Food - Drink
The Frozen Indian Dessert That's Served During Winter
BY CLARICE KNELLY
If you're well-versed in the diverse and deeply flavorful world of Indian cuisine, then you're familiar with some of the country's delicious desserts. However, the lesser-known sweet dish called Daulat ki chaat appears only in the depths of India's cold season, and may be the true reigning champ of India's dessert world.
Daulat ki chaat is a mystical foamy treat with an airy texture and a satisfyingly sweet flavor, and it is thought to have originated with Kazakhstan's Botai tribe, then likely made its way to India via the Silk Route. There are a few legends surrounding the dessert, and one says it can only be prepared on cold, moonlit nights.
Modern Daulat ki chaat includes milk, cream, cream of tartar, and sugar mixed together into a foam, and some say this transformation can only occur on a winter night when chilly dew can form on the dish. The dessert can be topped with kurchan (thickened milk), pistachios, bora (unrefined sugar), edible silver, and saffron.
In today's India, there are only a handful of vendors that still make Daulat ki chaat using the arduous centuries-old traditional process of mixing boiled milk and cream, then leaving it out on a winter’s night. The light, airy, creamy, and ethereal dessert is traditionally only made and eaten in winter, usually in bustling marketplaces.