Payasam To Achappam: 7 Delicious Kerala Desserts To Try
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Cherished for its stunning landscapes and verdant greenery, the coastal state of Kerala is a tourist haven. The state is also famed for its rich culinary heritage, boasting a plethora of lip-smacking specialties, including flavourful Thalassery biryani and wholesome appam with stew. Beyond these savoury classics, Kerala offers a diverse range of sweet dishes, such as payasam, achappam, and neyyappam.

Food is an intrinsic aspect of Indian culture, and this is true for Kerala as well. In the state, food, and most particularly desserts, symbolise communal unity and harmony. The aforementioned desserts frequently feature on menus during local celebrations and special events, such as weddings, birthdays, and more. In this way, they have the power to bring people together.

Check out the top 7 sweet treats of Kerala.


Payasam is a milk-infused dessert crafted from rice, jaggery, and coconut. Several versions of this sweet dish are relished throughout South India; some of these versions also incorporate ingredients like lentils, ripe bananas, and vermicelli. Payasam is widely regarded as a symbol of prosperity, which is why it is a fixture during Kerala festivals such as Onam and Vishu. Payasam is also handed out as prasadam in temples.


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Neyyappam is a deep-fried delicacy made from rice flour, jaggery, ghee, and cardamom. Equipped with a crispy exterior and a soft interior, this treat is relished for its enriching taste and textural complexity. A fixture in Kerala households, several variations of this dish are available, including jackfruit neyyappam and semolina neyyappam. Some of these variations substitute jaggery with palm jaggery or date syrup, making them distinct from traditional neyyappam recipes.

Mutta Maala

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This pudding-like dessert is an Eid special in Kerala. Mutta maala derives its unique name from its main ingredient and presentation style, with the phrase literally translating to “egg necklace” in Malayalam. To craft this dish, threads of cooked egg whites are moulded into exquisite patterns that take on the appearance of a necklace. Apart from eggs, the dish uses simple ingredients like sugar and milk. Mutta maala is lauded as a feat of culinary artistry for its intricate appearance.


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Also known as rose cookies, achappams are intricately shaped snacks prepared by deep-frying a rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk batter. Boasting a crunchy texture and a mildly sweet flavour, this dish gets its name from the Malayalam words “achu,” meaning mould, and “appam,” meaning bread. Achappams, which come in a range of flavours like vanilla and cardamom, are relished alongside tea; they are also served during festivals, including Easter and Christmas.


Unniyappam are bite-sized fried dumplings concocted from rice flour, jaggery, bananas, and coconut bits. They are popularly consumed on special occasions like weddings and birthdays. They’re also a prominent part of Onam celebrations, featured in the ornate Onam sadya or feast. Some versions of the dish incorporate a blend of jaggery, coconut, and nuts. Health-conscious alternatives to the dish, made from millet and whole wheat, are also available.

Palada Pradhaman

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This smooth and luscious dessert is crafted from "palada,” or crispy rice flakes, milk and sugar; the dish is topped off with ghee-roasted cashews and raisins. This dessert has deep religious resonance as it’s linked to Lord Krishna and the ritual of concocting a fancy feast during the spring festival of Onam. Alternate versions of the dish use ingredients, such as nendran bananas as well as nuts, including almonds and pistachios.

Chatti Pathiri

Originating in the Malabar region of Kerala, chatti pathiri is a decadent, layered pastry that can incorporate both sweet and savoury fillings. Typically crafted from flour, eggs, oil, and water, the sweet fillings of this dish usually comprise beaten eggs, nuts, like almonds and pistachios, and raisins. Chatti pathiri is a popular breakfast item throughout Kerala; it’s also a festive favourite, relished frequently during the festival of Ramadan.