When we think of ‘South Indian food,’ we usually think of the much-loved dosas and idlis, as well as the sizzling hot vadas with lip-smacking coconut chutney that make the perfect morning fix. Also difficult to resist are the rich and complex curries created with earthy spices like mustard and curry leaves, as well as creamy coconut milk. Regardless of the season, kokum sharbat or imli sharbat make for a delicious drink.

Flavors from the south have spread across India, transcending national borders. The delicious sweets sometimes take a backseat as we focus more on the savory aspect of what this cuisine has to offer to our palates. Several wonderful southern concoctions may hook any sweet lover for life, from the creamy Rava Kesari to the ghee-enriched Mysore Pak. So let’s revisit some traditional South Indian delicacies and the history that underpins their unrivaled dominance.

1. Mysore Pak

This candy has been around for over a century. This sweet has a long history dating back to the time when Mysuru, then the capital of Karnataka, was ruled by Mysuru Maharajas.
Kakasura Madappa was a cook in the Maharaja’s kitchen, and it is stated that Mysore Pak was a spur-of-the-moment creation to impress the Maharaja with his culinary skills, which he won thanks to this sweet. This delicacy hasn’t lost its popularity in people’s hearts, and it’s still a tasty treat for those with a sweet craving. The name of the sweet is derived from the local term paka, which means sugar syrup.

2. Payasam

Payasam is the only dessert in the South that is enjoyed by people of all ages and cultures. The milk dessert is prepared for all momentous occasions as well as casual indulgences. The term is thought to be derived from the Tamil word ‘peeyusham,’ which meaning nectar or ambrosia.

3. Karchi Kaayi

Karanji, also known as karanji, is a North Karnataka dish that is enjoyed by many South Indians. This is usually prepared on Ganapathi Chaturthi and served to God because sweets are Lord Ganapathi’s favorite.
This is also a pretty simple dessert. Sugar, dry coconut, and maida are among the few and readily available components (all-purpose flour). A dry mixture of sugar and grated dry coconut is prepared and then put within maida dough before being deep-fried. What distinguishes this sweet from the previously described sweets is because it is crispier and less healthy than the previously mentioned sweets, and thus tastes different.

4. Rava Kesari

South India’s Rava Kesari, like sooji ka halwa, is an incredible delight with its creamy and roasty aftertaste. It’s usually a brilliant orange color, but with the addition of saffron, it’s pleasant and inviting. To make it more delightful, you can add fruits of your choice, such as mangoes or pineapples. To cook and enjoy this dish, you don’t need a special occasion.

5. Kaayi Holige

Another modified variation of holige, with the main difference being the stuffing utilised here. The stuffing, which consists of grated dry coconut and jaggery syrup, is quite different from the holige discussed earlier. But don’t forget about this incredible sweet.

6. Jhangri 

Imarti and Jhangri have the same meaning. However, this should not be confused with Jalebi, which is completely distinct from Jhangri. Jhangri is created from Uddin bele (urad dal) and cooked in the shape seen in the photo using a piping technique, with a cloth pipe. This is then dunked in sugar syrup.

7. Antina Unde

It’s a healthful dessert made out of a variety of dry fruits and nuts mixed with edible gum (antu) or gondh. It is commonly provided to pregnant women since it is said to have all of the necessary minerals and vitamins.

8. Chiroti

yet another delectable South Indian confection. The ingredients are maida, sooji rava, and sugar powder or badam powder. The maida dough is rolled into a large circle, then folded and shaped before being cooked. Sugar or badam powder is then sprinkled on top.

9. Boondi Laddu

This is another well-known dessert that is presented at every wedding in South India. On the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, Lord Ganapathi is also offered.

10. Rave Unde

This is a laddu (unde) made from rage (sooji) and sugar syrup, with the addition of optional badam or cashew nuts. All of the ingredients are combined and formed into balls, which are then allowed to cool.

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