Gorge On These 7 Heavenly Traditional Winter Desserts

Gorge On These 7 Heavenly Traditional Winter Desserts
Gajar ka Halwa is comfort food during winters , Photo Credit: Shutterstock

'Tis the season to eat sweets!

Simrran Gill
November 14 , 2019
08 Min Read

Winter is coming (no, we don't refer to the Game of Thrones) and we can't wait. For some it is all about woollen wear, for some it’s about winter activities but for us, we are excited about winter desserts! You heard that right. Winter is a time when the joy of eating is ten-folds better and traditionally, due to seasonal produce and the cold weather, desserts were specially made to combat the chill. We can already imagine the taste of the freshly-made hot jalebi and warm badam milk, perfect to get rid of the cold feeling. And did you know that certain items found in winters like gur (jaggery) that is so popular for sweet treats is used in proper meals too? The nip in the air is getting colder so take out your winter wardrobe, make a nice glass of cutting chai (or coffee if that's your pick) and plan to travel around the country for these winter desserts that will make you go 'yum': 

Gajak/Chikki
The good old peanut bound with copious amount of jaggery makes for our favourite gajak/chikki. Gajak has a history of being made differently at various places, hence resulting in a lot of variety. If made out of sugar and sesame seeds (til), the resultant is a sweet, crispy white and flaky rectangular chikki. While if made with jaggery and peanuts the resultant is a solid, a little moist but equally delicious chikki. One can also find a lot of other variants such as the one with dried rose petals, sugar and peanuts amongst other variants. But none of the variants ever disappoint and most definitely can be found in every household as soon as winter sets in. Although it originated in Morena, Madhya Pradesh, it is easily available throughout the country and we say you get your hands on it!

Ladoos

 
 
 
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This wholesome ball of goodness is the perfect winter snack. Generally made out of til (sesame seeds) or gond (hardened sap), ladoos go well with either tea or can be consumed independently. Doing a really good job at helping us get through the winters, the ladoos are a familiar homely feeling.  

Nolengur Sandesh
Easily identifiable from its name, Nolengur sandesh originated in Bengal but receives equal love from all over. Prepared with date palm and jaggery, nolengur sandesh is easily available as soon as winter sets in. Nolengur is jaggery extracted from date palm trees during the winter months. This lip smacking dessert makes an exceptional place in our hearts because of the oozing melted jaggery that is stored right at the centre. What better than the sun and silk like flowy warm jaggery on a bitter winter morning? PS: Ask your Kolkata friend to bring you some if you can't make the trip yourself. That's what we did!

Read About Kolkata's Winter Sweet Tales 

Panjiri
Substituted as a nutritional complement with almost everything, panjiri delightfully reminds us of a warm winter afternoon. Originated in Punjab, carried onto the entire northern belt and settled in everybody’s heart, panjiri is made with whole wheat flour. It is stir fried in ghee and heavily garnished with dry fruits and that is what adds to the overall flavour of it. This dynamic winter favourite can go as an evening snack or a dessert after a meal or with that warm cup of milk right before bed.  

Lapsi

 
 
 
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Jaggery, broken wheat and ghee, slowly cooked to perfection, result in this sweet concoction. Lapsi is another famous winter dessert aimed to keep the immunity strong and cold away. Substantial amount of ghee, nuts, raisins and dried fruits are a part of this to make it even better. Different from the rest of the desserts, lapsi is a little soggy due to the presence of melted jaggery and ghee. However, it makes for a perfect breakfast dish or for a nice comfortable dinner during winters. Your gujju friends will swear by it.

Pitha
This sweet rice cake originated from the eastern part of the country. Essentially made out of rice flour, pitha can be prepared differently depending upon one’s choice. However, the best part about pithe is that they come with a filling. Shaped, depending upon their filling, pithe are a commonplace dish in Bengali households. The filling here varies though, ranging from sugar, date juice, palm syrup or jaggery mixed with pistachios, dry fruits, coconut shavings or cashews. Their preparation also varies between deep frying and steam cooked. 

Halwa
We don’t think this needs any introduction. A staple dessert in all winter weddings and at home, nothing makes a cold winter evening better than halwa. The best deal about halwa is one can make it quite literally with everything. Whether carrots (gajar ka halwa), semolina (suji ka halwa), pumpkin (kaadu ka halwa), wheat (atte ka halwa) or water gourd (ghiye ka halwa) it never disappoints. If you ever happen to be in Delhi during winters, we suggest you do not miss out on the Nagori halwa in old Delhi; it is definitely worth the visit.

Read About A First Timer's Guide To Eating At Iconic Old Delhi Eateries

Imarti

 
 
 
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A softer and more juicier version of the good old jalebi, imarti is scantily available throughout the year, but starts making its presence felt during the winter months. Generally consumed with warm badam (almond) milk, the unique shape and design of an imarti is a craft appreciated by all. Extremely soft to dig into, Old Delhi is one place where one can cherish the best imarti in the city.

Read About India's GI-tagged Foods 

So, are you ready to go eating sweet stuff?


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