From gajar ka halwa to holay — here are some staple winter snacks to keep you cosy

From gajar ka halwa to holay — here are some staple winter snacks to keep you cosy

You can't deny that a warm cup of chai with toasted garbanzo beans is the perfect way to enjoy the chilly season.
28 Dec, 2022

Winter calls for munchies and in Pakistan, you have many options associated with the season. We may return to them every year but you just don’t get tired of these yummy treats. In our case, our day starts with a warm cup of chai and ends with snacks.

You have your basic but comfy go-tos such as hot chocolate, camping food like s’mores and halwas — especially carrot-based. And then there are simple but delicious snacks such as soup, dry fruits, gajak — also called chikki and brittle — and garbanzo beans.

We have compiled a list of winter snacks we think you should definitely get your hands on this season.


Soup on a chilly evening reminds us of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, when Charlie would come home to his grandparents and mum, and they’d enjoy a warm bowl of cabbage soup. While the circumstances may be different in Charlie’s case, to have a bowl of soup with family as the weather gets chilly hits different.

Gajar ka halwa

Need we say more? Of course, gajar ka halwa had to make it to the list of scrumptious winter snacks because it’s a must-have. Even if you’re on a diet, gajar ka halwa serves as the perfect cheat-meal snack.

Dry fruits

A fistful of dry fruits won’t hurt anybody said no one ever because you can never have just a fistful of dry fruits. Pakistani — or perhaps even desi — households display them on the table throughout the winter season. Our favourite picks are pistachios, cashews and raisins. What about you?

Hot Chocolate

More towards the western side comes the hot chocolate trend. Even if you ignore it, a friend on Instagram or cooking accounts will badger you into having a cup of hot chocolate and soon you’re hooked. What we love in our hot chocolate is a little bit of peppermint candy to add our own spin to it.

Chikki (Peanut brittle)

If you are a true desi at heart who enjoys dry fruits, you probably like rice snacks and brittle placed near a lantern on a pushcart. Our favourite from the display are the almond and peanut brittle pieces because of the crunchy, sweet goodness and how it goes perfectly with a cup of green tea after a meal.

Holay (Garbanzo beans)

Green chickpeas are widely known as holay, at least for one of us while the other calls it fota in Sindhi. While we do want to know what you call this, green chickpeas are a perfect winter snack whether you roast it in a pan, boil it or even microwave it. We would also like to know how you make it at your house?

What’s your favourite winter snack? Let us know in the comments!


Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Dec 28, 2022 05:23pm
Bring them on.
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Bunny Dec 28, 2022 08:11pm
Gajar ka halwa is my absolute favourite . Its totally local to the subcontinent . rest mostly belong to the west.
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M. Emad Dec 28, 2022 09:20pm
Sasta Roti.
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krishna singh Dec 28, 2022 09:20pm
This shows how we are same. In Delhi too qe relish all these once temperature drops..we shud concentrate on our common values we share be it beating kids to make them study or eating halwa:)
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Arij H Khan Dec 28, 2022 09:50pm
@krishna singh Spot on yaara
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Arij H Khan Dec 28, 2022 09:51pm
@krishna singh Spot on, yaara. Life is short and we can’t waste it squabbling.
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Firangi Dec 28, 2022 10:35pm
Sesame with jaggery/gud is best in winter
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AGHA PASHA Dec 28, 2022 10:44pm
@Bunny Holay is typical desi snack, hope you tried it !
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Syed Hafeez Imran Dec 28, 2022 10:48pm
@Bunny Even holay I am sure those on the west know almost nothing about it , not even the name
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NYS Dec 28, 2022 11:05pm
Basan ladoo with çappichino
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Truth be told Dec 28, 2022 11:45pm
@Bunny ever heard of Carrot cake? Also do Garbanzo beans only belong to the West? Your comment though innocent is pretty ignorant as well.
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Rehana Bounse Dec 28, 2022 11:50pm
@Bunny No! Not holay( not western at all). We used to eat them when we were little
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Syed Hasni Dec 29, 2022 12:17am
I have been guilty of Soup, Gajar ka halwa, Chikki and dry fruits. Never a fan of Green Chick peas I like them Yellow and dreid like in Cholay.
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pontifex Dec 29, 2022 12:25am
I thought you were going to show us how to make all of this....
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Madiha Fatima Dec 29, 2022 12:35am
We make Gajar ka Halwa at home.
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Prof. Panda Dec 29, 2022 01:04am
Please include saag and makaai ki roti, pethay ka halwa and Hareesa
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Babar Iqbal Dec 29, 2022 01:51am
you missed panjoori. The best winter snack in Punjab
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ENGR Hamid Shafiq Dec 29, 2022 08:01am
@M. Emad Yes poor people only afford sasti roti because Govt has no money
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Sidratulmuntaha Dec 29, 2022 09:12am
Coffee and boil egg is my favorite snack in winter
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Rao Dec 29, 2022 09:18am
Holay is actually called Chholay in widely accailed language or Chanay.
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Mehar Dec 29, 2022 09:23am
Who can afford them these days?
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Raj Dec 29, 2022 09:28am
chaai with hot pakoras … gaajar ka halwa is favorite dessert.. nothing can beat it.
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Isthisreal Dec 29, 2022 09:53am
I wish I didn't have diabetes..
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SimpleMind Dec 29, 2022 01:50pm
Nice article. Brings good memories to mind
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