Winter ingredients such as jaggery, sesame, and ghee find their way into most of these delicacies, but we have to say that we are a tad biassed towards the winter halwas that are usually served on this occasion.
The festival season has returned, and we couldn't be happier. Indians are preparing for several festivals over the next week, beginning with Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Bihu, and Pongal. Lohri is a Punjabi harvest festival that marks the passing of the winter solstice and the onset of longer, warmer days. Besides Punjab, Lohri is celebrated with much fervor across Delhi, Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, and Haryana as well. People build massive bonfires in open fields and sing, socialize, and dance around them. They also dig into various festive treats such as popcorn, revri, makki ki roti, sarso ka saag, ladoos, pinni, et al. Winter ingredients such as jaggery, sesame, and ghee find their way into most of these delicacies, but we have to say that we are a tad biassed towards the winter halwas that are usually served on this occasion. Here are some of our favourites:
Gajar Ka Halwa
One of the crown jewels of desi winter fare. This decadent sweet dish made with grated carrots, khoya, ghee, and loads of nuts is cooked in a kadhai until the carrots are soft and cooked. It can be served with a garnish of silver varq.
Gond Ka Halwa
Gond is an Indian edible gum that is known to have several health benefits for new mothers. It can also do wonders for immunity and internal healing. Gond is small and white in colour. Add them to your standard Atte ka Halwa recipe and give it a healthy, yummy upgrade.
Moong Dal Halwa
While we keep moong dal in our pantry all year, there's something about the weather that makes us want to make a paste of it and cook it with ghee, nuts, and cardamom. Apart from Lohri, moong dal ka halwa is a popular dessert item on almost every North Indian wedding menu.
Badaam Ka Halwa
It is possibly one of the most exquisite Halwa preparations you can try, and Lohri is your excuse to indulge. So, start chopping up those almonds fine and cook them with milk and ghee for the fragrant, velvety Halwa of your dreams.
Just like carrots, beetroot is also an intrinsic part of our winter diet. Grate this pink root vegetable and cook it with milk, sugar, and ghee. Top with nuts of your choice and relish. Any other natural sugar substitute to make it healthier.
So, which of these halwas would you be preparing for the festival of Lohri? Do let us know.