Nimona To Nolen Gur, 7 Winter Indian Foods We Miss In Summer
Image Credit: Phukopir singara, Pinterest

A couple of days back, after finishing a hearty lunch spread, I was scooping the last spoon of nolen gurer mishti doi (new jaggery sweet curd). The earthy smell of the bhand or clay pot and the natural fragrance of nolen gud made a heavenly flavour, reminding me of those limitless creations whipped with this jaggery, a purely winter produce. The gourmand in me felt a sudden ache in the heart and voiced an ouch, "It's already summer, my dear; the season of this colder months' special sweetener is over!" A series of melancholic realisations dawned upon me. I couldn't help but curse the summer a little for snatching away a few of my favourites exclusively available during winter. While the sunny days bring the season of mangoes, they also seize a lot in the bargain. Let's revisit our memory and recollect the 7 winter Indian foods we will miss in summer. 

Pulkopir Singara

Cauliflower is one of the many vegetables that are available to us during the winter. Cauliflower's initial season was the year's cooler months, but it is now available year-round. Phulkopir Singara is a savoury snack made from a combination of cauliflower and potatoes that goes great with a cup of chai in the evening. This summertime Bengali snack can't be replicated with conventional cauliflower.


Green peas, or hara matar, are in season throughout the colder months. India goes on a culinary adventure with these ingredients and creates an array of dishes. Matar Ka Nimona is one among them. It's a stew made with fresh green peas. You can't go wrong with this warming cuisine from Uttar Pradesh. But now that summer has arrived, green peas have said their goodbyes and nimona is leaving us as well.

Sarso Ka Saag

Creamy sarso ka saag, Image Source:

Leafy vegetables and edible greens like sarso, bathua, methi, and so on are abundant during winter. In India, the arrival of sarso ka saag, or mustard greens, during the winter months is a significant reason why the colder months are so beloved. This is the time of year when large quantities of this dish are prepared all over Punjab and other parts of North India. Summer snatches sarso ka saag from us.

Nolen Gur

The sap of date palm trees in West Bengal is processed into a sweetener known as nolen gur, khejurer gur, notun gur, or new jaggery. In December, when the weather begins to cool off, the sap is gathered in an earthen pot and left there overnight before it is processed further. Nolen gur creates various sweets served at celebrations like Poush Sankranti. When summer arrives, that's it for nolen gur.

Gajar Halwa

Decadent gajar halwa, Image Source:  alettertomyfood@Instagram

Gajar halwa, a decadent dessert popular in India, is often served hot during the cold winter. Carrots are used in the preparation of this dessert. However, the red carrots needed to produce gajar ka halwa are only available in winter.  All-year-round carrots simply don't measure up to their flavour. As a result, gajar halwa loses its traditional flavour throughout the heat.

Joynagarer Moa

Another wintertime treat that West Bengalis can't get enough of is the Joynagar sweet, labelled with a GI index. Since Nolen Gur and Kanakchur Khoi (fried paddy) are only harvested in November and December, this dish is only prepared during the winter months.


Makhan malai also goes by Nimish, Malai Makkhan, or Malaiyo, different names. It is a fluffy and foamy winter delight prepared from milk cream. Whipped cream is an apt analogy for the texture here. This sweet is particularly well-known in the Uttar Pradesh cities of Kanpur, Varanasi, and Lucknow. Intriguingly, this uncommon culinary food highlights the vital significance that delicate dew drops play in the dish. This dessert is strictly a wintertime treat, as summer has passed its prime.