Kumaoni Desserts

Kumaoni Desserts

Kumaon has a beautifully sweet side and one that is made with great care. While a lot has been said and written about Kumaoni cuisine, the sweet tooth in most of us craves for local desserts – for the rush of sugar tempered down by the carbs of flour or the tanginess of acid. Kumaoni Desserts are unique in themselves and many of the ones we serve at Nayalap have their own fan following:

Sana Hua Nimboo

In the winters, Kumaon remains speckled with the lemon hues of Galgal, a native citrus also known as Kumaon lemon. It grows in abundance and is generously distributed amongst friends and relatives. With the valley thus overflowing, residents have found an artfully simple way to savour this gift of nature. Enter sana hua nimbu, a snack that combines yoghurt with bhang, and these incredible local lemons.

I would never make sana hua nimbu just for myself. It’s a community experience. Growing up in Nainital, I’ve lived a childhood where family gatherings and picnics were frequent. During winters, sana hua nimbu featured prominently in these gatherings.

The sour notes of lemon mingle with the sweetness of jaggery, infusing the creamy yogurt and nutty warmth of roasted bhang (hemp seed) to create an all-round delightful experience. Jaggery and bhang ki chutney keep the body warm, making it the perfect winter afternoon snack.

RECIPE FOR SANA HUA NIMBU

Ingredients

2 Kumaon lemons
1 Malta (a variety of orange popular in Kumaon)
3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
400 g curd
50 g sugarcane jaggery
1/4 cup roasted and ground hemp seeds 
Chilli powder/green chilies to taste
Salt, to taste
1 cup sugar, or to taste  

Method:

Peel the lemons and break them into edible chunks. Do the same for the malta.
Add the curd, jaggery and bhang ki chutney and mix in the salt, chilli powder and sugar.
Finish with a generous sprinkle of pomegranate seeds.
Serve immediately.

Se

Made from Semolina, Yoghurt, Milk and Ghee, Se is the perfect halwa if you would like it to be slightly lighter. The slight acid in yoghurt makes Se feel light on the stomach and for a great post dinner dessert.

Ragi Halwa

To be had after dinner on cold winter nights, Ragi Halwa is the Pahadi Souffle that you’ll just keep asking more of. Made with Ragi and ghee with a topping of dry fruits, the Halwa is gooey and must be had warm. It is also high on calories and Ragi being warm, good for the winters. You can have it summers as well – but in less copious quantities.

Ginger-Lemon Pudding

Sure the recipe isn’t Pahadi. But like with all things continental, there is a similarity in the ingredients. While Ginger-Lemmon Pudding otherwise is great, it achieves perfection when you use the Pahadi Lemons. Use Ginger, Milk, Eggs and both the zest of the Pahadi Lemon and it gives the sweet tang to the dessert that you’ll love.

While travel may be difficult, it is not difficult to whip up some of these easy desserts for yourself. In such tough times, you deserve this comfort food. Plan your travel to Nayalap today.

 

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