How do you celebrate a happy, safe, and healthy Diwali 2020? While coronavirus has already wreaked havoc around the globe, we are looking for ways to celebrate the festival of lights safely. Here are a few tips to celebrate Diwali in a healthy and safe way.
Avoid burning crackers- Coronavirus or not, crackers must be prohibited in every home always, let alone on Diwali. The amount of pollution crackers emit causes a lot of noise and breathing problems. Carbon particles from fumes and chemical vapors aggravate the pre-existing allergic condition. Even worse, vapor particles are hard to get rid of. They tend to stick to nostrils and aggravate respiratory problems, including asthma, allergies, bronchitis, and Rhinitis. Sadly, it further causes lung-related problems and breathlessness. This could further result in a spike in COVID-19 cases. Do you want a safe Diwali? Forget crackers!!
On a side not, you might not be aware of the small hands that make crackers. Do you know little children from slums are hired as workers in firecracker factories? What impact does constant exposure to chemicals have on these children?
These are some serious reasons to quit crackers!
Avoid the use of sanitizers when lighting lamps and candles - Remember, sanitizers are highly inflammable and can catch fire immediately.
Light candles and diyas instead of lights - Let's keep the tradition of lighting diyas alive. No electric lights can beat the calm, peace, and soothing atmosphere that diyas and candles can bring to your abode. There is a distinctive charm in being traditional. What do you say?
Make your own Diwali puja thali- Why buy a pooja aarti thali when you can DIY? Harshi Mehta shows how to make Diwali puja thali at home. What's more, if DIY art interests you, explore her channel to learn how to make best of waste. She is excellent at decoupage art as well. You can choose decoupage as a Diwali gift idea. Looks visually appealing too.
Avoid eating outside- When you want to celebrate a healthy Diwali, why not try out healthy sweets and savories at home instead of buying or eating outside? When you eat outside, there is a high risk of stomach infection, which could further lower immunity and pose a risk of COVID-19.
So that you can stay at home and enjoy a safe, happy, and healthy Diwali, Deepti Agarwal has come up with amazing sweets and savories for the festive season.
Here's a collection of healthy Diwali sweets and treats to tinkle your taste buds. To balance the flavors, Deepti presents healthy Diwali savories too.
Healthy Diwali Sweets
#Beet lauki double decker barfi
Replace melon rind with grated n boiled lauki if u dont have watermelon
- One large beetroot
- Two cup white rind of watermelon
- Half cup oats
- 100 gm mawa
- One tbsp milk powder
- Sugar to taste
- One tbsp desi ghee
- Half cup grated fresh coconut
- Roughly chopped almonds, cashews, pistachios
Peel and grate beetroot. Squeeze water. Finely chop watermelon rind.
In a thick bottomed pan, heat ghee and add beetroot and watermelon rinds. On high to medium flame, let them soften. Keep stirring in between. When they become mushy, add
.oats,milk powder and sugar. Cook till oats get soft and attain the color of beets. Add half of the mawa and half coconut and keep stirring till it reaches a thick halwa like consistency. It will get dry when cooled. We have to set it in moulds. Take off the flame. When it cools down a bit and can be handled with bare figures, grease your moulds with ghee. Moisten your figures to avoid sticking of halwa.
Pinch out some halwa and set in moulds with fingers, press lightly to stick to moulds. Now keep your moulds in fridge for about two-three hours. Meanwhile, in a pan add remaining mawa, chopped dry fruit and coconut and sugar. Keep stirring to remove the rawness of mawa. Turn off the flame. Let it cool. Now take out your moulds. Rotate a knife between the moulds and halwa and slightly stretch moulds to ease out halwa cups. Turn moulds upside down or tilt them and the cup will slide out. Fill these cups with nutty mawa. Garnish some chopped pistachios and enjoy this exotic yet healthy sweet to satisfy your sweet tooth or impress your guests. See Less
#Chocolate n Vanilla Pudding
Used Cornflour to make the base. Just like we make a thick custard, make custard using cornflour as we need a white portion.You can use vanilla custard powder also. In that case, instead of white, we will have a yellow part. Divide the prepared custard in two parts.To one part, add vanilla essence. Mix well and let come to room temp. To the second part, add cocoa powder, chocolate or vanilla essence. You may need to add some ground sugar to balance the bitterness of cocoa powder. Mix well and let come to room temp.
