Last Updated: February 20, 2020 Swati Mishra
Let’s accept the truth, we all love food and also the urge to explore new places for something unique to try is always there in our hearts. Being a foodie, I always keep one thing in my mind and i.e., eating what’s in the season is perhaps that best way you could explore every kind of food. In India food have a different purpose rather than just filling up your empty stomach but helping you know the richness of the food. In the sense every state reflects its wide variety of food in accordance with the seasons and no matter wherever you go, you are not going to get disappointed. Listed here are some of the savories which might help you make the most out of every season in India. So let’s get started.
As the winter season approaches, we all get excited as the cosy, cold winters bring hot delicacies to help you get closely connected with the culture of India and savor the country’s multiple cuisines that offer a wide variety of dishes across India that need to be tried in this pleasant and chilly season of the year. Take a look at what you shouldn’t miss out eating when travelling to these cities in India.
Lapsi and Kadhi in Rajasthan
Being a Rajasthani, I have always seen Lapsi being cooked in my home during the winters. Trust me, this sweet dish of Rajasthan is fabulous that features the goodness of broken wheat and the tantalizing aroma of cardamom. The dish is cooked using a little amount of ghee and later served by pouring a teaspoon ghee on Lapsi along with Kadhi which is made up of yogurt. Yes, Kadhi, which you must have heard or have tasted Kadhi from Maharashtra, Punjab and Uttarakhand but the Rajasthani version is pungent and spicy which goes best with the sweet lapsi. This light and healthy dish of Rajasthan is a staple diet and is preferred by the people of Rajasthan during the winter season.
Thukpa in the Himalayan Region
The Tibetan noodle soup is so good that a single bowl wouldn’t be just enough and I am sure you would end up grabbing another bowl. Adding a pinch of Garam Masala, the soup is a perfect Indo-Tibetan food that is really soothing to the throat during the winters. Even though you can find Thukpa everywhere but the best to try out is in Northeast, particularly in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, and Darjeeling in West Bengal. Also, if you have plans to travel to Ladakh, then you can even get the best Thukpa to try out in Ladakh where it is popular and also in some parts of Himachal Pradesh.
Nolen Gurer Sandesh in Kolkata
I have grown up eating Bengali Dishes and what I liked most is the Sandesh ( though I have always heard it being pronounced at SONDESH). The Nolen Gurer Sandesh is a typical mouth melting Bengali sweet dish which is made of date palm jaggery and hence it could only be found fresh during the winter season which is only found in winters. So if you happen to visit Kolkata during the winters, then make sure you try out the ultimate mouthful of sweetness.
Beetroot Thoran in Kerala
You must have heard that Turmeric has healing properties. Have you? If not then yes, it has been advised to consume turmeric during the winter seasons as it helps you get healed from a lot of health issues. Here I am talking about Beetroot Thoran which is a traditional dish from Kerala, and is cooked with turmeric and chilies is generally served with rice. The only reason why it is preferred to eat during the winters is that of enough amount of turmeric used in the dish which is only good to consume during the winters as it helps you keep your body warm. Beetroot Thoran is easy to prepare and stir-frying beetroot gives a rich flavor to the dish that is a perfect treat for your taste buds. So don’t miss out pampering yourself with Beetroot Thoran when visiting Kerala during the winters.
Makki ki Roti & Sarson ka Saag Punjab
So winter is the time when the vegetable market is loaded with lush green leafy vegetables. Talking about the Sarson (Mustard) Leaves, it has a distinctly bitter taste which goes when cooked to a certain extent. Sarson Ka Saag goes best with Makki ki Roti and is considered to be the perfect combination. Also, white butter and jaggery is served to enhance your taste buds crave. If you are visiting Punjab then at some places (perhaps the dhabas) you would witness Makki Ki Roti & Sarson Ka Saag being cooked in the traditional way, i.e., cooked in earthen pots with charcoal underneath that helps give a smoky flavour to the whole food. So include the goodness of sarson leaves in your diet this winter season.
