The arrival of cosy, cold winters brings hot delicacies to the Indian plate. Closely connected with its culture, the country’s multiple cuisines offer a variety of dishes that need to be tried in this chilly season. Here is a glimpse of what not to miss!
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SARSON KA SAAG
The legendary winter-special Punjabi dish, prepared with green sarson leaves, becomes the most appealing winter delicacy and is only available for this very short season. The saag, usually served with Makki ki Roti oozing with ghee, tastes best with a dollop of homemade white butter and the meal ends with jaggery. It is available seasonally in restaurants which serve traditional Punjabi food.
Pillowy bhaturas served with spicy chole laced with delicious gravy, picked onions, green chillies and a splash of chutney is the quintessential street bite in winters. One could spot numerous roadside stalls and al fresco shacks doling out piping hot bhaturas straight out of sizzling oil, and there’s almost always a crowd of patrons flocking to these.
Spicy meat dishes form the backbone of Kashmiri cuisine. One of the dishes you must try is Gushtaba- a dish of pale meatballs in saffron-yogurt curry. It is so rich that winter is the best time to have it. Kashmiri dishes are available in traditional restaurants.
GAJAR KA HALWA
Let’s put it straight and simple. Winter is incomplete without sinful desserts like Gajar ka halwa! Tasting best in chilly weather, the piping hot halwa is a signature sweet of the season and is definitely worth the extra calories. Almost all sweet shops offer it during winters.
A seasonal treat, usually available between October and March, Malai Makhan is a lighter-than-feather frothy treat painstakingly made by churning milk and cream until it evolves into a frothy, dreamy dessert enriched with khoya, saffron, dried fruits and more. A chief ingredient in the recipe is winter morning dew. The dish is also known by the names Nimish and Daulat ki Chaat in some areas and is commonly found in local eating joints during winters.
Crispy golden jalebis brought straight out of a cauldron of hot sugar syrup are just irresistible! Cold wind combined with the sweet taste takes you straight into a heavenly bliss where one wishes to stay forever. Jalebi is served in almost all sweet shops this season.
The ubiquitous thukpa is a typical Tibetan dish- a noodle soup with all sorts of vegetables and/or meat thrown in. One can find the Thukpa popularly in Tibetan settlements of Ladakh or even in regular restaurants serving Tibetan meals. When paying your bill, don’t forget to ask for a piece of chhurpi (dry yak cheese) to chew on.