With Holi around the corner, if you’re looking for some healthy recipes made healthier with a conscious twist, you are in luck! Here are some nutritious Holi delicacies by Saloni Jhaveri, an In-house nutritionist, Conscious Food that you can enjoy during the festival of colors.
Gujiya is traditionally eaten during the Holi and Diwali celebrations. It is a classic North Indian sweet of a crisp and flaky crescent-shaped pastry filled with a stuffing of khoya, nuts, dry fruit, and elaichi. In Maharashtra, it is called Karanji, and though similar, Karanji contains a stuffing of coconut, poppy, and sesame seeds and nuts.
For the filling:
1 cup desiccated coconut 1/4 cup powdered sugar 2 tbsp matcha powder
1/4 cup chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios, cashews) 1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup coconut cream 1 tbsp coconut oil
For the pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup vegetable oil
A pinch of salt Water (as needed)
For the filling:
In a non-stick pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat.
Add the desiccated coconut and roast for a few minutes until lightly browned. Add the chopped nuts and raisins and roast for another minute.
Add the powdered sugar, matcha powder, and coconut cream. Mix well and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the mixture thickens and starts to come together.
Remove from heat and let the mixture cool.
For the pastry:
In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, vegetable oil, and salt. Mix well. Gradually add water and knead the dough until it comes together.
Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
Divide the dough into small portions and roll each portion into a small disc.
Place a spoonful of the filling in the center of each disc and fold it over to make a half-moon shape. Press the edges together to seal.
Heat oil in a deep pan over medium heat and fry the gujiyas until golden brown.
Remove the gujiyas from the oil and place them on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Serve the gujiyas warm or at room temperature.
Puran Poli is a sweet flatbread stuffed with a sweet lentil filling made from hulled and split bengal gram/chana dal, jaggery and ground spices. This traditional recipe is a Maharashtrian delicacy. It is made during festive occasions.
Ingredients For Puran Mixture – Sweet Filling
● 1 cup chana dal (skinned split bengal gram)
● 3 cups water – for pressure cooking the chana dal
● 2 teaspoons Ghee
● 1 teaspoon fennel powder (ground saunf)
● ¾ to 1 teaspoon dry ginger powder (can use 1” of ground ginger too)
● 4 to 5 green cardamoms crushed finely in mortar, and husks removed
● ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder (ground nutmeg)
● 1 cup jaggery powder or 1 cup grated jaggery
Ingredients for The Poli – Outer Covering
● 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
● ½ cup flour (this is optional – it makes it easier to roll if you use flour)
● 4 tablespoons Oil or Ghee
● ½ teaspoon salt or as required
● ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
● Water as required to knead the dough
● Oil or Ghee, as required for roasting the puran poli
Preparing Puran (Sweet Lentil Filling)
● Rinse the chana dal first in water. Soak for 1-2 hours and then drain the water.
● In a pressure cooker (min size – 3 litres), cook the chana dal with 3 cups of water for 4 to 5 whistles on medium heat. Cook well. Strain the dal – ensure that all the water is removed. This water can be used in your everyday cooking of rice, veggies or rotis.
● Heat ghee in a frying pan or kadai (wok) and add the ground ginger powder, ground nutmeg powder, ground cardamom powder and ground fennel powder. Fry for a few seconds on a low heat.
● Add the chana dal and jaggery. Keep stirring and let the puran mixture cook on a low heat till the mixture becomes thick and almost dry.
● Let it cool and then mash the puran mixture with a potato masher or in a mixer/grinder. Set aside.
Preparing The Poli Dough
● Add whole wheat flour, flour (if using) and salt in a bowl mix well. Add water and ghee and mix. knead the dough adding water as needed.
● Make a dough that is smooth, supple and soft. Cover and keep aside to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
Making Puran Poli
● Roll the dough into balls. Make a small katori shape with your fingers.
● Place a ball sized portion of the puran mixture in the center of the dough.
● Bring the edges together towards the center. Join all the edges and pinch them.
● Sprinkle some flour and start rolling the dough. Roll till you can without breaking. If the dough breaks, repair with a little bit of flour and dough.
● On a heated tawa or griddle, spread some ghee. Place the rolled poli on the tawa.
● When one side gets browned, turn over and cook the other side till you see some brown spots.
● Once the second side gets browned, then turn over and apply ghee till the puran poli puffs up. The poli should be cooked well with brown spots and golden.
● Make all puran polis this way and stack them in a casserole or in a kitchen napkin.
● You can serve puran poli warm or at room temperature with milk, ghee or curd (yogurt)
Amaranth/Rajgira Vegan Bliss Balls
During festivals, we might find ourselves gravitating towards laddoos (one too many times) – however what if we can help you with a healthy, energy-filled alternative to laddoos that will only taste amazing but will also give you that boost. The key to healthy snacking is to choose foods with a combination of complex carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats and plenty of fiber — and these vegan bliss balls provide just that!
● 1 cup amaranth, washed and soaked for 45 mins
● 1/2 cup peanut butter
● 1/2 cup black gud powder – palm jaggery
● 1/2 cup chopped nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, or cashews or a mix of the 3)
● 1/2 cup chopped raisins
● In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the amaranth and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the amaranth is tender.
● In a large bowl, combine the cooked amaranth, peanut butter, and palm jaggery. Mix until well combined.
● Stir in the nuts and raisins
● Roll the mixture into small balls, about 1 inch in diameter.
● Place the balls on a plate and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set.
● Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Fruit Sorbet Recipe
With Holialso comes in the sweltering heat and what is better than homemade fruit sorbets?
A sweet, frozen, healthy treat that pretty much is summer perfection. May your Holi be as sweet and colorful as this recipe below
-4 cups of your choice of fruits (berries, peaches, mangoes, etc.)
-1/4 cup honey
-1 tbsp lemon juice
- Puree the fruit in a blender or food processor.
- Mix in the honey and lemon juice.
- Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a metal loaf pan and put it in the freezer. Stir it every 30 minutes until it reaches a sorbet consistency.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
Note: You can adjust the quantity of honey according to your taste and the sweetness of the fruit.
Gluten Free Jowar Chocolate Chip Cookies
Another not so traditional recipe one can try this Holi would be these Home baked cookies that are such a delight. With just a few minutes of preparation, one can have a deliciously sweet, soft, gooey cookie ready. These conscious cookies are made with Sorghum (jowar) that is an ancient grain that is rich in B vitamins, and essential minerals including magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. These health benefits make sorghum flour a great substitute for wheat flour, even for those without gluten sensitivities.
● ½ cup each jowar and rajgira flour ( can use Barley (Jau) flour instead of rajgira)
● 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
● 1/4 teaspoon salt
● 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
● 1/2 cup raw sugar
● 1/2 cup gud powder (Jaggery Powder)
● 1 tbsp coarsely ground flax seeds soaked in 3tbsp of water
● 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
● 1 cup chocolate chips
● Optional – ½ cup coarsely ground almonds and walnuts
- Soak 1 tbsp of coarsely ground flax seeds in 3 tbsp of water. let it sit for 15 mins while preparing the rest of the cookie ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the jowar and barley or rajgira flours, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter, raw sugar, and jaggery powder until light and fluffy. beat in the soaked flax mixture and vanilla extract.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches of space between each cookie.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Can also add coarsely pounded almonds and walnuts for a crunch