhand should be made with whole or full cream milk yogurt but you can also make it with low-fat or diet yogurt. The nuts are optional but add that extra special touch to this simple but delicious dessert.

Puran Poli
In Maharashtra (western India), where I lived for several years, Puran Poli is a hot favorite food! You can eat it at breakfast with a dollop of cream (that's how I love it!) or as a post-meal dessert. Whatever you decide to do, Puran Poli is worth the effort involved in making it.

Mukhwas
Mukhwas is usually eaten after a meal to aid digestion and freshen the mouth and there are countless recipes out there. Once you've made Mukhwas a couple of times and figured out which ingredients you prefer over others, you too can create your own!

Caramel Custard
This easy-to-make pudding is popular all over India but made especially well by the Parsis, Mangaloreans (both from Western India) and the Anglo-Indians. Get the recipe here.

Quick and Easy Microwave Milk Barfi
When I first learned how to cook this delicious dessert, I was so taken up by how easy it was, I made it every excuse I could find! You'll see why if you try it.

Rava Laddoo
Though quick and easy to cook, this Indian dessert is very tasty and also hugely popular. It's perfect to make when time is short but you still want a special dessert.

Boondi Laddoo - Motichoor Laddoo
This delicious laddoo is a standard Indian sweet served at just about any special occasion in India. Get the recipe here!

Doodhi/ Lauki Ka Halwa (milk-gourd halwa)
Though the name may sound unusual, this dessert is delicious! Get the recipe here...

Moong Daal Halwa
This rich, delicious dessert has an unusual main ingredient, normally associated with savory dishes - lentils. You'd never believe it when you eat it though! Serve Moong Daal Halwa warm with a scoop of vanilla icecream and you'll get many requests for seconds.

Cham-Cham
I've heard of them being called "Pleasure Boats" and know people who use the name as a term of endearment for their loved ones! Not surprising because Cham-Chams are truly delicious and very sweet indeed. Cham-Cham is a typically Bengali (east Indian) sweet.

Top Bengali Sweets and Desserts
If the popularity of Rasgulla, Sandesh and Mishti Doi is anything to go by, the Bengalis from Eastern India sure know a great deal about sweet making. Here are some of their favorites that are also among India's best loved desserts.

Rasgulla
There aren't too many Indians who haven't eaten a Rasgulla and remembered it fondly! That's just the kind of magical dessert it is! Try it...

Mishti Doi (sweet yoghurt)
Mishti Doi is synonymous with Bengal in East India. The Bengalis are famous for their sweet preparations and Mishti Doi is among their most well known desserts. Mishti Doi tastes great but is amazingly simple to make!

North Indian Desserts
These desserts may be North Indian in origin but they're known and loved worldwide. The reason for that is pretty obvious when you taste them!

Ras Malai
Probably my favorite dessert, Ras Malai is dumplings made from cottage or riccotta cheese soaked in sweetened, thickened milk delicately flavored with cardamom. Serve it chilled and garnished with slivers of dried fruit.

Gulab Jamun
This popular Indian dessert has countless fans! Learn how to make it.

Kulfi
Is there an Indian version of ice-cream? You bet! Try Kulfi. With it's oh-so-milky and mild cardamom flavors it's sure to have you hooked.

Mixed Fruit Kabab
This fun and healthy dessert is also quick and easy to make!

Bebinca (layered Goan dessert)
A traditional Goan dessert, Bebinca is a must have at any celebration be it a birth, wedding, Christmas or Easter! Making Bebinca requires patience, but the end result is well worth the effort. Traditional Bebinca has 16 layers, but you can make as many as you like.

Chocolate Walnut Fudge
This delicious treat is most often made at Christmas. The recipe uses walnuts but you can subsitute with pecans or almonds.

Guava Cheese
A chewy fudge-like sweet, Guava Cheese is best made with fresh guavas. They are a rich source of vitamin C - from 3-6 times more than in oranges to almost 30 times more than that found in bananas! Most of this vitamin C is found in the skin of the fruit.

Coconut Bafi (coconut fudge)
You will love this sweet if you like coconut. It is most often made on occassions like Diali (the Hindu festival of lights) and Christmas.

Shahi Tukra
Truly a royal dessert, as its name suggests, Shahi Tukra is a rich bread pudding with dry fruits, flavored with cardamom. It's simple to make and a great dessert for times when you're in a hurry.

Malpua (pancakes in syrup)
Pancakes Indian style! Malpuas are far too special to confine them to breakfast but after you've tried them you'll probably want them at every meal!

Kheer (rice pudding)
This creamy rice pudding is delicately flavoured with cardamom and full of nuts. It's a great dessert for anytime of the year. In south and east India versions of it are made for certain festivals. In the South, Kheer is called Payasam and in the east it is know as Payas.

Gaajar Ka Halwa (carrot pudding)
This delicious, rich pudding loaded with nuts and dried fruits is well-known all over the world. It is normally eaten warm so it tastes really good combined with vanilla icecream.

Sandesh Mishti
Satisfy your sweet tooth with this recipe for Sandesh, one of West Bengal's most popular desserts

Nankaties or Naan Khatais
Nankaties or Naan Khatais

Kulkuls
Kulkuls

Til Ka Gajak (sesame brittle)
Til Ka Gajak (sesame brittle)

Shir Kurma
Shir Kurma

Besan Ka Laddoo (gram flour sweet)
Besan Ka Laddoo (gram flour sweet)

Gujia or Nuereos with Khoya Filling
Gujia or Nuereos with Khoya Filling

Jalebi
Jalebi

Gujia or Nuereos with Coconut Filling
Gujia or Nuereos with Coconut Filling

Chana Daal Halwa - Bengal Gram Halwa
If you like sweet stuff, you will love Chana Daal Halwa. It has a rich, decadent feel that is perfect for days when you are looking to pamper yourself! Go for it...

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