20-11-2017 11:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Some filling winter snacks that will warm your body and soul
It is time for the bright and colourful shawls and woollens to emerge from the deepest corners of your wardrobes and cupboards as winters have set in. As the cool winter breeze envelops us, our minds drift towards the delicious winter snacks that are equally delicious as well as filling.
Vegetables like cauliflower, carrots and peas are found aplenty in this season. Nothing is more satisfying than a plate of warm delicious pulao or a bowl of hot soup made from these vegetables. Leafy greens also abound in this season and hence tasty and healthy methi(fenugreek leaves) or mooli(radish) parathas, palak (spinach) puris become the breakfast staple.
As the days get colder and shorter and the body starts to crave more sugar and warming nuts and oils, let us know more about some mouth-watering winter snacks.
Gajak is a confection prepared with sesame seeds and jaggery (or cane sugar) with a method of preparation which is time-consuming. It takes about 10–15 hours to prepare 5–8 kilograms of gajak. The dough is hammered until all the sesame seeds break down and release their oils into the dough. This sweet which originated in Madhya Pradesh requires great skill to prepare. The mixture of sesame and jaggery is set in layers and the end product needs to be absolutely brittle and light.
Chikki is another popular confection prepared in winters with groundnuts (also in season) that are set in jaggery or sugar in denser squares than the gajak. Lonavala in Maharashtra is famous for chikki, although now it is prepared and savoured throughout the country, especially the North of India.
Daulat ki Chaat:
Daulat ki chaat is a real treat that can be made only in the winter season. The long process starts in the evening when milk is boiled and mixed with some cream and left to cool. It is then filled in a clay pot and left in the open under the winter sky to set and soak in the dew. Early in the morning, when the milk has been set for about six to eight hours, the milk is churned constantly for three to four hours to transform the milk into a whimsical froth, solid enough to hold in soft peaks. It is said that the dew drops add lightness to the milk and help in aeration while blending. The soft topping of the milk is scooped out and mixed with sugar and dry fruits to yield an exotic delight that just melts in your mouth.
A cup of masala chai (tea) undoubtedly lifts everyone’s mood in the gloomy winters. Spices like cinnamon, cloves black pepper, cardamom is crushed and added to tea which not only makes the tea flavourful but also provides warmth to the body and helps to stave off seasonal illness.
Dal chillas and halwas:
Pakodas (fritters) made from moong dal, sautéed moong dal, sprinkled with chaat masala, onions and chillies, dal Chilas and dal Halwas also start making an appearance at popular halwai stalls this time of the year.
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