Guilt-Free Diwali Delicacies
With Diwali approaching, it's time to look forward to spending quality time with our family and friends and gorging up on the inflow of delicious and mouth watering sweet-boxes and snacks that are exchanged. But before you start regretting the holiday weight-gain already, hang on a minute! Being a person who has a strangely fluctuating metabolism, I have browsed through many cookbooks to short list these absolutely guilt-free (and fat free!), Diwali delicacies for all of those who want to enjoy the holidays in peace.
Also read: Stir up a healthy sizzler in 30 minutes
Moringa Kaju Katli
Kaaju Katli is one sweet that you will definitely find in any Diwali thaali. It is my personal favourite, and I was elated to find that there is a healthier version of this sweet. This cholesterol-free, sugar-free, fat-free, egg-free recipe doesn't even use sugar; instead, it uses a natural vegetable sweetener named Stevia. Interesting, isn't it?
1 cup powdered cashews
4 tbsp Stevia powder (you'll find readymade packets of it in supermarkets)
1 tsp Moringa powder (you'll find readymade packets of it in supermarkets)
1 tbsp Chia seeds
¼ th cup water
A pinch of salt
Method: In a large saucepan, heat water, salt and Stevia together and bring to a boil. In another non-stick pan, dry roast the cashew powder for 2 minutes, constantly stirring to avoid burning. Now add the boiled water in this mixeture and cook for a minute or two until the cashew paste starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Now, turn off the heat and add the chia seeds and moringa powder and mix well. Transfer the contents of the pan onto a large tray lined with butter paper and spread evenly. Using a lightly greased rolling pin, roll out the mixture until you get a ½ inch thick layer of dough. Cool down the dough completely and cut into small squares or diamonds. Healthy kaju katli is served!
Low Fat Besan Laddoo
Besan laddoos are a staple food during festivals in India. But these ghee-dripping laddoos don't work for people like me who tend to gain weight with every bite. So here you go, try this milk-free and ghee-free recipe that's much healthier and equally tasty to the tongue.
1 cup besan / gram flour
¾th cup almonds or walnuts (any oily nuts)
4 green cardamoms
¾th cup jaggery or palm jaggery
Method: Dry roast the nuts till crunchy, set aside. Next, dry roast the besan or gram flour till it turns fragrant for about 7 to 8 minutes on a medium flame while constantly stirring. Now add the cardamoms to the hot pan. Once cooled, add the mixture and the nuts to a blender along with the jaggery, and blend till the mixture turns lumpy. Make sure the mixture has become warm. Now, immediately makes balls out of this mix. You may use a few drops of any healthy oil, e.g. light virgin olive oil or almond oil. Simply add it to the blender along with other ingredients and blend. Now, while the mixture is still warm, roll small equal sized balls out of the mixture.
Poha chivda is a very common and popular snack in Maharashtra and Karnataka. This easy-to-make low fat snack is, hands down, a Diwali staple. Here's the super easy recipe.
5-6 cups thin poha (or chivda poha)
12-15 cashewnuts split into halves
1/3 cup ground nuts
1/4 cup gram (dalia)
1/4 cup dried coconut slivers
1/4 cup raisins
8-10 green chillies (sliced length-wise)
20-25 curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp lemon salt (citric acid crystals)
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
Salt to taste
Method: Dry roast the poha in a large non-stick pan on low flame for 3-4 minutes or until crisp. Empty the poha on a dry tray. Now in the same pan, in very little oil lightly fry the ground nuts, cashew nuts, dry coconut slices, green chillies, curry leaves , fried gram and raisins separately one by one. After frying each ingredient separate remove it and add it to the roasted poha. Next, in the same pan, add a few drops of oil and crackle the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds and remove the pan from the flame. Now quickly add turmeric powder, salt, lemon salt and sugar to the oil, mix well and immediately transfer the contents to the roasted poha and give it a good stir. Put the mixture back into the pan and mix well on low flame.
Also read: Junk food made healthy