Gajar Ka Halwa in Delhi
So here comes Gajar Ka Halwa for which I am mad about (for that matter I even become selfish at times as I don’t feel like sharing it with anyone weird but that’s okay). Filled with immense flavor, Gajar Ka Halwa is a winter food. Every time I eat Gajar Ka Halwa my only motive is to finding hidden cashew nuts and scraping the bowl for last crumbs. So, I would urge you to ditch any other dessert this winters and grab the bowl of Gajar ka Halwa when in Delhi which would be the best thing to do in winters. The popular ones are Chaina Ram Sindhi Confectioners (Chandni Chowk), Shyam Sweets (Chawri Bazaar), Anupam Sweets (Kailash Colony Main Market), Giani Di Hatti (Chandni Chowk), Shiv Misthan Bhandar (Chandni Chowk) and more.
Jalebi in Delhi and Punjab
Jalebi is yet another popular sweet delicacy which is a favorite pick the majority of people especially to those who have sweet tooth. For me, if it is jalebi then it has to be crispy dipped in the sugar syrup. You could find Jalebi all over India but if you are in Delhi or Punjab then I would suggest you not to miss out trying Jalebi here which at times coupled with milk. What I love most about this sweet dessert is they taste even more luscious when served hot and thus crunchy to bite, that could leave one slobbering.
Undhiyu in Gujarat
For Gujaratis, winter isn’t without Undhiyas, which is a traditional Gujarati Signature Dish and a combination of vegetables and fenugreek (methi) dumplings cooked using aromatic spices. There is no doubt, that this food item in Gujarat is not just unbelievably delicious, it is also healthy to eat. So here you go. If you haven’t tasted Undhiyu yet, then why wait. Visiting Gujarat during the winters you can get the opportunity especially during Makar Sankranti where you could make the most out of the festival by having Undhiyu and Poori.
Raab in Rajasthan and Gujarat
This is one such drink which has always been my favorite since childhood. Basically, Raab is a healthy drink that is perfect for the winter chills in Rajasthan. Found as a part of both Rajasthani and Gujarati cuisines, Raab is essentially a type of porridge prepared using millet flour (Bajra) which is loved by the people of Rajasthan. The taste of the Raab is sour and tempting which could be consumed both hot as well as cold. Another form of Raab is the sweet one, which is called Gur Raab i.e., made up of Gur (Jaggery). It is sweet and generally consumed after meals as it is considered as good for digestion and help increase body immunity.
Gushtaba in Kashmir
Are you up to travel to Kashmir this winters? If yes then trying out Gushtaba would be the right thing to add in your bucket list of winter dishes. The mysterious it sounds, the tastier it is. The dish is prepared by cooking the meatballs in yogurt curry. For the spice lovers, this dish is a perfect match in Kashmir. Yes, it is spicy but even for the not so spice lovers, this dish becomes hard to resist. So get ready to taste the best cuisine of Kashmir. You would easily find the rich dish in the traditional restaurants of Kashmir.
Kootu in Tamil Nadu
The mixed vegetable delicacy from Tamil Nadu is a must try when visiting Tamil Nadu during winters. Even though it can be cooked all around the year, but it is the winter season when the maximum vegetables are available like carrots, cauliflower, peas and capsicum that would give the desired flavor and nutritional value to this dish. If you are wondering what it would taste like the traditional Sambar and Rasam then that’s not really true. Kootu has a completely different fresh taste that is hard to resist.
Carrot Poriyal/ Palyain In Tamil Nadu and Karnataka
So this is one such dish which is prepared in most of the South Indian homes. The people of Tamil Nadu call it Poriyal while those from Karnataka call it Palyain. The dish is delicious and is a fixed accompaniment to all other dishes. Carrot Poriyal is prepared in such a way that it is light and full of flavor and packs excessive taste in every bite that you take. Other than carrot, sometimes beetroot and beans are even added to the dish, that is finally garnished with coconut. So go ahead and taste the goodness of Carrot Poriyal.
Til Pitha in Assam
Staying for a quite a long time Assam, Til Pitha is what I used to wait for the arrival of the January month when Magh Bihu is celebrated. The Pithas are made of white rice and the filling is done either of the till (sesame seeds) or even coconut. The pithas are sweet in taste and are crunchy that makes it the perfect evening snack with tea. The dish might seem to be very easy but this is not the reality. In fact, what I have observed is, it is only the Assamese people who actually know the art of cooking pithas or in other words, sesame pancakes. The final burst that you would feel when the pithas is the flavor that melting of the jaggery in the mouth.
