It’s that time of year again, when festive fervour grips the entire country. Navratri, Dussehra, Diwali, Christmas…the whole country is gripped in festive enthusiasm. And, when it comes to celebrations in India, can sweets be excluded? So, here are five healthy desi sweet recipes you can try at home this festive season without worrying about the calorie count. Happy binging!

Vegan Apricot Coconut Laddoos with No Added Sugar:

Ingredients (for 10 laddoos):

  • Dried Apricots: 18-20
  • Desiccated Coconut: ½ cup + 3 tbsp
  • Sesame Seeds: ¼ Cup (can be replaced with chia, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds)
  • Cashews: ¼ Cup (you can also use almonds, walnuts or pistachios)
  • Honey/Maple Syrup: To Taste (can use brown sugar/dates syrup)
  • Cinnamon: ⅛ tsp (can also use vanilla extract)

Here’s How You Make It:

  1. Roast cashew nuts in a pan for around two to three minutes. The stove should be on medium-low flame and keep stirring. 
  2. Add sesame seeds to the pan and roast them along with the cashew nuts. Keep the flame low. 
  3. When they start to puff, switch off the flame and add half a cup of desiccated coconut. 
  4. Mix everything well and keep it aside to cool off. Once the mixture cools off, grind it into a fine powder. 
  5. Chop the apricots into small pieces, which makes them easier to grind. 
  6. Grind the chopped apricots, add the coconut-cashew mixture to it and blend well. 
  7. Transfer this to a bowl. Add cinnamon and honey to it and mix extremely well using a spoon/spatula. You can add more honey, depending on your taste preferences. Make sure that the mixture has a dough-like consistency.  
  8. Use a scooper/spoon and make 10 balls of the mixture.
  9. Roll this in the 3 tbsp of desiccated coconut that has been kept aside, and your yummy and healthy apricot coconut laddoos are ready! 


Rose Chikki:

Ingredients (for 12 servings):

  • A mix of nuts — cashews, pistachios, and almonds: 1 cup
  • Jagger: ¾ cup 
  • Ghee: One tsp 
  • Rose Water: One tsp 
  • Rose petals: According to personal preference

(Can use parchment paper for easy rolling)

Here’s How You Make It:

  1. Roast the nuts on low-medium flame for around 5 minutes while stirring continuously. Remove and keep it aside.
  2. Melt ghee in a pan and then add jaggery to it. Heat on low-medium flame. Cook until the jaggery solidifies into a hard lump and sinks to the bottom. Take a bite to check if the jaggery is cooked right. If it does not stick to your teeth, it is ready. 
  3. Turn off the stove once the jaggery has been cooked properly. Add rose water and roasted nuts to this and mix well. 
  4. Place the mixture on a layer of parchment paper. Place another layer of parchment paper on top and roll the mixture. Keep the thickness about ¼ inch. This should be done quickly before the mixture solidifies. 
  5. Remove the top layer of the paper and place rose petals on the mixture. Lightly roll over with a rolling pin to make the petals stick.
  6. Cut into any shape of your choice. They are ready to be eaten once cooled!


Almond Truffle Modak:

Ingredients (for around 12 modaks):

  • Almond flour: One cup
  • Oats flour: 1/2 cup
  • Desiccated Coconut: 1/4 cup
  • Kimia Dates: 1/4 cup
  • Milk: two-three tbsp
  • Cocoa Powder: 1/4 cup
  • Choco chips or any chocolate pieces of your choice: 10-12 (optional) 

Here’s How To Make It:

  1. Blend kimia dates and one tbsp of milk to form a thick paste.
  2. Take a large bowl and mix almond flour, oats flour, and desiccated coconut.
  3. Add the dates- mix milk to this and mix thoroughly. 
  4. Add two tbsp of milk and knead well to form a dough.
  5. Fill the modak mould with the mixture. 
  6. Take it out and our delicious Almond Truffle Modaks are now ready!!
  7. Repeat the process for all the modaks.

If you want chocolate filling:

  • Fill the modak mould only halfway. Make a hollow in the middle.
  • Place the chocolate pieces in the centre and add some more of the mixture to seal it.


Airfried Nankhatai (Eggless):

Ingredients (for 7-8 pieces):

  • Wheat flour: ½ cup
  • Besan: ¼ cup
  • Powdered brown sugar: ¼ cup
  • Ghee: ¼ cup
  • Cardamom powder: ¼ tsp
  • Milk: 2 tbsp (optional)
  • Vanilla essence: ¼ tsp
  • Pista: To garnish

Here’s How To Make It:

  1. Add ghee and brown sugar to a bowl and beat until it turns pale. Add vanilla essence and cardamom powder to this and mix well.
  2. Sieve wheat flour and besan and mix them thoroughly with the above mixture. The consistency should be that of chapati dough. (You can add milk if you want.) 
  3. Roll the dough into small balls and press the nuts in the centre.
  4. Preheat the air fryer to 160 degrees C for around five minutes.
  5. Place the pieces of dough on baking paper aligned with aluminium foil/parchment paper.
  6. Bake immediately (for 12-14 minutes) till the cookies turn golden brown.
  7. Take them out and let them cool. Remember, the cookies will be crispy only when they cool completely. You can store these yummy cookies for upto a week in an airtight container. 


Pineapple Rava Kesari:

Ingredients (for six servings):

  • Ghee: 1 tbsp + 1 tsp + 1/2 cup
  • Cashew: 10
  • Raisins: 2 tbsp raisins
  • Rava: 1 cup
  • Chopped pineapple: 1 cup
  • Sugar: 1 cup (Sugar-free sweeteners or jaggery if you don’t want to use sugar)
  • Water: 3 cups
  • Yellow food colour: 3 drops
  • Cardamom powder: ¼ tsp

Here’s How To Make It:

  1. Heat one tbsp ghee and add 10 cashew nuts and two tbsp of raisins to it. Roast on low flame until their colour turns golden brown. Keep it aside.
  2. Roast one cup of rava in the same ghee for at least five minutes. Keep this, too, aside.
  3. Heat 1 tsp ghee in a large pan and add one cup of chopped pineapple. Saute it for three minutes.
  4. Add ¼ cup of sugar and three cups of water to this and mix thoroughly. Add more sugar if the pineapple still tastes sour.
  5. Cover the pan and boil till the pineapple becomes soft.
  6. Add roasted rava to this and keep stirring until all the water is absorbed. Make sure there are no lumps.
  7. The next step is to add the remaining ¾ cup of sugar and three drops of yellow food colour. Mix until the sugar melts.
  8. Add ½ cup ghee and mix; the ghee should be absorbed completely.
  9. Cover and cook for five minutes.
  10. As the last step, add roasted cashew nuts, raisins and ¼ tsp cardamom powder, and mix thoroughly.

   It’s done! You can relish the Pineapple Rava Kesari now!

 Enjoy Your ‘Sweet’ Time

How did you find these healthy, easy recipes? Try them out this festive season and add a sweet touch to the celebrations.