Deepavali, which translates as ‘a row of lights’, is one of the most significant of all Hindu festivals and is celebrated over a period of 5 days and as Diwali is here, we decided to move over regular desserts this year and treat ourselves and the guests to some lip-smacking delicacies. This year, Diwali falls on November 4.

The festival symbolises the victory of light over darkness, of good over evil and of knowledge over ignorance. On this day, diyas, candles and lamps are placed all around the house, to ‘light’ the way to knowledge and victory and food plays an important role in the celebration of Diwali, in addition to all the fun, gambling and firecrackers surrounding the festival.

Take the stress out of cooking this season with these easy-yet-impressive festive recipes, suggested by nutritionists, that give a healthy twist to Diwali mithai from parwal mithai to protein laddoo.

1. Potoler Mishti/Parwal Mithai/Pointed Gourd Sweet

 

Potoler Mishti/Parwal Mithai/Pointed Gourd Sweet(Senior Kitchen Executive Pradipta Nag Chowdhury from The Park, Chennai)
Potoler Mishti/Parwal Mithai/Pointed Gourd Sweet(Senior Kitchen Executive Pradipta Nag Chowdhury from The Park, Chennai)

 

Ingredients for the shell:

Potol/parwal/pointed gourd (10 nos.) 250-300gms

Sugar 150 gms

Water 200 ml

Edible liquid green colour Few drops

Green cardamom 2-3 nos.

Ingredients for the stuffing:

Sweetened khoya 150 gms

Cashew 20 gms

Almond 20 gms

Pistachio 20 gms

Ingredients for garnish:

Edible silver leaf/chandi varq

3-4 leaves

Almond sliced

10 gms

Pistachio sliced

10 gms

Method:

Cut the ends of the parwal and peel the skin. Make a slit along the length of the parwal taking care not to cut it in half.

With the back end of a small spoon, gently scoop out the fleshy part from inside and soak them in water.

Place a pot of water for boiling. On the side place another pot with the water, sugar, cardamom and bring to a boil, then simmer.

Once the water comes to a rolling boil, put in the parwal and boil for 5-7 minutes. Strain and transfer to the simmering sugar syrup.

Cook gently in the sugar syrup over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or till the parwal is soft. Add the green colour to the sugar syrup 2-3 minutes before taking the parwal out.

Take the parwal out and drain the excess sugar syrup. On the side grate the sweetened khoya and roughly chop the nuts. Mix all together thoroughly to make the stuffing.

Fill the parwals with the stuffing and arrange on a serving platter. To garnish, dab the silver leaves (chandi varq) on top of the stuffed parwals and sprinkle sliced nuts over them, and serve.

(Recipe: Senior Kitchen Executive Pradipta Nag Chowdhury from The Park, Chennai)

2. Dry Fruit - Protein rich Laddoo

 

Dry Fruit - Protein rich Laddoo(Nidhi Shah, Dietician and Nutritionist at OZiva)
Dry Fruit - Protein rich Laddoo(Nidhi Shah, Dietician and Nutritionist at OZiva)

Ingredients:

2 tbsp pistachios

2 tbsp almonds

2 tbsp walnuts

1 tbsp cashews

1 tbsp raisins

4-5 dates

2 tbsp flax seeds

2 tbsp peanuts

1/4th cup oats

1/4th cup cardamom powder

1 tsp vegetable ghee

½ cup jaggery powder

2 tsp poppy seeds

2 tbsp grated coconut (optional)

Method:

Roast peanuts. Peel the peanuts once it has cooled down. Roast oats. Blend all ingredients in a blender.

The natural oil of dry fruits will help you bind them together. Make small portions and make a laddo.

(Recipe: Nidhi Shah, Dietician and Nutritionist at OZiva)

3. Puran poli with frozen shrikand, jaggery sauce, pistachios crumbs & icing sugar