Paya Shorba in Hyderabad
The name itself depicts how scrumptious Paya Shorba is. If you haven’t tasted it then I think you might be missing out one of the best dishes in India. The Paya Shorba of Hyderabad is popular and tourists from different parts of India do try eating it when visiting Hyderabad. Paaya is prepared with roasted spices and goat trotters with succulent flavours packed into this one delicious dish. The dish is served hot with steamed rice which when eaten gives you a heavenly feeling with the aromatic fragrance. Also, the dish is known by the name Kharode Ka Shorba in Delhi.
Kachi Haldi ki Sabzi in Mumbai
I know the dish might sound weird but in reality, it is not. For those who have tasted it must be aware of it, but if you haven’t then travelling to Mumbai during the winter season, I would say don’t miss out trying out trying Haldi Ki Sabzi. As already discussed above, turmeric is commonly eaten in winter because it provides heat and also boosts the immune system. The dish is prepared by fresh haldi tossed in oil, with the tadka of cumin seeds. The gravy is prepared with tomatoes, onions, garlic and green chillies. Adding yogurt in the curry is an option. Kachi Haldi Ki Sabzi is served with wholesome tukkad (a thick roti made with corn and wheat flour). Apart from Mumbai the dish is even enjoyed in Rajasthan.
Nihari Kulcha in Delhi
You must have heard about Nihari before if you are a non-vegetarian. If not, then Nihari is traditionally beef soup curry which is also cooked by chicken and mutton. The Nihari and Kulcha that is served near Jama Masjid in Delhi. It is a much demanded and popular dish which people of Delhi, as well as travellers coming across the globe, try at least once when visiting Delhi. Nihari and Kulcha is served as breakfast and what I believe is the extreme flavor of the dish is the best fit for crisp winter mornings.
Daulat Ki Chaat in Delhi
The moment I hear the word Chaat, I start drooling as I imagine about the tangy taste but this isn’t really the case with Daulat Ki Chaat. Yes, you might get confused as Daulat Ki Chaat is a sweet dish which is also known Malai Makhan and is popular during the winter season. The dish is made up of cream and churned milk which is stored in a big container. Once it becomes a foam-like layering, saffron-infused milk are added for light colouring and flavour. So stepping out in the lanes of Chandni Chowk, don’t miss out the opportunity of trying out this amazing and delicate sweet snow flake, infused with sweetened mawa, fragrant saffron mixture, and garnished with layers of almonds and pistachios.
The arrival of the summer season gives an opportunity to explore more food and at the same time keep us reminded to eat light and healthy. The urge for the intake of something refreshing is always there, that could satiate the cravings and help you overcome the gruelling summer heat. It is suggested to avoid heavy meals during summer seasons as it becomes a little tough for the food to digest. So it is important to keep yourself hydrated by drinking more water and more water contained food items. meals are best avoided. Chilled soups, scrumptious salads, are preferred over a full-fledged heavy and greasy meal and it is important to do so in order to maintain a healthy and balanced life. So, take a look at these amazing summer food and drink covering some parts of India that will help you appease your palate when travelling.
Pyaar Mohabbat Sharbat in Delhi
Feeling drenched and looking for that one summer quencher to help you feel rejuvenated? Well, then head to the lanes of Old Delhi where you could make the most of your summers by drinking Pyaar Mohabbat Sharbat. The drink has become popular not just among the people of Delhi but travellers coming from across India, do try it for once which doesn’t leave them disappointed. The drink is made up made with oodles of rooh afza, milk, sugar, watermelons and lots of love. The Mohabbat Sharbat is gradually turning into a landmark in Old Delhi. The person who actually serves the Sharbat is Nawab Qureshi, who is popularly known as ‘Pyaar Mohabbat Sharbat wala’.
Aam Ki Launji in Rajasthan
The tangy and sweet combination of Aam Ki Launji is a famous food of Rajasthan. The popular summer binge is cooked to beat the scorching heat of the summers. The delicious Aam ki Launji is prepared with raw mango, fennel, and nigella which is – this sweet and sour dish is a perfect accompaniment of a full course meal which you can either have it with rice or chapati and even raw if you want to. The dish can be preserved for weeks. So visiting Rajasthan during the summers, don’t miss out on ordering Aam Ki Launji.
