Craving Winter Desserts Of North India? The Ultimate Checklist Is Here
- Sushmita Sengupta
Updated : January 20, 2022 05:01 IST
Hello winter calories, we meet again...
Right before we dive into the winters, we must go through this season of what I describe as the ‘pre-winter chaos’. Do we need a sweater yet? Almost there. Do we want our chai to be warmer? A touch, maybe.
The pleasant nip in Delhi’s air is an indicator of the fact that winter may arrive early this year. I mean, it is not even Diwali, and we are already in two minds about keeping the fan switched on or off.
Winter in North India can be harsh. In the hills, the thick sheath of snow often impacts traffic movement. Even the ones who are not in the mountains often complain of lethargy, confusion and gloominess. No matter how many layers of clothes we wrap ourselves in, usually, it seems inadequate against the wrath of the cold wave. But as they say, there is a silver lining to each cloud, and in North India, it is the season-special food that brings immense joy to us in this chilly weather.
The winter menu of North India is quite different from that of summer. Winter greens like Bathua, Methi, Sarso invade our pantry, leaving little to no room for summer melons and gourd vegetables like lauki and tori. The use of ghee takes prominence too. The clarified butter has healing properties and is especially beneficial in keeping us warm and energetic.
You would also see certain desserts that you had not all through the year, along with desserts that suddenly become more popular due to the temperature dip.
We made a list of some classic desserts that rule winter in North India.
Gajar Ka Halwa
Did your mother also make you grate a dozen carrots because you demanded Gajar ka Halwa on a random Wednesday afternoon? That’s the thing about this classic winter delicacy, you can’t stop craving it, and once the sweet desi gajars are in, you don’t even mind hustling for it. Grated carrots cooked with milk, khoya, nuts and cardamom, this dessert is one of the crown jewels of North Indian winter fare.
Moong Dal Ka Halwa
Giving stiff competition to the popularity of Gajar ka Halwa is Moong Dal Ka Halwa. But Moong dal is available throughout the year; what makes it a ‘winter treat’? Maybe the timing, you don’t quite relish this treat as much as you do in peak winters. Just look at the queue around the Moong Dal Halwa counter at every wedding in Delhi around November-December, and you’d know.
Daulat Ki Chaat
This is most certainly a 'winter exclusive' treat simply because the weather plays a massive role in the making of the dessert. Traditionally, milk is left out to cool; the night dew gives it an airy quality. The frothy dessert is collected a day after and served with a garnish of pistachios, cardamom, etc.
Woot. Woot. Make way for the Punjab special. Pinni isn't just a dessert in Punjab, but it also doubles up as an energy booster. Made with milk, wheat flour, and nuts, this soft, fudgy sweet is sure to tug at your heartstrings.
Gond Ka Ladoo
This unique ladoo is made of edible gum, nuts and lots of ghee. Since it is so dense in calories, it is recommended you eat it in controlled portions. They are replete with health benefits for new mothers too and are an excellent pick for festivities.
Til Ka Ladoo
Speaking of festivities, can you imagine Makar Sankranti celebrations without til ladoo. Til is sesame, and sesame helps keep your body warm while making your ladoos incredibly chunky and delicious.
Apart from these, there are plenty of desserts such as paneer jalebi, jalebi, and rabri. Even European and American classics such as crème Brulee and waffles seem to find many takers in this weather. So which among the above are your favourites? Let us know.