Some of our warmest memories are associated with the cold winters in India. With every dip in the temperature, you are pleasantly reminded of all the good times spent with family and friends, almost always over good food.

Come winter, and every Indian household starts whipping up their traditional winter recipes. Food always manages to bring people together, and especially in winters when you automatically have a larger appetite to accommodate all of your favourite hearty meals.

It’s a strangely clichéd equation that we all have with food over the years, isn’t it? As children, we are introduced to the more traditional, homely snacks and meals that are like second nature to us and hence, immensely loved. A delicious ladoo made with love in oodles of home-made ghee to snack in-between meals, piping hot curries containing a rich blend of spices that not just add to the taste, but also have medicinal benefits to protect you from the common cold; delicious bhakaris with a dollop of ghee and jaggery, gajar ka halwa – the dessert that transcends states and cultures and becomes the perfect winter delicacy that we Indians look forward to.

India’s rich cultural diversity means a plethora of winter foods that we look forward to every winter.

  • Sarson Ka Saag – A North Indian winter favourite, sarson ka saag is vibrant green curry made using in-season mustard leaves and spinach leaves. The dish is eaten with makki ki roti for a wholesome experience.

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  • Undhiyu – The Gujarati delicacy is a rich combination of a variety of vegetables and preparations like surti papdi, purple yam, sweet potatoes, methi muthiya slow cooked to perfection with utmost care. The careful combination of ingredients that goes into an undhiyu delivers a winter dish that you will always look forward to.
  • Nolen Gurer Sandesh – A melt-in-your-mouth Bengali sweet dish, this fudge-like delicacy is an eastern-Indian winter classic made using milk and jaggery.
  • Gond Ke Ladoo – Popular in northern India, the key ingredient in these rich and delicious ladoos is the gond, or edible gum that has nutritional benefits when consumed in winters. Most ingredients in these ladoos are heat-producing, perfect for the cold weather.
  • Beetroot Thoran – A humble and delicious Kerala-style recipe, the key ingredient here is the beetroot. Beetroot is consumed largely during winters to keep seasonal infections and allergies at bay.
  • Lapsi – You’ll find many variations of this quintessential winter delicacy, but the traditional lapsi is prepared using wheat, jaggery and ghee – all three ingredients that are perfect for the winter.
  • Chikki – A quick snack, or your healthy sweet dish fix for the winters, chikki contains peanuts, jaggery, and ghee – another set of classic ingredients that keep you warm during the old season.
  • Methi Pakora – These fritters are prepared using a primary combination of fenugreek leaves and gram flour. Methi or fenugreek is a leafy vegetable available all year round, but its strong flavour and inherent heat makes it a winter must-have.

As we grow up, develop our own tastes and preferences, we tend to break away from the traditional foods, in a bid to explore perhaps? We have all had those phases when we steered away from these recipes from home and looked forward to relishing a delicious bake, hot chocolate and cream-filled delicacies. But as time passes and we stay away from home for a while, we inadvertently go back to appreciating and craving our original comfort foods.

Our journey with ghar ka khana usually comes full circle somewhere in our mid or late twenties. The same home-made ghee ladoos are more tantalising, the peppery curries have you wanting for more, the bhakaris remind you of the warmth of the loving hands that make them, the gajar ka halwa feels like home.

The cycle of realising that the traditional foods which you grew up with is something that we all go through, and when it happens it feels like homecoming. Not only are these foods comfortable and familiar, these also contribute immensely to your health and wellness – more than any temporary fad or diet ever can.

These traditional recipes are not just what your body is accustomed to, these are usually made from local produce that is in-season – a great metric to understand the organic fit for you in the truest sense. Today, many local Indian food brands are ensuring that you don’t end up missing out on the foods that you grew up with, especially around the end-of-year holiday season, when you’re far away from home.

We always felt that a similar metric applies to more such essentials, and in many ways RBL Bank strives to be your one trusted source for all things banking, where you truly feel at home. Similar to the comfort of a traditional winter recipe that you’ve grown up with, it is our endeavour to make you feel a sense of belonging, through our service and in our product offerings. We want to ensure that we live up to the value of being “Apno ka Bank” for you, in its absolute sense. And that extends to the small and big benefits that we offer with our allied products and services.

A large part of our valued customer base comprises people who are living in cities different from those they grew up in. Many also end up celebrating small and big milestones, festivals, good and bad days away from their loved ones and comfort zones. We love how a recipe, a food item, a familiar taste from home can turn the day around. We thought about how we could contribute to this feeling, and found a solution that fits. We designed RBL Bank’s Shoprite Credit Card in a way such that it offers real value through its benefits and usage.

Missing home a little too much, and your nearest grocery shop has the perfect fix (read: besan ladoos) for it? Pay using your RBL Bank Shoprite Credit Card and earn a 5% value back on your spend. Furthermore, you can earn cashbacks and rewards on all your spends.

While we encourage going beyond your comfort zones to explore something new, we also treasure traditions, and love retaining the beauty of the things that are familiar and comforting – just like the food that you grew up with!