We look at some of the mouthwatering and warming traditional Indian desserts to have this winter.
Winter in India brings to the kitchen a host of special desserts that are made of seasonal and warming ingredients. Though many of these desserts are consumed throughout the year, there is a special association for many with the winter season, with warm sweets to keep one company in the cold. Several desserts also act as high energy snacks. Here are some traditional Indian sweets from various parts of the country that remain evergreen and popular
Gajar ka halwa
Gajar ka halwa, or a dessert made of carrots, is a classic winter desert that is largely consumed in Northern India. Though this dessert is an all year favourite, the sweet carrots widely available in winter and the warmth that it gives is what makes it a winter specialty. The traditional method of making this dessert makes this a sweet to be avoided by the calorie conscious, as this mouthwatering desert has carrots and ghee or clarified butter as main ingredients. The recipe itself is quite simple, but it is the process of making it that adds to the taste, as well as the additional ingredients as per personal preference. Several dry fruits such as raisins and cashews, with a touch of saffron as well, as are added to this dessert that is best served hot.
All time favourite and winter special Gajar Ka Halwa by Chef @harpalsokhi !
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Made with white gram or nuts and sugar or jaggery (known as gur), gajak and chikkis are good options for those looking for rather mild sweets. Gajak is the name given to the preparation in northern parts of India is usually made with white gram and sugar or gur and chikki is popular in Western India and has peanuts and jaggery as main components. Gajak and chikkis are commonly consumed as desserts but also as snacks as they are high in protein, providing the much-needed heat and energy to the body during cold, lazy winters.
— Chitra Narayanan (@ndcnn) December 2, 2017
Nalengur Sandesh, a sweet made of a date palm jaggery that is unique to winters and the state of West Bengal, is a true winter specialty with a distinct taste and flavour. This sweet can be found in largely two states: soft and solid, with the solid one being made to hold a concentrate of the jaggery’s juice for added flavour. Sweet makers in cities such as Kolkata have experimented with this traditional sweet, to make new variants such as the baked nalengur sandesh.The nalengur sandesh signals the coming and going of winter with its availability. The jaggery, known as nalengur is also used with other traditional sweets such the rasgulla as well as in new forms such as the nalengur ice creams.
— The Oberoi Grand (@TheOberoiGrand) January 28, 2017
Another winter classic, revadi is a dessert that is made of til or sesame seeds. This sweet is known to come from northern India and is a rather humble dish with minimal ingredients. Though found across the north Indian region, this sweet is known as the specialty of Lucknow- the capital of Uttar Pradesh. Widely consumed as a snack, revadi is also a part of several festivals in northern India, such as Lohri, which marks the departure of winter. The sweet is often prepared in small sized candies and is served largely in two flavours, white and browned.
Have you eaten this….
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Gond ke Ladoo
Gond ke laddoo are round sweets made which are made of a special edible gum resin called gond, and are a winter favourite for the warmth they provide. Helping with the cold, these laddoos are traditionally consumed with warm milk, and often eaten as breakfast. This sweet, made with gond, wheat flour, different seeds such as melon and poppy, as well as dry fruits such as cashews and almonds, make for a healthy winter specialty. The dessert comes from the state of Rajasthan in the western part of India, and though it is not a low calorie dessert, is considered to contain several medicinal properties.
— Neha Mathur (@WhiskAffair) October 14, 2017