What is Diwali without some farsan, namkeen, and the obvious, mithais? It’s also that time of the year when healthy eating will go for a toss—it is a ‘feast’ive season. If you’ve been religiously sticking to your weight-loss goals and do not want all the hard work go to waste, fret not! Here are some healthy snacking options, offset all the barfis and laddus and gathias and chaklis that you will end up consuming. It's all about balance, right?
Diwali parties need not blow your diet out of the window, especially when you are the host. All you’ve got to do is make sure your menu includes these appetisers:
Soya chunks are known to have a negligible amount of calories or fat and are known as a good source of protein, iron, calcium and many other vitamins and minerals. What’s best, they make for a good meat-replacement for vegans and vegetarians alike. While you can get experimental by using veggies of your choice, this easy soybean nugget recipe by Gurdip Kohli Punj wraps up all the benefits of soy. Packed with the goodness of soybeans, beetroot and cabbage, these guilt-free nuggets make for the healthiest choice to serve at your next party.
Kacche Kele ke Dahi Vade
Give your all-time street food favourite dahi vadas a healthy makeover by sneaking in the goodness of raw bananas. What’s best, no one will be able to tell apart your raw banana vadas from the usual lentil-based vadas. Puree some cooked raw bananas into your normal dahi vada batter, sauté or bake until they turn golden brown on both sides, and serve alongside any chutney or sauce of your choice.
Flaky, buttery mathri cookies make a tasty and a healthy snack. Typically, mathris are deep-fried and made with all-purpose flour. However, Chef Ranveer Brar helps add a healthy twist to Diwali staple by using whole wheat flour. For a gluten-free alternative, you could swap the wheat with tapioca or almond flour, and then spike the dough with spices of your choice. Bonus: Serve alongside a chilled glass of Jaljeera drink.
Green Tur Daal Dhabera
Chef Gautam Mehrishi’s take on the Mexican nachos is inspired by Indian flavours. He also gives the nachos a nutritious twist. If you’ve got no tur dal lying around in your kitchen, substitute it with any dal of your choice to instantly up the iron and protein content of the crunchy appetiser. For a naughty twist, top with loads of cheese and serve with any sauce or dip of your choice.
What better way to get kids to snack on fresh fruits than putting them on a barbeque! Charcoal-grilled snacks, served plain or sprinkled with chaat masala, is an easy way to make fruits exciting. You can use just about any fruit, provided they are firm and aren’t at the peak of ripeness. Ditch your oily kebabs and pakodas for this fruity snack, courtesy Pankaj Bhadouria.
This is not your average appetiser. Grilled broccoli florets marinated in yoghurt and spices renders a delicious alternative to greasy kebabs. What’s more, the marinade works well for bot vegetarian or non-vegetarian tandoori options–paneer, tofu, chicken, seafood, etc– leaving room for creativity and experimentation. Made with very little oil, this recipe by Pankaj Bhadouria will be a sure winner at your next party.
Seb aur Lauki ke Kebabs
Combining the goodness of apples and bottle gourds, this veg kebab recipe by Chef Gautam Mehrishi make for a succulent and tasty treat. While baked kebabs are always a healthier option, you could choose to fry them on a non-stick pan with a little oil, and still enjoy their yumminess, without having to compromise on taste or your health.
Colocasia or arbi is a healthy substitute to potatoes. Filled with numerous nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, we see no reason why this healthy appetiser shouldn’t be a welcome addition to your festive menu. While this recipe by Gurdip Kohli Punj follows the deep-fry method, you could instead bake or grill these crispy delights.
Stir Fried Tofu Tarts
Chef Ranveer Brar shows you how you can incorporate the goodness of tofu into party menu, and impress even the most discerning guests. While you can make your own tarts using nut-based flours, opting for store-bought tarts could be a time saving option. You can follow this recipe as a base, and then go on to make your own filling with other veggies and spices of your choice.
Arbi Tawa Fry
You don’t have to limit the yumminess of arbi to your vrat recipes alone. Trust Gurdip Kohli Punj, when it comes to turning this vrat-favourite into a healthy and tasty appetiser, perfect fo any party. These crispy, golden, shallow fried colocasia tikkis don’t soak up too much oil in comparison to the much loved aloo tikkis, and therefore make for a healthier option. You could do yourself one better by baking them instead. Chow down these yummy tikkis my mopping them in a chutney or sauce of your choice.
Grilled Root Vegetables
Nobody will be able to pass on this healthy platter of sweet potatoes and beetroots. You can, of course, add more veggies of your choice. Marinated in olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper, then barbecued and finally brushed with melted butter, a daily dose of veggies couldn’t get more delicious. Follow this step-by-step guide by Pankaj Bhadouria.
To please the non-vegetarian appetite, these crispy chicken cutlets stuffed with spicy veggies, are sure to become a low-carb party favourite. You can prepare this chicken cutlet mixture well in advance and store in your refrigerator; simply bake or shallow-fry when it’s time to party. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and bursting with flavours, this recipe by Ranveer Brar is even more impressive when served alongside a dip or spread.
Chef Ripudaman Handa shows how to add health to your chai time tikkis: With some corn. Apart from adding an element of crunchiness, corn is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals, good for your eyes, heart and also gut. Apart from corn, you can sneak in other veggies lying around in your home by finely chopping or simply blending them along with the corn into a food processor. For a fat-free option, skip on the oil by baking these tikkis to perfection.
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