The Festive Season is just around the corner. Festivals uplift our mood and make our lives better. Apart from rejoicing with family and friends, the most important thing of all is the amount of food you get to pig out on. And, there’s no doubt that during every Indian festival there’s a huge spread at the table and everyone gathers for a massive feast.
We’ve all starved during the festive season to make enough room for the sudden influx of gorgeous dishes and that’s totally acceptable.
We start the season with ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’, a ten day Hindu Festival celebrating beloved Elephant- headed god’s birthday. His pot-belly is a clear sign of what an avid eater he is and we follow his stubby footsteps on this day and fill ourselves to the brim with delicious foods. A variety of foods is prepared which include lots of sweets and high dense foods.
When I decided to write a blog I came up with the idea of throwing healthy recipes challenge to my Players. The idea was – ‘We can eat healthy foods without being guilty’. Some of the players took this challenge and have come up with healthy options of food which can be eaten during fasting and non-fasting days during the festive season.
Here is what the players have come up with
1) Player Parigna
-Idea: Recipe for Fasting foods.
Recipe: Fruits and nuts with hung sweet curd
-Ingredients: Curd, Honey, fruits and nuts
-Method of Preparation:
Mix 1 tablespoon honey in a bowl of curd. Tie this mixture in a soft muslin cloth and hang it for 2 hours. Cut seasonal fruits into small pieces. Chop some nuts of your choice. In a big bowl, mix hung cured, pieces of fruits and nuts.
2) Player- Vaibhav Sahu
Idea: Traditional sweet dish
Recipe: Dry Fruit Fudge
Ingredients: 100gm of Cashew nuts, almonds, 50gms Fox Nut (Makhana), dry coconut cut in thin long stripes, 50gm watermelon seeds, 100 gms Jaggery with a little water.
Method of Preparation:
Heat clarified butter in a pan and fry the Cashewnut, Makhana (Fox Nut), Almond. Dry roast the watermelon seeds separately and keep them aside, dry roast watermelon seed keep aside. Take 100gms Jaggery mix with a little water, heat it in a pan and make a thick syrup. Remove the jaggery syrup and let it cool. Then put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Grease a mould with clarified butter (Ghee) set the mixture in a dish and allow it to cool. Your dish is ready to eat.
3) Poonam Kanakagiri
Idea: Healthy Salads
Recipe: Carrot Salad
Ingredients: Carrots grated 2cups, ¼ cup soaked split Green Gram (Moong dal), 2 tablespoons grated coconut, 2tsp lemon juice, salt, some fresh ginger chopped, some chopped cilantro, 1/4 tsp oil
The method of Preparation: Take 1/4th tsp of oil and prepare a seasoning of mustard seeds, split Chick Pea (Channa dal), Split Black Gram (Urad dal) green chillies, Ginger and curry leaves, add the seasoning and the rest of ingredients to carrots and mix. And serve.
4) Khushboo Sinha–
Idea: Healthy meal option
Recipe: Sattu (Toasted gram flour) Pancake with Dal Cutlet
Ingredients: For Sattu Pancake: Sattu (Toasted gram flour), Chopped onion, green chillies, coriander, 1tsp mustard oil
The method of preparation: Add chopped onion, green chillies, coriander, 1 spoon of mustard oil and some water to the Sattu and bind it. Stuff this Sattu mixture in whole wheat flour and make pancakes.
Ingredients: For Dal:Toor Dal (Pigeon peas or arhar dal) – ½ cup, Water –1 cup
For Cutlet:Whole wheat flour (Chapati atta) – ½ cup, optional, Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon, Red chili powder – ½ teaspoon , Asafoetida – a pinch, Salt – to taste, Water- 3/4th Cup.
Mix the dal with water in a pressure cooker and cook till 6-7 whistles. Then turn off the stove. Let the pressure go down by itself. While the dal is pressure cooking, make the dough for Cutlet. Take all dry ingredients (Wheat flour, salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, asafoetida) in another bowl. Mix well. Make Small Cutlets. Work with one flattened disc at a time. Roll it into about 12-inch diameter circle. Make sure that it is not too thick or too thin. Transfer it to a plate, cover it with clean kitchen towel. Roll the same with second dough ball.
Now add two-three Cutlet at a time into boiling dal and stir it so they do not stick to each other. If you add all cutlet at once they will stick and make a big lump. So make sure to add few at a time and after adding stir it once. Then add few more and stir. Let it simmer for 10-12 minutes and don’t forget to stir in between. If needed add some more water. Taste one Cutlet piece to check if it is cooked. Once cooked turn the stove off. Lastly, add chopped coriander leaves and serve.
5) Mani Singhal
Idea: Fasting Recipe which serves as traditional food offered to God.
Recipe: Coriander (Dhaniya) Porridge
1 Cup –Coriander Seeds (Dhaniya)
3/4 Cup – Brown Jaggery Sugar (Boora)
2 tbsp – Ghee (Clarified Butter)
7-8 – Chopped Almonds
2 tsp – Raisins
15-16 – Halved Cashew nuts
Method- Heat 1 tsp clarified butter (ghee) in a pan or wok and sauté cashew, almonds until golden brown, add raisins sauté for 30 seconds remove from wok and keep aside. In the same pan heat remaining clarified butter (ghee) add powdered coriander seeds and sauté for 4-5 minutes with continuous stirring or until raw smell goes and it becomes brown and engulfing the kitchen with its aroma. Transfer to a plate or bowl and allow to cool completely. Add powdered brown Jaggery sugar (boora), nuts and mix well to combine sugar and coriander powders together, using your hand is very good option to mix well.
Idea: Healthy puffed paddy sweet balls (LADDOO) recipe
Ingredients: Puffed Paddy – 3 cups Jaggery – 2 cups Black Sesame Seeds – 1/4 cup Cashews or Groundnut or Almonds – 1/4 cup(dry roast and crushed) Cardamom powder – 1tsp Clarified Butter (Ghee) – 1/4 cup
The method of Preparation: Dry roast cashew/groundnut/almonds. Once cool crush to pieces • Dry roast the Black Sesame Seeds till they splutter • coarsely powder the Puffed Paddy.
Method • Mix the Puffed Paddy powder, crushed peanuts cashew nuts, roasted sesame seeds, cardamom powder and clarified butter (ghee). • Place a heavy bottom pan/kadhai with 1/4cup water. Add jaggery to it. Bring it to boil in medium flame. When the jaggery melts completely – keep stirring and splash few drops of the jaggery syrup to a bowl of water. If the jaggery syrup does not dissolve and it crystallizes then it’s ready. It should be of sticky consistency. Turn off the flame. • Add this Jaggery syrup to the Puffed Paddy balls (Laddoo) mixture from step 1 and mix well. • Grease your palm with little clarified butter (ghee) and make round balls (Laddoos) of the desired size. • Healthy Puffed Paddy Laddoo is ready to serve. •
Pls Note: Puffed Paddy contains the husk and is rich in fiber content. • Using Jaggery instead of Sugar makes it healthier and Jaggery also contains iron. • Adding dry fruits of your choice is optional making it healthier and tastier. We can store this for few days and eat in between main meals.
These are wonderful recipes shared by the players who believe that festivals can also be healthy. Eating healthy is beneficial in the long run. The healthy recipe challenge was a way to motivate the players to be involved and try something new and innovative. And, am I glad to say that they have done a wonderful job.
Hope, everyone reading this blog will enjoy these recipes during this festive season.