Aam Pora Sharbat in Kolkata
Aam Pora Sharbat is a great summer drink from Bengal which is refreshing and has a delicious taste and also gives a soothing effect to the throat. The drink is quite refreshing and is pretty similar to aam panna from North India. The drink is popular among the people of Kolkata and has high demand during the summers. So if you have any plans to escape to Kolkata, then enjoy the cool summer drink.
Zutho in Nagaland
An energizing and refreshing summer drink from the state of Nagaland, Zutho is a kind of rice beer which is prepared from a long-spanned fermentation process. Drinking Zutho you will come across with an intoxicating fruit flavor with the combination sweet and sour taste and a frothy look. The locals love to enjoy this cooling drink which goes well with roasted soya bean and dry fried red chilies.
Zan in Arunachal Pradesh
Have you ever been to Arunachal Pradesh? Did you get the chance to taste Zan? Yes, Zan which is a mouthwatering, spicy porridge which is presented with relished juicy, green veggies as well as charred meat. The cooking procedure includes boiling water along with millet flour. The cooking procedure makes use of boiling water and millet flour. So, if you haven’t yet tried and have plans to head towards Arunachal Pradesh for your next trip, then get delighted by the amazing dish that will pamper your taste buds with an intriguing mix of many authentic flavors. The dish is preferred by the tribes of Arunachal during the summers months as it is light, nutritious and easy to digest.
Lau Pani Bhaji in Assam
Visiting Assam you would get to see Lau Pani Sabzi (Bottle Gourd) or Bhaji which is yet another summer season food being served in the local restaurants/dhabas as it is a common dish in the state of Assam during the summer months. The Assamese people, combine bottle gourd with fried fishes and ripe tomatoes to prepare an authentic dish named as ‘Lau Pani Mass’ which would make you salivate with the fragrance. The Lau Pani is also made by stir-frying the bottle gourd skin along with finely chopped onions, potato and other spices which makes it yet another popular Northeast Indian summer dish from Assam. The reason why Lau Pani is consumed by the people during summers is because of the high water content that keeps you cool from within.
Avial in Kerala
The first thing that would pop up in the mind while thinking about what to eat during summers would straightway take your focus on consuming light and nutritious food. But as we all are human being, we want to get indulged in rich curries. So here is when you can satiate your craving by having Avial, which is a light, coconut-based curry originally from Kerala and is also popular in Tamil Nadu. The dish is loaded-with-veggies curry making it delicious that right from the locals to the tourists visiting Kerala love the taste of Avial. Last but not the least, what makes the dish standout isn’t just the coconut taste but a variety of veggies that make it more appealing and colorful. If you happen to visit Kerala of Tamil Nadu, then don’t leave the state without trying the scrumptious dish.
So monsoon is the time when you finally get relief from the scorching heat and along with it a good chance to sit and relax watching the raindrops falling (in some parts of India). The best thing is, no matter what the season is, it will still provide you with a variety of eatables. The monsoon food makes the rain all the more pleasant. Every state has a variety of delicacies to offer during this season. So let’s quickly check out the best monsoon food from each region of our country.
Malai Ghewar in Rajasthan
Soaked in sugar syrup, Ghevar is a circular disc of maida (flour) mildly fried in moulds, which is dressed with rabdi (a condensed milk based sweet dish) or dry fruits., The malai ghewar is available only during the monsoon months. It is the pure ghee that makes it rich in taste. Teej festival in Rajasthan is celebrated and it is during this time of the month, where ghewars are available in many colours and varieties including plain, mawa and malai. The first bite that you would take, would melt the where ghevars are available in many colours and varieties including plain, mawa, malai, very colourful and easy on the palate, he added.ghewar in your mouth, tempting you to have more of it.
Alu Vadi in Maharashtra
Also known as Patrode in Gujarat, Alu Vadi is a Maharashtrian dish. The monsoon delicacy is loved by a majority of people. The dish is prepared in two different ways, the simpler way is to the pre-steamed Alu Vadi is deep-fried making it crunchy and delicious. The dish has become a popular monsoon delicacy of Maharashtra and tourists visiting Maharashtra give it a try that makes them have it more and more.
