Diwali is falling on 4th November this year and we are making our lists for gifts, sweets, lights and clothes, are you?
Come Diwali season, there is a hullabaloo in various industries. The e-commerce sites come up with special Diwali discounts and the hospitality industry tries to lure you with interesting packages too. One thing that remains consistent across any festival, particularly Indian, is the food. Haven’t you heard the phrase, “kuch meetha ho jaye”? It indicates that there is an upcoming celebration and we should welcome it with something sweet. Be it a basic dahi-cheeni combination or a whole range of mithais, sweets are an indispensable part of any festive celebration.
We all know the Diwali legend where Lord Ram and Goddess Sita returned to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile and people rejoiced at their return. The entire city was lit up for their welcome and that’s how Diwali became a much-loved Indian festival. From rasmalais to kaju katlis, there are a plethora of Indian sweets which people relish on Diwali. However, the one concern that most of us have is about our fitness and calorie-gain during this short span of time. Resisting a bowl of hot gulab jamuns or a tray of ladoos is no easy task, I must tell you.
Though I don’t have a big sweet tooth, I like to indulge in some sweets during the festive time. In order to enjoy the Diwali ki mithai guilt-free while doing Diwali ki safai fuss-free, here are some unique ways in which you can make your sweets at home.
1. Motichoor Ladoo- Moong Dal Ladoo
Popping them in my mouth every time I make a round to the kitchen is a habitual exercise. Thousands of miniature sweet boondis are put together to make one motichoor ladoo and with it, it brings several calories. If you are a ladoo fan, just like me, then you better switch to these green moong dal ladoos soon. Add as many nuts as you like, for that extra crunch and some elaichi for that strong flavour and aroma.
2. Vermicelli Kheer-Corn Carrot Kheer
For the unversed, kheer is a creamy milk pudding which is filling and sweet. Often made with vermicelli, rice is also used many a times. My favourite is definitely the rice kheer but it is not just sugar that hits the guilt-conscious. The starchy rice adds to it and so this alternative of corn and carrot works pretty well. Finely grated carrot with sweet corn is added to the milk which lends it a natural sweetness. While kheer is generally white, this one has an orange hue due to the carrots.
3. Moong Dal Halwa- Pineapple Halwa
Loaded with sugar and ghee, the moong dal halwa is no doubt a delicious treat but a tedious task too. With the richness of moong dal that is constantly stirred along with ghee, the garnish of roasted nuts is like a cherry on top. Now, to save the effort of making this laborious halwa, we’ve got a pineapple halwa for you. The tangy flavour of pineapple adds an extra punch to the otherwise sweet halwa. You can toss in some pistachios, cashews and any dry fruits you like.
4. Fried Shakkarpare-Baked Beetroot Shakkarpare
Shakkapare, for those untouched by the phenomenon, are light and crispy sweet bites which can be enjoyed as a snack or as dessert. Shakkar refers to sugar in Hindi and this sugar-loaded snack is quite a deep-fried affair generally. To give them a twist, try a baked version, that too with beetroot. Available in almost any shape and size, you can make them as triangles, cylindrical or thick sticks.
5. Mawa Barfi- Almond Barfi
Popularly known as khoya in many parts of the country, the mawa barfi is nothing but a composition of dried milk solids which give shape to the square barfis. Soft and moist in texture and taste, khoya is actually used to make a range of Indian desserts. Skip khoya barfi this season and taste this almond barfi that is not only a delight for the taste buds but good for your teeth and bones too. A mithai that gives you a dose of Vitamin B and E, what more do you need?
6. Nankhatai- Whole Wheat Nankhatai
A very simple yet delicious collaboration of maida, ghee and sugar, nankhatais are traditional Indian biscuits that are baked in ovens like cookies. The soft yet crumbly texture of maida nankhatais is something you will not miss in the whole wheat recipe too. Top them with an almond in the center and let the flavours do the talking. Since these are sweet biscuits, they can be classified under your list of mithais too.
So, that you have your substitutes in place, which is the first Diwali sweet you are going to make?