11 Best Malayalam Desserts

malayalam desserts

When diving into the journey of learning a new language like Malayalam, my mind often wanders to a variety of intriguing topics. Of course, there’s the curiosity about the people, their vibrant culture, and all the fascinating aspects that make Malayalam special. But let’s not forget the mouthwatering element of it all – the delectable Malayalam desserts!

Kerala is a gastronomic haven, owing to the influences of the place’s colonial and indigenous interactions in the past and its unique geographical location. Aside from the must-taste cuisine and delicacies, Kerala is famous for its desserts. Malayalam desserts are served not only after every meal but, most importantly, during celebrations, special occasions, and festivals integral to the culture. Moreover, the desserts from Kerala are a testament to the place’s culinary philosophy with their proper balance of flavors and textures that reflect the region’s culinary genius.

Want to get to know some of these dishes? Read on below!

malayalam traditional dessert with raisins, coconut milk, and cashew nuts placed in a gold pot

Must-Try Traditional Malayalam Desserts

The following Kerala desserts have evolved through time and passed down through generations. They are a big part of Kerala cuisine, with each dessert made to bring joy while evoking pride and nostalgia:

Nei Appam

The unique taste of this sweet dish is among the reasons why it has become among the most well-loved desserts from Kerala. It is made from a batter similar to what is used for pancakes but has jaggery for added sweetness. The hot nei appams, a must-try for Kerala visitors, are fried in ghee. The other ingredients that comprise the treat include milk, cardamom powder, coconut, and rice flour.

Banana Halwa

This delectable Kerala dish is popular with tourists visiting the place’s backwaters. It tastes heavenly, to say the least. It’s golden brown, glossy, and made with ripened bananas, cardamom powder, almonds, ghee, and sugar.

Rava Laddoo

Coconut Laddoo comes in many names all over India, and Rava Laddoo is popular in Kerala, especially among kids. They are coconut pieces in the shape of small balls deep-fried until they turn golden brown. It is flavored with cardamom powder and dry fruits, which makes it more fulfilling to anyone with a sweet tooth.


This is a common treat in Kerala and tastes similar to Nei Appam. But instead of looking like thin pancakes, it is shaped like a small ball. Many locals have fond childhood memories of this Kerala cuisine, and it is often served at special celebrations.

Mutta Maala

This sweet snack is made of only three ingredients: sugar, egg, and water. To cook this traditional dessert, boil water, add sugar to make sugar syrup, and pour the egg yolk into a small hole. The yolks resemble strings once cooked that taste sweet and delightful.

Ada Pradhaman

Like most Kerala sweets, Ada Pradhaman is a staple in every meal with an enjoyable texture. However, more than how it feels on the tongue, Ada Pradhaman is called the king of sweets. It always comes up in many people’s lists of favorite desserts because of the right mix of jaggery, rice, coconut, and banana.

Arisi Thengai Payasam

This Kerala specialty is commonly known as rice coconut kheer. It’s an exotic tea-time snack made with rice blended and ground before mixing with milk, jaggery, and coconut. This dish smells good with a heavenly aroma and tastes quite delicious.

Palada Payasam

Expect to eat this popular dessert at any household in Kerala, celebrating any event or simple gathering. It’s made of boiled rice and vermicelli in milk and sugar. Chew nuts, raisins, cardamom, and butter are added to whip up its mouthwatering flavor. A sip is exceptionally refreshing and enough to understand why it’s a popular dessert in the region.

Chatti Pathiri

This dessert is made of pastry sheets filled with sweet custard filling. It’s multilayer, looks tempting to eat, and tastes excellent. It is often enjoyed after Ramadan when it’s time to break the fast. It has sesame seeds on top of its sweet fillings, giving the dessert such an enjoyable texture.

Elaneer Pudding

This pudding is considered an exotic dessert with an eye-catching appearance. It is set using agar-agar or gelatin and made using milk powder, coconut milk, condensed milk, and sugar.

Kozhikode Halwa

This delicacy is believed to have Arab origins. It comes in many flavors; you can prepare it using fruits of choice, honey, wheat, pepper, and more. Kozhikode Halwa is cooked in coconut oil, and the dessert gives a rubbery and soft texture.

kerala dessert in round shape with roasted shredded coconut

Traditional Techniques For Making Desserts

Aside from the flavors, natives from Kerala take their time in food preparation. Any dish becomes an art despite only using basic ingredients, or even when whipping up Kerala sweets made with rice, banana, rice flour, coconut, wheat flour, cashew, nuts, or milk rice. The dish can be made from the simplest ingredients, like boiling sugar water, mashed bananas, or fried coconut pieces, but it will taste heavenly due to how it is prepared.

In Kerala, dessert-making is an art form cherished for its simplicity and soulfulness. These traditional techniques serve as a culinary bridge to the past, keeping alive the essence of the region’s cultural heritage through the indulgent pleasure of sweets. As visitors and locals alike relish these timeless delicacies, they are reminded of the love and care that goes into crafting each sweet delight, making every bite a truly memorable experience.

Ways To Praise Keralan Dishes

If you’re planning to visit Kerala to explore the sights and taste their famous desserts, make sure to bring handy praises you can say to locals offering them.

English PraiseMalayalam ScriptPronunciation
Delicious foodരുചിയുള്ള ഭക്ഷണംRuchi-yulla bhakshanam
Exquisite tasteമിക്സി സ്വാദ്Mixi swaadu
Flavorful mealഅരികിഞ്ഞുപുളിച്ച ഭക്ഷണംArikinju pulichha bhakshanam
Well-cookedഅറിഞ്ഞത് നല്ലത്Ariyyathu nallathu
Food filled with flavorsചേരുവകളുള്ള ഭക്ഷണംCheruvakalulla bhakshanam
Tasty foodരുചികരമായ ഭക്ഷണംRuchikaramaya bhakshanam
Healthy mealആരോഗ്യകരമായ ഭക്ഷണംAarogyakaramaya bhakshanam
Excellent foodഅത്യുത്തമ ഭക്ഷണംAthyuthama bhakshanam
Sweet like honeyപൂച്ചപോലെ മധുരംPoochcha pole madhuram
Spicy and flavorful mealകറുത്തത് വേവിക്കുന്ന ഭക്ഷണംKaruthu vevikkunna bhakshanam

Why Not Learn More Malayalam Words Through Ling?

Want to impress the locals when you visit Kerala by knowing more words and phrases other than those related to food? You can do this by downloading the Ling app on your phone via the Play Store or App Store. It is an interactive app that makes language learning fun and easy. Aside from Malayalam, you can learn a wide range of foreign languages in this one app, including Danish, Tagalog, French, Arabic, Lao, English, and more.

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