Winter on the plate: Delicacies from all over the country, made to warm the heart

Winter on the plate: Delicacies from all over the country, made to warm the heart

From the towering mountains of Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, which are crowned with snow, to the fleeting winters of South India, the country awaits the winter season with restrained breath, while bringing with it the small joys of life. In addition to the free, slow afternoons spent with the family, cool nights by the fireplace or smoking hot cups of coffee with a book in hand, winter also bestows its gifts in various shapes, forms and tastes in all parts of the country in the form of food.

From the delicious and evergreen favorite gajar ka halwa to lesser known delicacies like harissa, here are some delicacies from the length and breadth of the country, which are only made and enjoyed in the colder months.


harissa kashmir, kashmiri delicacy Harissa is only prepared for the winter months in Kashmir. (Photo: Kashmiri Harissa / Instagram)

As bukharis and tandoor being brought back to life to provide much-needed warmth, northerners are also adjusting their diets to make the intense winters bearable. From the Kashmir Valley comes a delicacy that is overshadowed by the more popular ones rogan josh and yakhni, harissa. The crackling sound of hot oil pouring over carefully beaten meat, served with traditional Kashmiri tandoor bread and mutton kebab, harissa is a breakfast delicacy served at select eateries in Srinagar and sold out within 5 p.m. 10-11.

In Himachal Pradesh, the air becomes thick with the smell of teliya mah and khatti meat. Teliya Mah is a simple but solid dish made with just black lentils tempered with ginger, garlic, onion and garnished with mustard oil. This is eaten with rice and khatti meat which is simply mutton prepared with dried mango powder. While UP enjoys it to kill ka nimona made with fresh green peas, potatoes and spices served with wheel or parantha, Punjab enjoys it sarson ka saag made with the fresh mustard products from the region. Ancient Delhi’s labyrinthine alleys are brought to life Daulat ki chaat or makhan malai made from churning milk and cream.


nolen gur roshogolla, West Bengal sweets The beginning of winter marks the lovely desserts made with ‘nolen gur’ in West Bengal. (Photo: Kolkata Foodpath / Instagram)

The East is waiting for its winters for the sweet delicacy enjoyed when temperatures drop. Assam loves it hahor mangkho xoite kumura, duck meat dish cooked with ash pumpkin, and for dessert there is infinity pitha which takes the form of dumplings, pancakes or crepes and filled with jaggery, rice, flour, sesame and milk. People in West Bengal also enjoy it pitha but with a filling of its golden liquid that flows abundantly in the winter- nolen gur or date palm jaggery, which replaces other types of jaggery and sugar in roshogolla and sondesh in the short winter season. This can be eaten before (and / or after) the airy karaishuti’r kochuri (kachori made with green peas).


kollu rasam, south indian dishes, tamil food Kollu rasam is a must have if you are in Tamil Nadu in the winter. (Photo: Krishnakumari Jayakumaar / Instagram)

The short and pleasant winter season in the south is the only time to dig your fingers in all rasam (grounded horse gram made into a soup) in Tamil Nadu along with daappalam (a sour curry made from seasonal vegetables and tamarind), and Kadamba Kootu made with 24 kinds of seasonal vegetables and lentils.


Kachariyu, gujarati dishes, gujarati cuisine Kachariyu is one of the many kinds of ‘ladoos’ made in Gujarat in winter. (Photo: Dipti Parikh / Instagram)

In the west, Rajasthan boasts its millet products with dishes like baajre ka raab, a healthy and solid drink-cum porridge made with millet powder. Baajre ka khichada served with generous amounts of ghee and jaggery is also enjoyed, which is said to be a shield against the dry, intense winter period. Gujarats undhiyu is its winter flavor that is eaten for dessert dishes lapsi, khichdo, and of course the many box like methi nu pak and kachariyu.

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