Litti-Chokha in Bihar
This must have food during monsoon in Bihar is a perfect blend of flavour and crunchiness. Along with having rich taste, Litti Chokha is preferred by the people due to its numerous health benefits. The food is easy to digest and its healthy ingredients provide the necessary warmth to the body. This delicacy from Bihar contains the filling of sattu (roasted gram flour) chokha (prepared with mashed potato, eggplant, spices, chillies, and tomato) and is finally served with Ghee. So if you are in Bihar, try Litti Chokha, I am sure you are going to love it. You can even find the dish in some parts of Uttar Pradesh.
Pazham Pori in Kerala
Being a traditional tea time snack, Pazham Pori in Kerala are basically the slices of ripe banana, coated with a batter of maida or rice flour which is deep fried in coconut oil. Taking the first bite, you could feel the crispness on the outside with sweet pulpy pieces of banana inside. Pazham Pori is a perfect snack with a cup of ginger tea during the monsoon rains.
Methi Na Gota in Gujarat
Yet another popular monsoon snack in India, Methi na Gota is also a famous dish in Gujarat which is also known as Dakor na Gota. The dish is prepared using fresh fenugreek leaves along with Bengal gram flour and spices. Once prepared, it is then deep fried and served hot with your desired accompaniment. Even though these fritters are deeply fried, but it is because of methi/fenugreek it is believed to promote good health and helps prevent some common infections which are caused during the rainy reason.
Lukhmi in Telangana
Want to try out a different version of Samosa? Then escape to Hyderabad, as you are going to get there Lukhmi which are small pockets of minced meat nestled in a crispy casing that are deep fried in oil. Unlike samosas, Lukhmi are square-shaped and tastes delicious with a cup of tea. The mutton filling being popular, Lukhmi won’t leave you disappointed as veg filling is also available with minced carrot, beans and potatoes.
Beguni in West Bengal
Begun or Beguni Bhaja are one of the favourite monsoon delights of the Bongs. The big-sized brinjals are cut into pieces and marinated by the besan or gram flour which are shallow fried. This simple recipe can be accompanies well with steamed rice, or if you want to have it as refreshment then a hot cup of tea is always a perfect antidote to the gloomy and chilling weather.
Mirchi Bajji or Mirchi Bada in Rajasthan
Spicy yet delicious, Mirchi Bajji or Mirchi Bada is a spicy yet delicious pakora which is famous in Rajasthan. Prepared with the Bhavnagri chillies, mashed potatoes and dipped in a batter prepared from gram flour, you can easily find these crispy bajjis in any part of Rajasthan no matter what mode of travelling you choose. This amazing delicacy keeps the body warm during the monsoon and above all, it is the taste that makes it favorite to all.
Alu Chop and Egg Roll in Bengal
We all are aware how the bongs are love to be called foodies. Fish Curries, Mishti Doi, Sandesh and Rasgulla are the mainstay of food culture in Bengal but other than these, monsoon is even celebrated in Bengal. Alu chops (a fried item stuffed with mashed potato with green peas, tomato slices, ginger paste and a variety of spices) and egg rolls, a kind of spring roll are loved by the locals as well as tourists visiting the place during the monsoon season. Make sure, if you ever happen to visit Bengal in monsoon season, you don’t leave the place without trying the famous Alu Chop and Egg Roll.
Momos in Northeast State
I know you can easily spot momos anywhere in India, but what’s so unique about the northeastern momos? Well, it is the white moon-like crescent dumplings which when stuffed with the goodness of minced meat, pork, chicken, or vegetable taste so good that it can treat your taste buds and after all what else would you need to beat the cold showers of monsoon soothe every drenched soul.
The list doesn’t end here. There are a lot of other eatables available in the months of winter, summer and monsoon. After writing some of them, I just can’t wait to binge on all of them. Are you feeling the same? If yes, why wait. Let’s celebrate the goodness of seasonal food delicacies by travelling across India to explore a variety of food. Also, don’t forget to take extra note of hygiene in your food preferences during this season. If you are filled with enthusiasm and ready to escape to the places, then you can get in touch with our travel experts who would help you in a more appropriate way.
Published: 06 Dec, 2018