Now in a glass, pour one flavor so that 1/3rd glass is filled. Let it set in the freezer for 5 minutes..Once it sets, gently pour the other flavor to make the second layer. Repeat the cooling process.Now again pour the first flavor.Let the pudding set in the fridge for 5 to 6 hrs. Garnish with mint leaves and any berry or choco chips and enjoy.
#Beet n Coco Cigars
- One cup evaporated milk
- One cup beetroot puree
- About half cup condensed milk
- One cup desiccated coconut
For making puree, blanch beetroot.
Drain out the water and puree it.
Heat a thick bottomed pan, add puree to it.
Add half of the quantity of evaporated milk, condensed milk, and coconut to it.
Keep stirring so that the moisture is evaporated. However, keep the dough soft as it will harden after cooling.Keep aside.
Mix the rest of the ingredients separately to make the white dough.
Now moisten your hands. Divide the white dough into four equal parts and pink dough in two equal parts.Roll them into logs of equal length. Use plastic sheet or parchment paper to roll. This will avoid sticking of dough to the bottom.Now take one pink roll. Place one white roll over it. Turn the pink roll and place another white roll over it so that both the white rolls are parallel and opposite to each other.Lightly press the three together.Now roll them to make a cylindrical roll. In between twist them like we twist a rope so that the vertical lines become slanting. Keep rolling till you get the desired thickness.Same way, use the rest of the dough. Cut into two-inch long rolls and enjoy.
You can use cocoa powder or any other food color in place of beetroot. But I avoid artificial colors and beetroot is my favorite when it comes to color.
- 25-30 dates
- Half cup almonds
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 7-8 figs
- 1/4 cup walnuts n pistachews
- One spoon khas khas
- Two spoon seeds of watermelon, pumpkin, melon n cucumber(char magaz)
- One spoon Chironji
- Half cup roasted salted peanuts
- Three tbsp rolled oats
- One tbsp olive oil
- Few drops of lemon juice
- One tbsp honey
- Two tbsp cocoa powder
Dry roast oats on low flame.Keep aside.
Deseed dates and chop them roughly. Chop figs also. Keep aside.
Dry roast almonds,walnuts,char magaz (melon seeds),pistachios,khas khas (poppy seeds) and chironji separately on low flame. Now in a grinder, grind dates,figs and raisins to a sticky paste.Add lemon juice,olive oil and honey.This will make it easier to grind. Now roughly chop almonds, walnuts,pistachios. Add these to dates paste. Add oats,khas khas,peanuts,chironji,cocoa powder and collect all the ingredients together. Kneed a bit so that all these stick together.Make a log.
Grease aluminum foil. Place the log on the foil and roll it tightly so that the granola roll takes the shape of a cylindrical roll.
Keep this in fridge for about two hours to harden and set.
After two hours,take out and keep on the kitchen counter for ten minutes.Now with a sharp knife, cut in one inch thick roundrels and store.
Your no sugar, no preservative but healthy and yummy granola rolls are ready.
You can use cling foil also instead of aluminum foil.
#Cocoa choco rolls
- 1/2+1/2 cup milk powder
- 1/4 + 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
- 3+3 tbsp condensed milk
- 3 tbsp chocolate powder
- 2 tbsp chopped almonds, pistachios
- One tsp Rainbow sprinklers
- One tsp desi ghee for greasing
Take one part milk powder, one part condensed milk, one part desiccated coconut and chocolate powder.Knead these into a soft but firm dough.If it sticks to your hands,moisten them.Cover it and keep aside.
