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What is so special about Delhi winters? Well, the aroma from carts peddling smoked sweet potatoes and fresh star fruit sprinkled with rock salt. At street roundabouts there are hawkers with a mountain of peanuts in front of them, concealing in their hearts warm earthen pots with smouldering embers. Rows upon rows of Daulat Ki Chaat stalls in Chandni Chowk are also an honest microcosm of Delhi winters. But the best part about the season of chills is desserts. Warming, comforting and full of old world charm, the sweet dishes are soul food of a different kind.
Ssence – the all-day dining restaurant of The Suryaa, is serving up a unique dessert as part of its Sunday Brunch offerings. The hotel’s Sunday Brunch, which aims to present a mix of global and local classics, (read kebabs, nihari, curries, biryanis, hand tossed pizzas, paella, stone grilled meats and seafood), has upped the ante when it comes to Indian desserts. Up for grabs is the decadent Beetroot Halwa that combines the healthful quality of beetroot with the richness of ghee, gooey and sinfully sweet, the bright crimson dessert is laced with ghee for a beautiful mouth-feel.
Dhaba Estd 1986 Delhi’s new winter menu has put the sugar addict on its priority list. Conceptualised by Chef Ravi Saxena, and titled The Big Fat Punjabi Menu, the new menu has a host of winter special food items that warm the soul like no other. But the menu highlights are Aloo Ananas Halwa, a unique blend of potatoes, pineapples, mawa (milk fudge), coconut and dry fruits as well as Gajrela, a version of the traditional winter favourite Gajar Ka Halwa.
Chingari, the North Indian restaurant of Park Plaza East Delhi has a few one - of - a - kind winter desserts to tickle your taste buds. There is Shehad-E-Jaam, barrel-shaped fried dumplings stuffed with honey and pistachio, sharing space with Mawe Ka Samosa, where sugar-coated Indian puff is stuffed with khoya, and Khumani Ka Meetha, an extravagant apricot dessert.
The spirited charm of Delhi’s street desserts has found a new home in the Too Indian restaurant in Rajouri Garden. It has recreated the winter classic Daulat Ki Chaat, the melt - in - the - mouth delicacy which makes an appearance on the streets of north Delhi in the season of chill. At the restaurant, you can devour the magical Milk and Cream Concoction, topped with Saffron and Besan Ladoo.
The prankster in Gurgaon has always been known to give a playful twist to food for its young - at - heart patrons. Keeping this in mind, it has launched an array of desserts for winter that surprise and elates in equal measure. The scene stealer in the new dessert menu is the Motichoor Cheese Cake, where Indian and European sensibilities meet to create a harmonious medley. A beautifully-layered confection, the Motichoor Cheese Cake has a layer of biscuit alternating with a layer of Motichoor Laddu as well as Cheese.
Susmita Saha is a Delhi-based Features Writer. She has worked as an Assistant Editor at India Today and The Telegraph and writes on arts and culture, films, travel, food, architecture, design and various other lifestyle subjects. She has seriously itchy feet and plans to tick the world off her bucket list, one burger at a time.