Known for its backwaters, surreal beaches, the coastline of the Western Ghats covered with lush green tea plantations, Kerala is a state in India that doesn’t fail to impress. With impeccable houseboats, enchanting wildlife, relaxing ayurvedic treatments, and a chance to take your taste buds on a ride, Kerala offers unforgettable experiences. The inhabitants of Kerala are as welcoming and pleasant as the mouth-watering Kerala sweets.
With various different festivals taking place in Kerala, the excuses to cook these scrumptious and decadent desserts are never less. Fulfilling the needs and cravings of every sweet tooth out there, the textures, flavors, and aroma of the sweets in Kerala will make one come back for more. When traveling around God’s own country, do not miss out on indulging in these heavenly desserts.
Top 18 Kerala Sweets
With flavors of coconut, jaggery, and banana dominating the tastes of dishes in Kerala, there is no dearth of desserts where ingredients and condiments haven’t been played with. Leaving the taste buds tingling and craving for more, travelers should definitely take a whiff and hog on the desserts made with love and a lot of coconuts!
1. Palada Payasam
One of the common Kerala sweets, Palada Payasam is a staple for the households in the state. Made with boiling the crunchy vermicelli and rice in milk to the soft stage and flavored with cardamom, sugar, and butter. To add to the taste and texture, this delicious dessert is garnished with raisins and cashew nuts. This sweet can be found as a part of the Onam special meal.
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2. Banana Halwa
Sweet that melts in your mouth is nothing less than heaven. Banana Halwa is one such dessert. Glossy texture, dark brown shade and its tenderness make this dessert one of the most relished sweets in Kerala. Made with the staple ingredient- ripened bananas along with sugar, ghee, almonds, and cardamom powder, Banana Halwa is a must try when visiting the land of backwaters.
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Neyyappam is one of the most loved sweets of Kerala. When on a culinary journey in Kerala, Neyyappam should definitely be on the list of Kerala sweets and snacks that one wants to try. Fried in ghee, this sweet and jaggery stuffed pancake not only fulfills the stomach but also fulfills the cravings of people. Neyyappam is typically made from rice flour, coconut, cardamom, milk, ghee, and then stuffed with a mixture of jaggery. This delicacy is served as a tea time snack.
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This is one of the best traditional and old sweets in Kerala. A variant of Neyyappa, Unniyappam is sweet that you can never have just one! Served during the celebrations of Onam Sadya, these little hemispheres hold a special childhood memory for the locals. Usually prepared at home, this dessert is made with basic ingredients of mashed bananas, jaggery, and coconut.
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5. Elaneer Pudding
Elaneer Pudding is one of the most exotic dishes when it comes to Kerala sweets images. Something similar to a pannacotta, hero of this sweet is nothing but lots of coconuts! Set with gelatin or agar-agar, Elaneer Pudding is extremely refreshing and especially enjoyed under the hot sun. Prepared with condensed milk, coconut, sugar, milk, agar-agar, and essence this sweet has a perfect balance of sweetness making it one of the delicious Kerala sweets.
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6. Rava Laddoos
Laddoo in itself is the popular sweets of India made in different ways in different parts of the country. One of the favorite Kerala sweets amongst kids, Rava Laddoos are small hemispheres flavored with coconut, dry fruits, and cardamom. When traveling to God’s own country, do not forget to get a box packed of these finger-licking sweets for friends and family back home!
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7. Arisi Thengai Payasam
Also knows as rice coconut kheer is a specialty during Tamil New Year. This traditional payasam is prepared by soaking the finest jaggery in warm water, crushing it and heating it till it becomes thick. Rice is then blended and ground with coconut before adding to the milk for cooking. After adding the jaggery to the porridge-like rice, the whole surroundings fill with heavenly aroma and scents of this tempting delicacy.
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8. Mutta Maala
A dessert made of only three basic ingredients- egg, sugar, and water, Mutta Mala is another Ramadan popular dish in Kerala. Made by pouring the egg yolk through a small hole into boiling sugar water so that the yolks resemble strings, this sweet is not to be missed when traveling to Kerala during the holidays.
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9. Chatti Pathiri
A combination of lasagna and pie in appearance, this tempting delicacy is layered with sheets of pastry dough and filled with savory or sweet fillings. Consumed widely during the festival of Ramadan at the time breaking the fast, Chatti Pathiri is a popular Malabari dish. Alternate layers of pastry sheets and sweet custard filling, topped with sesame seeds make Chatti Pathiri rank amongst the top ten Kerala sweets.
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10. Ada Pradhaman
Ada Pradhaman tops the list of must-have Kerala special sweets. Tagged as king of sweets in Kerala, Ada Pradhaman is full of all the important flavors of Kerala- coconut, banana, rice, and jaggery! No meal is complete without a bowl of Ada Pradhaman making it one of the tasty desserts of Kerala. Made using coconut milk, this sweet has the authentic and traditional flavor of Kerala that reflects the culinary culture of this South Indian state!
