Holi - the festival of colours, celebrated in March is a commemoration of the conclusion of winter and the start of spring. It’s a celebration of renewal and new beginnings, and an occasion to let the negative and the evil evaporate. The festival sees people light bonfires and smear colour on one another. The bonfire is lit the night before and has a religious facet to it. The next day is a colour fest followed by feast.
Holi and the joy of food!
Food plays a pivotal part in any celebration, across the globe, irrespective of culture and religion. It unites, strengthens bonds and spreads love and joy. Holi also follows this tradition. It is celebrated enthusiastically with delectable food, traditional music, time-honoured dances, and exuberant delight!
As you host your Holi party, treat your guests and family to some delectable sweets which are not only delicious but also healthier than the usual sweets. These sweets keep the essence of traditional Holi treats alive, while offering unique tastes by using healthier ingredients. Just a few changes and easy replacements make each of these sweets a delightful addition to your menu.
Moong dal halwa: Made in a jiffy, this recipe is fabulous for your Holi party! Make this halwa healthier by using unpolished moong dal and stevia instead of white sugar. This will reduce the calories and amp up the nutrition without compromising on the taste. Moong dal is also quite filling, it contains high-fibre and protein levels. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties which help fight harmful bacteria and viruses by raising immunity levels. Don’t forget to add the true highlight of the dish, cardamom and nutmeg powder which packs lots of flavour and aroma. Creatively combined ingredients make this halwa a delight for your taste buds!
Malpua: Traditionally, Malpua is a sweet pancake fried in ghee and dunked in sugar syrup. It has delicate flavours and is made using very simple ingredients. Try the wholesome new-age malpuas made using cottage cheese, ragi and oats. They’re warm and nutty from the slivered almonds and pistachios and sweet and gooey from the thick cream glaze. Undoubtedly sublime! Perfectly soft and fluffy, you are bound to fall in love with them.
Gujiya: The super star of Holi! Nothing says Holi like gujiya does! Making the casing for the filling from scratch is trouble-free and you'll wonder why you never made them before! Native to Rajasthan, gujiyas are sweet dumplings that are filled with mava and dry fruits. Crunchy on the outside and deliciously soft on the inside. You could put a spin on the gujiyas and stuff them with mava and chocolate chips and serve with thick chocolate sauce. All it takes is one bite of the fried dumpling to get addicted!
Thandai: Thandai is deeply entrenched with the tradition of Holi. This fragrant brew is fantastic to welcome your guests. A refreshing and healthful drink, thandai offers instant energy and greatly amplifies the festive spirit! Made by blending milk with a mixture of sugar, seeds of muskmelon and watermelon, almonds, cashew nut, cardamom, fennel, rose-flower, white pepper, saffron and water, this infusion is an absolute must-try. Use authentic spices to make sure that you get some health benefits out of this festive drink.
Dal kachori: A very popular savoury snack, this kachori is stuffed with toor dal and flavourful spices, and is fried crispy-golden. Protein-packed, there is no remorse associated with this yummy snack! Make sure you buy organically grown dals.
Namak Para: Sounds complicated and you may have avoided making namak paras at home, however, they are fairly easy to make. Usually made of maida and suji and deep fried till crunchy, you could make a healthier version using whole wheat and semolina with low-sodium salt and indulge-in without feeling the guilt pangs.
Apple kheer: Kheer has always been an integral part of every Indian spread. People have definitely gotten health-conscious; however, the kheer continues to hold a very special place in our hearts! With this recipe, your favourite dessert just got a huge fruity makeover. A refreshing change, this dessert is packed with the goodness of apples and cinnamon, with a suggestion of nutmeg. You could also skimp on the sugar and opt for a sugar substitute such as stevia or incorporate dates for enormous health punch! Sugar substitutes such as stevia allow diabetics to enjoy sweets without influencing their blood sugar profile.
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