Dessert makes us go weak in the knees. It's a warm blanket on a cold winter evening. It's icing on the cake and the climax to an absolutely spectacular movie. There is no denying the fact that desserts give a befitting end to any meal. And we Indians? We have a penchant for sweets, no doubt. Not only are desserts part of our staple fare, but they are also offered in our places of worship. Be it the khada prasad at Gurudwaras or the boondi laddoos served at temples, desserts form an integral part of our sacred offerings. And by and large, all Indian use sugar, and khoya as staple ingredients.Ranging from Gulab Jamuns to Payasam, nostalgic favorites to modern avatars, we bring to you the most loved Indian desserts. 

1. Gulab Jamun

Somya Sharma

This delicious treat consists of soft, melt-in-your-mouth, fried dumplings that are traditionally made of thickened or reduced milk and soaked in rose-flavored sugar syrup.

I know it sounds weird when you put it like that, but I bet you won’t be able to stop once you have a bite of it. It's not a very hard recipe, but it does take a bit of patience and time. This is one of the most popular desserts in the Northern part of India and is often referred to as “Indian doughnuts” by many.

2. Rosogolla (Rasgulla)

Ayushi Gupta

Rasgulla is a syrupy dessert popular in the and regions with the South Asian diaspora. It is made from ball-shaped dumplings of chhena (an Indian cottage cheese) and dough, cooked in a light syrup made of sugar. This is done until the syrup permeates the dumplings. This is the dessert relished in major parts of the east as well as North India. You’ll fall in love with this one, trust me.

3. Halwa

Priyaank Sharma

An array of mouth-watering Halwas, such as Karachi Halwa, Sohan Halwa, Pista Halwa, Badam Halwa, Habshi Halwa, Gajar Halwa, Suji Halwa, Moong-Dal Halwa etc. etc. is all you need if you’re a sweet tooth. Of all these, for me, the Moong-Dal Halwa and Gajar Halwa are most scrumptious ones. These are full of dry-fruits, khoya and tastes so yummy. These are the must haves if you haven’t tried them yet.

4. Shahi Tukda

Shahi Tukda as the name suggests means royal dessert which is an exotic rich bread pudding with lots of fruits flavored with cardamom. It’s a simple recipe to make and an exceptional dessert for times when you are in a hurry. Shahi Tukra or Shahi tukray or Shahi Tukda are originally Mughlai desserts from the Nawabi cuisine.

A dish which was be well admired by the Kings and their ascendants. This is said to have its origin in Pakistan and is widely regarded as a remnant of the rice that was propagated during the Mughal era. Shahi Tukra is made by frying the pieces in oil and then dipped in sweetened milk and garnished with nuts and cardamom powder. Nuts are used to garnish the irresistible sweet dish.

5. Kheer/Payasam

Priyaank Sharma

Have you ever wondered what is it about kheer that makes it such an endearing sweet dish? Besides the fact that almost anyone can make it, what really works in favor of this ancient sweet dish – which even Ayurveda recommends in its list of happy food for good health – is that it is an extremely versatile dish. An Indian dessert consisting of rice (or a similar ingredient) and sugar boiled in milk or coconut milk, and often flavored with cardamom and ground nuts. Dry fruits and saffron are used to garnish the dish. When, instead of sugar, jaggery is used, it becomes the most famous south Indian dessert: Payasam.

6. Jalebi

Bhavya Bansal

Jalebi is a hot favorite on any special occasion be it a birthday, wedding or festival. Jalebis are Indian desserts made by deep-frying a wheat flour (maida flour) batter in pretzel or circular shapes, which are then soaked in sugar syrup. They can be served warm or cold as well. People like to savor it with hot milk or even Rabri(thickened milk) at times. This is even considered as the national sweet dish of the country. You could now imagine how much we Indians love it.

7. Malpua (Indian Pancake Dessert)

Gurjot Singh

Malpua is an Indian served as a dessert or a snack originating from the Indian subcontinent, popular in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. It is a very popular dish of Odisha and is also served to Lord Jagannath of Puriof in his Sakala Dhupa (morning food served to the lord). Apart from other dishes like Pheni, Rabdi, Kheera sara and other cheese or chhena based items malpua is one of the most popular buyouts in the streets of Puri in Odisha. It is also complemented with Rabri and nuts to make the dish taste heavenly

8. Sandesh (or Shondesh)

Karan Kapoor

Next up we have, coming from the heart of East-India, a Bengali dessert created with milk and sugar. Some recipes of Sandesh call for the use of or (which is made by curdling the milk and separating the whey from it) instead of milk itself. Some people in the region of call it pranahara (literally, heart 'stealer') which is a softer kind of sandesh, made with and the essence of . Sounds yummmm, right?

9. Kaju Katli

Kaju katli (literally "cashew slice"), also known as kaju Katari or , is an Indian dessert similar to a . Kaju means in .

The dish is prepared with cashew nuts soaked in water for a considerable period of time (usually overnight), which are then ground to a paste. solution is boiled down until a single thread forms when two fingers are dipped into it and pulled apart, after which it is added to the ground cashews. , (kesar), and may also be added.The paste is then spread and flattened in a shallow, flat-bottomed dish and cut into bite-sized diamond-shaped pieces. The pieces are usually decorated with . The finished sweet is usually white or yellow in color depending on the ingredients used for the paste and the proportions of each used. Katli is traditionally eaten during . The kesar version of this sweet dish is considered to be more exotic and rich.

10. Ghevar

Bhavya Bansal

Heard of Dal-Bati-Churma? Ghoomar? Well, despite all this Rajasthan is well known for one more thing and that is its famous sweet dish, Ghevar. Ghevar is traditionally associated with the Teej Festival. It is disc-shaped sweet cake made with all-purpose flour and soaked in sugar syrup. There are many varieties of Ghevar, including plain, mawa and ghevar. Ghevar traces its roots to Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan and also Sonepat, a city in Haryana .

So, satiate your sweet cravings and relish the tastiest sweets that you'll ever find.