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11. Bamboo Rice Payasam
Returning from a Kerala trip without tasting even a single kind of Payasam, is like returning from a Goa trip without visiting a single beach. Payasam is one of the most famous sweets in Kerala. And when you have it available in such a wide range, you can easily choose your favourite flavour or ingredient. Bamboo Rice Payasam is a popular kind, as this rice is widely used for preparing sweets dishes. They have a unique taste that uplifts the flavour of the dish. And the roasted cashew garnishing makes the icing on the cake.
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12. Coconut And Mawa Laddoo
Kerala is a land of coconut trees. Coconut is added in different forms to almost every dish, then how can something as popular as laddoo be spared? Coconut Laddoo is highly famous throughout the country and when it mixed with mawa, the taste becomes heavenly. Mawa also becomes a good substitute for sugar.
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13. Pumpkin Payasam
Malayalis love Payasam and you can tell that from the wide variety in which this sweet-dish is available. Though pumpkin is used in several sweets made throughout the country, this versatile veggie has always been an underdog. Pumpkin Payasam stands out for its spicy-tangy taste. And garnishing it with roasted almonds and cashew nuts just makes it even more irresistible. This is why is one of most delicious sweets of Kerala.
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14. Orange Payasam
Orange has been one of the most popular flavours and even among the kids. The peppy and tangy taste of orange can make any dish interesting. And when it is added to the much-loved Payasam, the fan base just widens up. The amazing combination of thick orange pulp mixed with coconut oil, added to boiled rice paste, makes this rich and flavourful sweet-dish.
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The origin of Akkaravadisal is associated with the Iyengar tradition, that is basically the Hindu Brahmin tradition of Tamil Nadu. But this dish is also popular in Kerala. The base ingredient is boiled rice and moong dal which is added to milk. Sugar or jaggery makes it sweet and spices like cardamom and saffron adds additional flavour. The signature roasted cashew garnishing makes it even more attractive.
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16. Coconut Pitha With Mawa
Image Credits: Danangtrihartanto for Wikimedia Commons
Made with jaggery, cardamom, and the very famous ingredient of Kerala named Mawa aka khoya, Coconut Pitha is a great dish to try in the city as well as carry it back home as a souvenir for friends and family back home. This dessert has a filling that is made up of raisins and cashew nuts. It is perhaps among the yummiest desserts that you can try out after your meals in the state of Kerala.
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17. Shahi Tukda With Coconut Oil
Image Credits: Rockstarswapnil for Wikimedia Commons
Shahi Tukda is one of the famous Kerala sweet dishes that is loved by all. This Mughlai dish with the South Indian touch will leave you craving for more. This Kerala dish is very famous among the locals and tourists alike by virtue of the flavours of saffron, milk, and coconut that are added to this dish. Shahi tukda is primarily made with coconut-oil fried bread or rusk according to your preferences.
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18. Milk Rice with Green Gram
Image Credits: srilankanfoodforever
Kerala sweet dishes have just the right amount of sugar in them that are perfect for dessert lovers. Milk Rice is another one of the desserts that will leave you drooling. It is made with the Green Gram that not only offers a great texture, but also enhances the flavors that the sweet dish has to offer. Also known as Mung Ata Kiribath, this sweet dish has a taste of coconut added to it so that you get to taste the authentic flavors of the southern region.
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There is no dearth of Kerala sweets when traveling to the Southern part of India. There is no other better way to understand a culture thoroughly than through the flavors and tastes. With numerous amount of snacks and sweets in Kerala cuisine, one will never be able to get enough of the taste. Do take a culinary journey to Kerala and taste the heavenly desserts of the state that will surely make your taste buds tickle!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Kerala Sweets
What is a special sweet in Kerala?
Different kinds of Payasams are the most popular sweet dishes in Kerala. Apart from the, aluva (South Indian Halwa), and coconut laddoo some of the other popular sweet dishes of this state.
Which is the best place to buy special kerala sweet?
Kerala sweets are easily available at the local sweet shops and bakeries in state. But there are also specific regions that are popular for the best version of a sweet, for instance Calicut, also known as Kozhikode is well for its authentic halwa (aluva).
What is the best time to visit Kerala?
Winter season between September to March is the best time to visit Kerala.
How to reach Kerala?
Kerala is conveniently accessible by air. The state houses three international airports, namely Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, Kochi International Airport and Kozhikode International Airport.
What can I buy in Kerala?
Spices, Tea and Coffee, Coir Handicrafts, Shell Showpieces, Kathakali Masks, Kasavu Mundu, and many more things can be bought in Kerala.
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