HYDERABAD: Winter is here. Many denizens in the city wrap themselves in their woollens and head to the Old City. The delicious gourmet itinerary, of course, leads them to the bowlfuls of nalli nihari, paaya, marag, and kaleji gurda washed down with piping hot Irani Chai.
What is common about these comfort winter food items is that they are all made from juicy mutton/beef chunks or succulent chicken. But what about those who, by choice or not by choice, are hard-core vegetarians? Do they have a choice? Well, if you are a vegetarian and want to beat the winter chills we bring to you the list of delights that are prepared only with veg ingredients and keep you equally warm as would a liver pie do. Read on to mark the same in your winter bucket list:
Classic Cheese Lasagna
This one dish can never fail you. Thick cheese layered with lasagna sheets and a whole gamut of other finger-licking ingredients like cherry tomatoes, button mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers and, of course, marble onions. What actually keeps you warm is the use of basil and oregano - the herbs known for their unique warmth-providing properties. A dig into the sinful layers and you feel comforted immediately - the rich taste stays with you till you head to bed. Recommended places: 10D, Deli9 and Autumn Leaf Cafe.
Date palm halwa
Rich in nutrients and a handful of these desert fruits ensures that your energy levels remain high during the day. Sweet in itself, the fruit when cooked, doesn’t need any sugar in it. Preparation of halwa just needs a box of fresh juicy date palms de-seeded and cooked on slow flame in milk. The result is a smooth mixture dark like winter night itself. A few spoonfuls with a glass of milk provides warmth enough to beat the chill.
Well, ask your grandmother and she’ll tell you the tales of mortal and pestle crushing those ochre coloured nuts into a granular powder that would be mixed with sugar, some ghee and translucent chunks of fried edible gum. The result - globules of warmth. Have two of these laddoos in the morning and you are set to take off your jacket even if the weatherman’s chill wind prediction comes true. Almond House is the best place to get a boxful.
Faint scarlet with that mix of fresh herbs - this is a must-try. The richness of seasonal vegetables paired with goat cheese makes this dish winter essential bringing to you the feel of balmy Italian afternoons. You can relish beetroot risotto at Tuscany, Trident Hyderabad with champagne or white wine. Shares chef Manik, “Such foods are real comforters even if they are prepared with vegetables. Our bodies respond wonderfully to the produce of the season.”