With Eid, Diwali, and many other festivals right around the corner. Mithai has always been an important part of Indian culture. Whether it’s a festival, wedding, or any other happy occasion, it’s never complete without mithai. Mithai varies greatly all over the country such as rasgulla, cham cham, and sandesh (just to name a few) in Bengal to mesu, monthar, and ghevar in Gujarat. Loaded, usually, with ghee, sugar, and sometimes nuts and milk there is a mithai for everyone. You may not have heard of some of these sweets but on the other hand there are some you’ve eaten throughout your life. Either way, this list will help you choose the right mithais for your special occasion.
Abar khabo: milk based Bengali sweet.
Amrakhand: made with yogurt and mango pulp.
Anarsa: made with rice, gur, and sugar.
Ariselu: made with rice flour, gur, and ghee. South Indian dish from Andhra Pradesh.
Badam Burfi: burfi with almonds.
Badam halwa: made with almonds and ghee.
Badam Katli: made with almonds and ghee.
Badam ki jhab: similar to marzipan.
Ball mithai: brown fudge made with khoya and coated with white sugar balls.
Balushahi: made with maida and dahi and soaked in sugar syrup.
Basundi: sweetened paste made by boiling milk.
Besan burfi: burfi made with besan and milk.
Besan chakki: Rajasthani.
Bobbatlu: made from toor or chana dal, maida, ghee, and gur.
Bonde: ghee based mithai from East India.
Burfi: milk and butter are combined and added to sugar syrup. Then the mixture is cooled in a tray and cut into pieces when hard.
Cham cham: Bengali sweet made from Paneer.
Chena Murki: A sweet made from milk and sugar. The milk is boiled for a long time and condensed. Sugar is added and the sweet is given a round shape. It is also known by many Guyanese people as pera.
Chhena gaja: Popular in Orissa. Chena is combined with sooji.
Chhena poda: literally, means burt cheese.
Chikoo Burfi: burfi made with chikoo.
Chirota: made with rawa and maida.
Churma: wheat crushed and cooked with ghee and sugar.
Churma ladoo: made from wheat flour, ghee, and sugar.
Dharwad pera: South Indian pera.
Dhondas: cucumber cake with rawa and gur.
Dil khushaal: also known as Chuntiya, is a famous Marwari cuisine prepared and sold by Khatri Misthan Bhandaar in Mandore, Jodhpu. It mainly constitutes of besan, mawa, ghee, and sugar.
Falooda: china grass.
Gajar halwa: finely shredded carrots cooked in ghee and sweetened with sugar.
Ghagan Ghantiya: Gujarati mithai similar to Saanta.
Ghari: sweet from Surat in Gujarat made of puri batter and shaped into rounds with sweet filling.
Ghevar: sweet from Surat in Gujarat.
Gil e firdaus: Hyderabadi khee made with milk, vermicelli, and dried fruits.
Gujia: samosa filled with khoya.
Gulab jamun: deep fried balls made from flour and mawa are dipped in sugar syrup.
Halbai: made with ground wheat grains and milk.
Imarti: type of jalebi; also known as jaangiri.
Jaangiri: type of jalebi made with urad dal.
Jhajariya: made of corn, milk, ghee, and sugar.
Jalebi: deep fried, pretzel shaped and soaked in sugar syrup.
Kaala jamun: similar to gulab jamun but darker.
Kadapak: milk based mithai from Eastern India.
Kaju Katli: made with cashews and ghee.
Kakinada khaja: a sweet delicacy of Bihar state, India. Refined wheat flour, sugar and edible oils are the chief ingredients of khaja.
Kalakand: made with chena and sweetened milk.
Karanji: a deep fried dumpling with a filling of grated coconut sweetened with jaggery and flavoured with powdered cardamon. It is also called kanola.
Kashi halwa: grated pumpkin.
Keri no ras: Gujarati mango pulp.
Kesar burfi: burfi flavored with saffron.
Kesari bath: made with sooji and kesar.
Khaja: deep fried round pastries are added to sugar syrup to create a glaze.
Kheer: rice pudding.
Kheersagar: marble sized balls of chena soaked in sweetened condensed milk.
Khubani ka meeta: dessert made with apricots
Kozhukatta is a popular Indian sweet made from rice flour, grated coconut, and gur. The dish is part of the traditional Nasrani cuisine of the Syrian Christians of the state of Kerala.
