Absolutely, Kolkata’s winter is a magical time, and what better way to embrace it than indulging in delightful winter desserts that warm both the heart and soul? Here’s a guide to the top 10 desserts that define Kolkata’s winter season:
1. Nolen Gurer Sandesh:
A winter delicacy, Nolen Gurer Sandesh is a sweet treat made from fresh cottage cheese, flavored with date palm jaggery (Nolen Gur). The rich, caramel-like taste of Nolen Gur lends a unique sweetness to this Sandesh, making it a quintessential winter dessert in Kolkata.
The winter months in Kolkata witness an array of Pithe-Puli, traditional Bengali sweets prepared in various forms. These are rice flour-based dumplings or pancakes filled with sweetened coconut, jaggery, and sometimes even khoya (reduced milk). They come in diverse shapes and flavors, each representing a unique aspect of Bengali culture.
3. Gurer Rosogolla:
While Rosogolla is a year-round favorite, during winters, a variation made with Nolen Gur, known as Gurer Rosogolla, steals the show. The infusion of the seasonal jaggery adds warmth and depth to the spongy sweetness, making it a popular choice during the colder months.
Another winter specialty, Patishapta, is a type of thin crepe made from rice flour, filled with a mixture of coconut, khoya, and jaggery. These delectable rolls are then fried or roasted and served warm, making them a comforting and flavorful dessert option during Kolkata’s chilly winters.
5. Kheer Kadam:
Kheer Kadam is a delightful sweet consisting of a layer of soft Khoya (reduced milk) coated with a crispy layer of roasted paneer, all dipped in sweetened condensed milk. This winter dessert is a burst of textures and flavors, making it a popular choice among Kolkata’s dessert enthusiasts.
6. Nolen Gurer Ice Cream:
Innovative yet traditional, Nolen Gurer Ice Cream brings together the classic flavors of Nolen Gur in a creamy, frozen delight. This winter-special ice cream captures the essence of the season, offering a refreshing yet comforting dessert experience.
A popular street dessert, Malpua is a deep-fried pancake soaked in sugar syrup. During the winter season, these crispy yet spongy treats are relished piping hot, often paired with a dollop of fresh cream or Rabri (sweetened, thickened milk).
The winter chill in Kolkata calls for warm, comforting desserts like Kheer. This rice pudding, cooked with milk, sugar, and sometimes flavored with cardamom, saffron, or nuts, is a staple winter dessert, cherished by families during gatherings and festivals.
9. Gobindobhog Rice Payesh:
Payesh, a rice pudding cooked slowly with milk and sugar, gets a special touch during winters with the use of Gobindobhog rice, a fragrant, short-grain rice variety. The creamy texture and aromatic essence of this rice elevate the simple Payesh to a winter delicacy.
10. Chanar Jilipi:
Chanar Jilipi, a twist on the classic Jalebi, is made with fresh chhena (cottage cheese) instead of refined flour. The Jilipis are deep-fried and then soaked in sugar syrup, offering a unique texture and taste, often enjoyed warm during the chilly winter evenings.
These desserts not only satisfy the sweet tooth but also reflect the warmth and richness of Kolkata’s winter traditions. Embrace the season by relishing these delectable treats that add an extra layer of sweetness to the city’s vibrant culinary scene.