1. Gajjar Ka Halwa
Nothing beats Gajjar ka halwa . Carrots cannot taste as good as they do in this traditional Pakistani dessert (meetha as we call it here). And to top it up, the ghee ka tarka which has elaichi in it too. Oye hoye hoye. And if one wants to make it more rich, the khoya option is available. This calls for a typical Wah! moment. No winter, I repeat, no winter is complete without it. Although every household has their own way of making this halwa, it is basically a combo of nuts, milk, sugar, khoya and ghee with lots and lots of grated carrots. Hungry much?
2. Dry Fruits from the thailla
You know you’re in Pakistan during winter when a thailla-wala [vendor on a cart] goes from street to street ringing a bell to inform people that he is ready for business. His cart has a gas cylinder and tavaa [hot plate] to warm the thailla yummies as per customer requirement. In large plastic bags are a variety of almonds, peanuts, dried apricots, figs, walnuts and so much more. He usually goes around after sunset, so there is also a yellow light-bulb hanging from a wire to light up the products he is selling.
Juicy, sweet and sometimes tangy, oranges are famous for its concentration of vitamin C. They are the perfect snack. It is no wonder that they are one of the most popular fruits in the world. But in Pakistan, this fruit is available in winter only. The best way to eat it: take a plate, peel the orange, add salt and pepper to it, and tadda! And if you have too much time, you can add this fruit to various desserts and drinks.
4. Chikky, Til kay laddoo, gajjak
Although these three are sold by the thailla-wala , they deserve to be described or remembered separately. Chikky can be made of peanuts, or pistachios, or even sesame seeds. They are coated in gurh [jaggery] and then cut into bars. And then there is til kay laddoo, which is made of sesame seeds [til] and jaggery , and rolled into balls. Lastly, there is the gajjak, which again has jaggery in it, but is made of ground sesame seeds and ground nuts.
5. Kashmiri chai
This pink chai is made with tea leaves, baking soda, nuts, cardamom, milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt. The color and of course the nuts make this Pakistani beverage standout.