Kulfi: Indian ice cream.
Ladoo: flour and other ingredients are shaped into balls. Popular at weddings.
Lyangcha: milk based mithai from Eastern India.
Malai ladoo: made with cream.
Malai pan: milk or cream based mithai from North India.
Malpua: Several versions are prepared in different parts of India, including one from Bengal that is typically a cream pancake deep fried with raisins and sugar syrup.
Manoharam: rice, gram flour, gur, and ghee mithai from South India.
Mauz ka meetha: Hyderabadi banana dessert.
Mesu: made with ghee, sugar, and besan. Popular in Gujarat.
Mihidana: besan based.
Milk mysore pak: mesu made with milk.
Mishti doi: sweet dahi.
Modak: flour with coconut stuffing is steamed and fried.
Monthar: Gujarati mithai cut into squares.
Motichoor ladoo: Motichoor Ka Ladoo is a sweet delicacy of the central Bihar made from grilled gram flour flakes which are sweetened, mixed with almonds, and pressed into balls and fried in ghee.
Mung dal kheer: gur, coconut, and ghee are cooked with moong dal.
Mung halwa: Halwa made from moong; cooked in ghee and sweetened with sugar.
Mysore pak: mesu.
Narkel naru: A dessert from Bengal. These are ball-shaped sweets made from khoa/condensed milk and coconut, a traditional favorite during pujas such as the Lakshmi Puja celebrated throughout India.
Palang torh: Rajasthani sweet made from milk.
Paniyaram: black lentils and rice are steamed similar to the way idlis are made.
Pantua: deep fried balls of sooji, khoya, milk, ghee, and sugar syrup. They range in color from pale brown to nearly black depending on how long they are fried.
Parwal ki mithai: is a dry sweet made of parwal. The outer covering is made of parwal, & the filling is made of milk products. Parwal is a green gourd often called a green potato.
Pathishapta: This is a Bengali dessert. The final dish is a rolled pancake that is stuffed with a filling often made of coconut, milk, cream, and jaggery from the date palm.
Patisa: made from sugar, flour, ghee, and milk; a flaky pastry.
Payasa: made with mung, gur, and coconut.
Pera: pera means wheel hence wheel-shaped. Round discs made from milk.
Petha: sweet made from winter melon.
Pista Burfi: burfi with pistas
Pista Katli: made with pistas and ghee.
Pista Roll: pistas and cashews are rolled into a log and cut.
Pithe: made with rice and sugar.
Pootha rekulu: sugared rice sheets.
Puran poli: also known as holige. Made with wheat flour, besan, & gur. It is one of the most popular sweets in Maharashtrian cuisine.
Rabri: milk based dessert.
Rajbhog: milk based mithai from Eastern India.
Ras malai: cream colored disks made with paneer and soaked in thickened milk syrup.
Rasabali: brown discs soaked in sweetened, condensed milk.
Rasgulla: This dish is produced by the boiling of small pops of casein in sugar syrup.
Saanta: Gujarati mithai.
Sandesh: popular Bengali sweet.
Sarkarapuratty: made from bananas, sugar, molasses, and dried ginger powder.
Shahi tukra: bread pudding
Shankarpali: made from a mixture of milk, sugar, ghee, maida, & sooji. It is popular in Maharashtra and traditionally enjoyed on Diwali.
Sheer khurmo: vermicelli in milk
Sheera: also known as sooji halwa.
Shikran: made from bananas, milk, and sugar.
Shrikhand: a famous creamy dessert made out of strained yogurt, from which all water is drained off, leaving the thick yogurt cream by itself. Adding exotic dry fruits like mangoes enhances the Shrikhand’s taste. This great dessert is one of Western India’s most popular traditional dishes, since it has ancient roots in Indian cuisine.
Singori: North Indian sweet made with khoya, grated coconut, & cane sugar, & served wrapped like a cone in Molu leaf and topped with rose petals.
Sitabhog: milk based sweet from Eastern India.
Son halwa: made with maida, ghee, and dry fruits.
Son papri: patisa. Popular Gujarati sweet.
Sukhadi: a Gujarati mithai.
Sutarferin: Gujarati sweet.
Toprapak: also known as nariyal burfi.
Unni appam: a small round sweet rice cake made from rice, plantains, and ghee. Popular in Kerala.