Traditional Sweets of Tamil Nadu

When it comes to food from Tamil Nadu, it’s the hot dosas and idlis with lip-smacking sambhars that come to mind. However there is so much more to the cuisine including the savory pongals, mutton parottas and Chettinad chicken preparations, the earthy curries rich with curry leaves and coconut milk and of course, the unforgettable sweets.

The decadent desserts of Tamil Nadu are unique and wholesome. Most are healthy preparations that don’t use too much sugar and include healthy proteins like chickpeas and green gram. Here’s a look at some of the yummy traditional sweets of Tamil Nadu.


This is a thick, creamy dessert that is ubiquitous throughout Tamil Nadu. Ingredients used can include vermicelli, rice, chickpeas or green gram with the base being milk or coconut milk. It is prepared during all auspicious occasions including festivals.

Rava Kesari

This is a delectable sweet perfect for all occasions. Brightly colored with saffron, this dessert is very creamy and inviting and similar in texture to sooji halwa.

Mysore Pak

This is a simply bewitching dessert made from gram flour, sugar, and fragrant cardamom powder roasted in oodles of ghee. It is then cooled and cut into squares. Popularly known as the ‘king of sweets’ in the south, it is a must-have dessert during Dussehra festivities and other occasions.


This is made from idli batter that’s been sweetened with jaggery and some coconut and cardamom powder added to highlight its taste. It’s great as a quick snack when you are craving something sweet!


Symbolizing joy and festivities, these deep-fried ball shaped sweets are a wonderful delicacy in Tamil Nadu. The filling of boiled and mashed chickpeas flavored with jaggery, coconut and cardamom powder are coated with a thick batter of black gram and rice before frying. They are worth every bite of hard work that goes into its making!


A popular dessert served during Deepavali in Chettinad, it’s made of steamed green gram and Bengal gram flavored with jaggery, coconut and cardamoms.


A sweet dumpling made from rice flour and has a filling of coconut and jaggery. These melt-in-the-mouth snacks are offered to Lord Ganesha during Vinayaka Chathurthi.

Aside from these, there are other sweets like the famous cashew-flavored macaroons, maladu, karollappams, thirvadhirai kali, mundrikothu, makkan peda, etc, to tempt your taste buds. A visit to the Chettinad region in Tamil Nadu would be incomplete without trying out these delicacies! Stay over in the heritage Chidambara Vilas hotel which is a renovated palace and enjoy true Chettinad cuisine too!