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Low-fat ideas for equally delicious Diwali snacks

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Lamps will be lit and kitchens fired up at Diwali, or Deepavali celebrations on 13 November. The festival of lights celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance, and is one of the most important festivals in Hinduism.

While celebrations for Hindis around the world may differ from region to region, several aspects in observing Diwali remains the same. The spring cleaning of the home before the festival date, the use of lights as décor, the wearing of new clothes for home visits, the festive meals served as well as the exchange of sweets or snacks as gifts.

By culinaryacademy
A fudge-like sweet made from condensed milk and sugar until it solidifies, barfi can come in many varieties and flavours, including barfi made with coconut, dried fruit, pistachios and chickpea flour.

And there are myriad of unique sweets and snacks that one can consume at Diwali, ranging from Barfi, a square or rectangular fudge-like sweet, to Kheer, a thick milky pudding made from rice, beaten rice flakes, tapioca or vermicelli, to which nuts, raisins, cardamom and saffron are often added and served chilled.

Even if you’re trying to watch your waistline, there’s no reason not to get into the cuisine of the season with a few healthy substitutions. Here are some healthier ways to make your own Diwali sweets at home.

Bake, not fry

There are a variety of deep fried Diwali snacks that could be equally delicious baked. Chakli, or murukku, is a crispy, savoury snack made of mixed rice flour, urad dal flour and water, seasoned with salt, asafoetida and either sesame seeds or cumin seeds. These ingredients are mixed into dough that is then shaped into spiral or coil shapes and usually deep fried in vegetable oil.

By Sai K shanmugam
A savoury snack that is popular during Diwali, chakli can be baked instead of deep fried.

But baking chakli in an oven at 180oC on a greased baking tray for 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown will produce an equally crisp yet healthier snack. And all they need is one flip during the baking process, which cuts the calories in a medium-sized chakli from 200 to about 105 calories.

Use convection ovens like the Electrolux EOB305X, whose fan bake feature is backed by Ultra Fan technology. This result is hot air being circulated evenly around the oven and creating a crispier result no matter where the tray is placed. And with the oven’s large 66-litre capacity, you can even bake several trays at once to entertain a large number of guests.

 

Use the right oils

Ghee, or clarified butter, is used to fry many traditional sweets like Laddoo, a ball-shaped sweet made from a combination of besan (chickpea flour), rava (wheat semolina) and ground coconut with sugar and other flavorings.

By ravidbest
Laddoo is a fried ball-shaped sweet made from a combination of chickpea flour, wheat semolina and ground coconut with sugar and other flavorings.

If you must fry, use healthier oils like refined olive oil or canola oil instead, both of which are high in monounsaturated fats and reduces the risk of adding inches to your waistline. The Electrolux Brio hob with Penta Jet technology helps heat the wok up 30% faster, and is ideal for high temperature frying.  Its tempered glass surface also makes it easy to clean any splatter from the cooking process.

 

Low fat diary

Some sweets like Rose Barfi contain dairy products like paneer, or cottage cheese. Others like Kheer may require the use of milk or butter. Replacing these dairy ingredients with low fat versions can help cut the calorie and cholesterol content of your Diwali indulgences.

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