One thing that brings us Indians together is our love for food. Specifically, our love for sweets. The very fact every sixth diabetic in the world is an Indian somewhat proves my point.
Now that winters are here, not talking about desserts would be a fatal sin. Some of the tastiest sweet delights are prepared exclusively during this time and imagining winters without them would be like…Bollywood without songs.
So, why wait? It’s growing cold outside and I know all of us are looking forward to gorging on some sweet delights.
Here’s a compilation of desserts which you must try, if you haven’t already:
1. Jalebi with Rabri
Piping hot, crisp from outside, syrupy from inside…when dipped in thick Rabri. Two words – sinfully tasty.
My earliest memories involve my grandpa going out for a walk every winter morning and returning with these ambrosial delights. While we tiny tots devoured them and caused a mess around, grandpa (who obviously was diabetic) just looked at us, with a smile on his face. Today, I still create a mess with them and without the least care.
There’s a famous place in Chandni Chowk called Old Famous Jalebi Wala, where they sell some of the best jalebis and rabri in Delhi. Made in pure ghee, one piece of this famous jalebi is enough to satisfy your hungry stomach.
2. Gajar ka Halwa
One of the most popular variants of halwas and the most occurring dessert on our kitchen menu, gajar ka halwa has millions of fans across the world. It is vibrant, aromatic and inviting.
I still remember getting excited as a little girl and standing for hours at the kitchen door in anticipation, while my mother patiently prepared it in bulk. The whole process was a visual treat. Grating the carrots, mixing them with boiled milk and adding sugar, waiting for hours till it became one-third of its original quantity. Then adding cream, butter, cardamom and finally garnishing it with lots and lots of nuts.
While it takes our mothers hours to make, for us only minutes to finish.
3. Gulab Jamun
I call gulab jamun the “Indian Dessert Siren.” They are so alluring that you end up popping a couple of them in one go, relishing each bite, only to realize later the amount of calories you just gained. But then, these gulab jamus never did promise health. They taste best when served hot.
Chandni Chowk is home to some of the best gulab jamuns in Delhi.
#SpoonTip: Be a little daredevil and try it with ice cream. It will totally be worth the risk of catching a cold.
4. Plum Cake
December is synonymous with Christmas and Christmas means celebration. Santa, visits to church, Christmas trees, carols and…plum cake.
A traditional Christmas dessert, this nutty and fruity cake has all the flavours of Christmas festivity. Since plum cakes have either rum or brandy in them, they also keep you warm from the chilling cold.
5. Moong Dal ka Halwa
One of the best renditions of moong dal, if taken in right amount, is a perfect winter dessert. This yummy dessert keeps you warm during harsh Delhi winters, but keeping tab on one’s consumption is also important. Back at my place, moong dal ka halwa is made during most of the winter festivals as an offering to God.
Personally, I prefer homemade moong dal ka halwa or the one they serve at Bikanervala.
6. Daulat ki Chaat
Old Delhi’s exclusive winter street dessert; this soft, foam-like sweet treat can be quite misleading if you go by its name. Chaat? No, not in the traditional sense. There is nothing spicy or sour about Daulat ki Chaat. But there is everything enriching about it to make it your favourite.
Preparing this dessert is no less a task in itself. It involves whipping the milk and cream by hand for hours continuously. Daulat ki Chaat disappears the moment you put it in your mouth and leaves behind a trace of saffron, milk and tiny nuts. This dish is a must-try for all Delhiites.
This is mainly winter’s parting gift. When days are warm and nights are cold and spring prepares its arrival, Holi comes. And what is Holi without colours and gujiyas? These crescent shaped sweets can be found in all sweet shops during Holi, in different variants like the traditional and the chocolate gujiyas.