Spice Lounge Kitchen | A Guide to Traditional Indian Desserts: Part 1 - Spice Lounge Kitchen
2nd February 2016

A Guide to Traditional Indian Desserts: Part 1

Spicy, savoury recipes are the dishes usually associated with Indian cuisine, but the desserts aren’t as widely acknowledged. However, traditional Indian sweet recipes invite all kinds of unique flavours which are particularly delectable.

The most common ingredients used in these recipes are things like milk, coconut, rice, butter, dried fruits and sugar. These recipes feature at big, celebratory occasions like weddings and religious festivals, and are often served at the beginning of an event to mark the beginning of the happy celebration.

Here are just a few popular Indian desserts which explore the different flavours and textures and appear as classic options for traditional Indian occasions.


Lassi is a yoghurt-based drink, originating from Punjab. Made by blending yoghurt, water and spices, lassi is a refreshing dessert option which can also be mixed with fruit to create a different flavoured drink, such as strawberry or mango lassi.

Best served in the hot weather to cool people down, lassi can either be made with sugar or salt and is served with all kinds of different meals.


Cooked pudding rice is used in a lot of Indian dessert dishes, but one traditional recipe is kheer, made differently in various regions, but originating primarily from North India. Made with rice, tapioca or vermicelli boiled with milk and sugar, this base is usually flavoured with cardamom and mixed with dried fruit and nuts.

Gulab Jamun

These fried, sugar soaked dumplings are definitely a sweeter treat from North and East India which can be served either hot or cold. They are made from milk solids and kneaded into dough, before being rolled into small balls and deep fried. They’re then soaked in sugar syrup which can be flavoured with anything from cardamom to rose water.

Gajar ka Halwa

This is a dessert which may sound odd at first as it is made with carrots, sugar and milk. However, cooked carrots have a subtle sweet taste that lends itself well to the dish as it does in the traditional English carrot cake.

The dish is served as more of a pudding which can be served cold but is preferred hot in the winter. The carrots are usually marinated in syrup and butter and reduced down with milk.

At Spice Lounge, we serve delicious traditional Indian cuisine, with many conventional desserts featuring on our menu as well. If you’d like to book a table at our Indian restaurant in Edinburgh, then get in touch today at 0131 476 9999, otherwise you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.