In the same way, knead the remaining ingredients except for dry fruit.
Now brush a polythene sheet with desi ghee. Spread the chocolate roll in a thick rectangle.Spoon the chopped dry fruit over it.
Roll the chocolate dough in such a way that the dry fruit is encased in it and it resembles a log.Roll it few times on the sheet so that all the edges get smooth . Keep it aside.
Now spread the white dough in a rectangular shape of approximately 9*6 .Place the chocolate log at the longer end .
Roll the white dough tightly around the chocolate one.Roll and adjust the double shaded log on the sheet so that it gets smooth and homogeneous from everywhere. Spread rainbow sprinklers on the sheet and again roll the log over them.They will stick to the log.
Wrap it tightly in the sheet and refrigerate it for about 2-3 hours.
It will set and get hard.
Now take it out.
With a wet knife,cut into 1/2 inch thick discs.Store in a covered container in the fridge.
Healthy Diwali Snacks
#Sweet potato sprout tikki
- One large sweet potato,boiled
- ¼ cup sprouts
- 1 cup finely chopped veggies like carrot,cabbage,capsicum,broccoli,onion,green chilli,mint leaves
- Boiled rice or bread crumbs as per requirement
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp Chat masala
- 1/2 tbsp Garam masala
- 1/2 tbsp Jeera
- 1tbsp Dhaniya powder
- 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
- Oil for greasing
Mix all the ingredients except oil and make into a smooth firm dough.Pinch some dough from the lot,shape into tikki or any shape you fancy.Press some sesame seeds on the top.In the same manner, use whole of the dough. Heat a non stick pan,apply oil on it.Pan fry these tikkis from both sides till golden brown on low to medium flame. Enjoy these healthy bites with any chutney or sauce.
#Raw papaya salad (Som Tam)
A healthy dish, originated in Thailand, it has been ranked 46 in THE world’s 50 most delicious foods.It has both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions.It involves almost no cooking,is easy to assemble,full of health and flavors.
- About two cup peeled and grated raw green papaya
- About half unpeeled green cucumber,sliced in matchstick like pieces
- One large tomato,cut into thin wedges
- 8-10 thin French beans,quartered
- Some fresh basil leaves,shredded
- ¼ cup dry roasted peanuts
- 3-4 garlic cloves,minced
- About two spoon lemon juice
- One spoon soya sauce
- One spoon honey
- One spoon brown sugar or jaggery powder
- One green chilli
- Red chilli flakes
Keep the grated papaya in ice cold water.Blanch the beans slightly to remove rawness but should retain crunch.Keep in ice cold water.In a mortar, lightly pound garlic,green chill
Add brown sugar,lemon juice,soy sauce,honey, pound to paste.Add red chilli flakes, roasted peanuts and pound to a coarse paste.Add beans and again pound slightly.In a bowl,add all ingredients,toss well.Adjust the taste.It should be sweeter,not sour or salty.
This is a very good starter and appetizer. Can be had with coconut or sticky rice also.
A little about Deepti in her own words-
Born and brought up in a family of educationists, I had never thought that, apart from education and teaching, I would have any other passion. But it runs in the blood, I guess.In spite of her hectic schedule, my mother used to dish out amazing healthy stuff for us, no market bought junk for us. And I imbibed that habit in me. Being married into a family of foodies,this habit took wings. Now that my kids are growing up, I try as much as I can to experiment and cook healthy delicacies for them.And my love for food has made me dive headlong into baking also.At present,apart from managing my own Pre School, I am indulging my creative side in my Home bakes. Covid-19 has given me a chance to start my own Home Bakery by the name Krafted Vid Luv in my city Bathinda. Here also I play with various ingredients to come out with healthy stuff.No Preservatives,Artificial colours,No harmful Chemicals for me. Visit my page at: