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Traditional but low-cal Diwali desserts
Samreedhi Goel

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November 06, 2007

With the Festival of Lights around the corner, we're all looking forward to some delicious desserts that are in keeping with the celebration of Diwali.

However, if you're not too keen on packing on the pounds by gorging on calorie-rich sweetmeats, here are a few low-cal recipes compiled by our nutritionist, Samreedhi Goel. They're simple, healthy and tasty and ensure guilt-free enjoyment!

Khajur rolls
(contains no added sugar, serves four)                                            

~ Ingredients:

250 g seedless khajur (dates)                                    
500 ml milk                                                   
1 tbsp chopped walnuts, pistachios and almonds         
1 tbsp oil                               

~ Method:

Heat the oil in a saucepan on a medium flame.

Next, add the khajur and milk to the saucepan, cooking the mixture until the it goes soft.

Add the chopped nuts to the khajur and milk.

Take the saucepan off the stove and empty the contents onto a greased plate.

Shape the mixture into a roll and cut it into four equal pieces.

Freeze the khajur rolls for an hour and then serve.

Gajar halwa
(serves two)

~ Ingredients:

250 g grated carrots          
1 large glass of skimmed milk
1 or 1 1/2 tsp ghee
Sugar according to taste 

~ Method:

Add the grated carrots and skimmed milk to a saucepan so that the carrots are immersed in the milk.

Heat the saucepan on a medium flame, stirring continuously till all the milk evaporates.

Add as much sugar as desired and continue to stir.

Add the ghee to improve the texture and to glaze the halwa. Serve hot.

(makes six)

~ Ingredients:

1/2 litre milk
2 tsp maida (refined flour)
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

~ Method:

Heat the milk in a saucepan, bringing it to a boil. Then remove from stove and add the lemon juice to the milk.

Stir slowly and gently until a white curd-like layer forms on the surface and separates from the whey.

Strain the milk using a piece of muslin cloth; the curd that is obtained from doing so is called chenna. Hold the chenna under cold running water and then twist the cloth that was used for straining to extract all the water from it once you're done.

Knead the chenna to make a smooth dough. Add flour and knead again.

Using pieces of the chenna dough, roll six small balls and set aside.

Next, mix the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.


Add the dough balls to the sugar syrup in the saucepan and cook for 15 minutes with the lid partially covered. The balls will begin to puff up.


Refrigerate and serve chilled.

Samreedhi Goel is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist. She runs Size Wise, a training studio, and also conducts fitness workshops. Besides training with the International Sports Science Association, USA, she has a PG Diploma in nutrition and food technology and writes for a number of publications.

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