What is the national sweet of India? Here are all the delicious contenders!

national sweet of india

The world of lip smacking deliciousness that Indian sweets encompass, it’s hard to conform to the idea that there should be any one of those delectables that rule it as the national sweet of India. With sinfully delirious adaptations of traditional sweets that deliver different worlds of flavour altogether in each of their different forms and shapes, hues and takes, the world of Indian sweets boast of a variety that is unparalleled. Whipping up the exact same ingredients to arrive at mindblowingly distinct dishes, in either mellow sweetness or with intense bouts of saccharines, there’s something delightfully divine about Indian sweets that appeases your very soul.

The pride of diversity that the country remains steeped in, it’s indeed not very surprising that sweetmeats of every region are as distinct as they can be from the rest. Be it in texture or in flavour, in shape or in size, in color or even in prettiness, Indian sweets tend to outdo each other. In fact, there is such variety of sweetness in India that will cater to each of your moods and cravings, indulging you with preferences that you didn’t realise you have!

So when we indeed have to deal with the dilemma of addressing any of these sweethearts as the national sweet of India, we are putting our sweet sensibilities at stake. And for die hard sweet aficionados like us, this is some serious blasphemy we are being goaded into committing. Because our unbounded love for every morsel of all things sweet simply doesn’t allow us to accord an elevated status to one of these delights over the other. Yet we have to, because as fate would have it, the national tag is one exclusive to one but nevertheless contended by all.

So what is the national sweet of India?

That status is claimed by none other than the very desi spirals of the forever favourite among sweet fantasies- the jalebi. Whether you like it in crunchy batches of piping hotness or in its soggy melt-in-the-mouth burst of sweet juicy flavors, jalebi is love for all us Indians. What makes this very deserving sweet much more than just another hyper dose of saccharine is its appeal in versatility. Have it plain with a cup of the perfectly brewed tea or dipped in some sinful bowlfuls of dense sweet rabri, you can’t ever go wrong with jalebis- mounds and mounds of it!

The national appeal of Jalebi

Jalebis or Jilapis are essentially sweet friend crunchy munchies made of batter spiraled out in small discs and deep fried in vesselfuls of oil or ghee till they are just the perfect crisp and colour. Sugar soaked to lend them the sweet juiciness and enticing flavour, jalebis unite Indians across borders. The batter has interesting variations though- plain flour batter or a heavy besan one, a grinded lentil mix or even a chhena based one, the good ol’ humble jalebi has enough tricks up its spirals to keep things interesting!

Even the sugar syrup come up with slight additions. It can be plain sugar cooked in water or enriched with amounts of elaichi and/or saffron to lend a fragrant flavour that just appeals more to the taste. Either way though, it’s hard to resist a plate of those bright yellow or mild orange spiral discs straight out of the frying pan and into your mouth!

The massive fan following that Jalebi commands, it’s inevitable that this unique sweetmeat has come to be synonymous with all of India’s festivals. Be it Durga Puja or Diwali, Eid or any celebrations, or heck- for that matter, even as breakfast staples (read poha- jalebi) or simply an evening tea time accompaniment or a sweet snack to munch on any time of the day you desire, Jalebi is love compounded and sweetness intensified. Needless to say, we aren’t complaining when jalebi is now widely proclaimed as the most loved national sweet of India. Jalebis sure deserve all the fame!

A second thought though

But inspite of our immense love for jalebi, we still have reservations cropping up from time to time. So what are the other sweets we think can claim equal stake to the title of the national capital of India? Find out if your favorite is among the names that follow-


When it comes to iconic Indian sweets, we can’t ever do away with the rasgulla. Soft spongy balls of chenna kneaded till perfection and boiled in a sugar syrup, rasgullas has to be the metaphor for simplistic indulgence. It is the staple sweet for every gathering, the perfect tea accompaniment for those who shun fancy warqs and nuts and is mild on the palate yet overwhelming to the senses.

Rasgulla is one of the most popular sweets you can have in any part of the country. In fact this boiled sweetmeat is so popular that the claim of its origin has been widely contended by both West Bengal and Odisha. It’s surprising that Rasgulla isn’t the national sweet of India given the crazy fan following it commands. Rasgulla is emotion for any and despite its overt sweetness tends to appeal to all. Every wedding menu invariably has rasgulla with curd as the mandatory dessert, with or without the sidekicks. That’s just how sweet our very own rasgulla is!


Another equally favoured of the names that can easily contend to be the national sweet of India has to be the many barfis dotting the sweet palate of Indian celebrations. Either the diamond shaped ones or those simply cut into squares, triangle forms or rectangle ones, it doesn’t matter what you are biting into as long as it is a barfi. Like every others in the list, barfis are ubiquitous to Indian celebrations and festivities.

Kaju barfi is the most preferred form for its mild sweetness and nutty richness but other versions are equally delicious. A rich decadent besan ka burfi, the uniquely textured coconut ones, fancy chocolate versions or a version with the ever present badaams and a number of other fusion ventures, barfis rule the sweet roost with their aesthetics and taste. Gorging on platefuls of these barfis is no big deal for Indians, without even as much as a though about calories and sugar rush, during festivals or even otherwise- when the mood suits fit!


Indian festivals are incomplete without laddoos. In its many variations and diverse interpretations, laddoos characterise the myriad of sweetmeats that entice with their pile of rotund deliciousness. Motichoor ke laddoo is the most commonly devoured variation that is sweet and ‘sober’ in equal measure. Either dry to the core or alternatively sticky with ghee, motichoor or boondi laddoos are the most popular of the category.

Other equally at par sweet bites are the healthier rava laddoos or the coconut ones as well as the nutty badam laddoo, besan laddoo, gond ke laddoo. Laddos are very often offered as prasad to deities and marks the onset of any festivities. Whether it be dil mein laddoo futna or shaadi ke laddoo, these balls of sweetness have a world of happiness residing within their tiny, medium or gigantic diameters.


Kalakand might not outnumber other more popular Indian desserts in terms of adulation but what can very much make this rich milk offering the national sweet of India is its uniqueness. Entirely milk based and low on sugar, kalakand is the sweet to go to for those who cannot do away with their sweet cravings even with a looming blood sugar rush.

In its pristine white expanse sans any show of fanciness, the Kalakand encompasses such flavour that remains unsurpassed by any sweet in the history of the world. A crumbly and grainy texture that still is the perfect melt in your mouth consistency, kalakands often make a great sweet to devour along with a steaming cup of milk tea. Devouring Indian sweets the Indian way is the perfect celebration of life and festivals in all their melts of delicious sweetness!