Craveable and mostly meat-free: what’s not to like about Indian food?
While India has long enjoyed the reputation of being a haven for vegetarians, vegans need to be a bit more careful when traveling there. This is because many vegetarian Indian dishes include dairy products -- especially the desserts.
However, if you’re a vegan with a sweet tooth and are thinking of traveling to incredible India, not to worry. You can still enjoy plenty of traditional vegan Indian desserts.
Now, you just need to book your flight, find the lowest rates for hotel booking on Wego.co.in, and you’re off to a delightful culinary adventure! Be sure to keep an eye out for these vegan Indian desserts while you’re there:
Must-Try Vegan Indian Desserts
Petha is made by cooking winter melon (also known by the less appetizing name of “ash gourd”) in a sugary syrup. Eaten as is or dipped in yet more syrup, it comes in different flavors and with unique add-ons, too. You can find the confection flavored with pistachio, coconut, mango, or even laced with delicate saffron.
Winter melon is said to have several health benefits, including helping with acidity and digestion issues. Health claims aside, this soft candy that looks like lumps of crystal is as pretty as it is sumptuous.
Ela Ada is a snack that originated in the southern state of Kerala and is also pretty popular as a breakfast offering. Grated coconut and jaggery are nestled inside rice flour dough before being steamed inside a banana leaf wrap.
It looks deceptively simple, but the banana leaf wrap certainly adds another dimension to the little parcel. Lightly sweet with a distinct fragrance, ela ada is the perfect vegan Indian dessert to cap off a rich curry feast.
The most common ingredient for this popular Indian nut brittle is peanuts cooked with jaggery, but cashews, almonds, and even sesame seeds and puffed rice are popular choices too.
In fact, each variety of chikki gets its name from the ingredient it’s based on (cashew chikki, almond chikki … you get the idea). Perusing markets and specialty stores, you can find as many as 100 different types of chikki!
No matter which type you choose, it will definitely satisfy your craving for something sweet and crunchy.
When you’re in the mood for a heartier, more satisfying vegan Indian dessert, kuluku roti is your best bet.
Jaggery syrup is mixed with pieces of roti (Indian flatbread), then soaked overnight with crushed peanuts or sesame seeds. The result is this lush, dark pudding with a unique texture.
If you’re traveling to India during the festival period, you might stumble across suzhiyan, since this special treat from the southern region is usually prepared for Diwali.
A filling of ground lentils, coconut, and jaggery is dipped in batter before being fried. Eaten hot, the crispy exterior gives way to a warm, doughy sweetness inside.
Make sure to ask about the ingredients, because ghee (clarified butter) is sometimes used to fry the dough.
Also a specialty eaten during Indian festive celebrations, pori urundai is a traditional snack made during Karthikai Deepam or the Festival of Lights. It’s basically puffed rice (pori) mixed with jaggery syrup along with cardamom and coconut pieces.
Pop one in your mouth, and you’ll find that this crunchy and sweet treat is delightfully addictive. This vegan Indian dessert will definitely be a hit with kids and adults alike! As with most fried items in India, ghee is occasionally used.
Also known as tilkatri, this treat is perfect for sesame seed fans. The toasty, nutty flavor of the seeds is really allowed to shine in this simple, two-ingredient snack.
You can find tilkut that’s made with nuts or sprinkled with cardamom, but traditionally it’s made with just white sesame seeds and jaggery or sugar.
A specialty of northern India, pukhlein is a kind of bread that’s enjoyed as a breakfast dish in the state of Meghalaya. Dough made from a mix of rice flour and jaggery is fried until the color turns golden.
You can eat it right away (after a period of cooling, of course!) or enjoy it with a cup of tea. Some vendors and cooks might use lard or ghee when frying this treat, so remember to inquire beforehand.
In addition to the vegan Indian desserts listed here, be sure to try these savory vegan Indian dishes too! And maybe splurge on a stay in one of India's fine vegan resorts.
Do you know of any vegan Indian desserts not mentioned here? Tell me about them in the comments below!