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5 low-fat halwa recipes to relish in winter

A heightened appetite during winter could mean increase in dessert cravings for those with sweet tooth. Here are low-fat halwa recipes to prevent weight gain.

Winters are synonymous with food and not without a reason. After a spell of hot and humid months, our appetite sees a revival in colder season. The good thing is our metabolism  too is better during the time and eating a full-course meal is delightful. Wrapping up your spread with a dessert  can be heavenly. However, going wrong with the method of preparation (read deep-fried) and the ingredients in your recipe (sugar, cream, fats), could end up making you feel miserable. Large portions of high-calorie food can play havoc with your health and increase risk of a range of chronic diseases like diabetes , blood pressure and heart problems. However, this doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to indulge in delicious food including desserts.

There are a variety of seasonal and healthy ingredients that can make for a lip-smacking dessert. Fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, millets can all come together to create sweet and tasty treats that everyone in your family will like.

Here’s a compilation of health low-fat halwa recipes that you must try during winter.

1. Beetroot halwa

(Recipe by Shivani Sharma, Chef and Founder- Gourmestan)

Ingredients

Beetroot (4 medium-sized) approx. 400 grams

Jaggery powder 50 grams

Milk 200 ml

Ghee (clarified butter) 3 tbsp

Greek yogurt 4b tbsp

Pistachios 1 tbsp

Rose petals

Method

  • Peel and grate the beetroots and keep it aside. Heat the ghee in a deep bottom pan and start cooking the grated beetroot.
  • After 5-10 minutes, the beetroot starts changing colour and leaves an aroma.
  • Keep stirring continuously on medium flame and add the jaggery. Mix till well combined, and the hue becomes more intense.
  • After 5-8 minutes, add the milk and let it simmer. Stir intermittently as the milk takes some time to evaporate.
  • Once the milk disappears, reduce the heat and stir again till the fudge leaves from the sides.
  • It almost comes together as a lump. Turn off the heat at this point and let it cool.
  • Serve warm or chilled, topped with whipped yogurt, nuts, and rose petals as a garnish.
  • Add some rose chocolate to give a hype.

2. Dates halwa

(Recipe by Chef Ishijyot Surri, Executive Chef – SJI Hospitality and Foods Private Limited)

Ingredients

1 cup pitted dates

2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)

1/4 cup chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios)

1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

A pinch of saffron strands (optional)

1/4 cup milk (optional)

Instructions

  • Ensure the dates are pitted. If the dates are too dry, you can soak them in warm water for 15-20 minutes to soften.
  • Blend the pitted dates into a smooth paste. You can use a food processor or blender.
  • In a non-stick pan, heat ghee over medium heat. Add the dates paste and cook, stirring continuously to avoid sticking, until it thickens.
  • Once the dates paste thickens, add chopped nuts, cardamom powder, and saffron strands (if using). Mix well and continue to cook until the halwa reaches a desired consistency.
  • If you prefer a creamier texture, you can add milk gradually while stirring continuously.
  • Keep cooking until the halwa leaves the sides of the pan and forms a cohesive mass.
  • Once done, transfer the dates halwa to a serving dish and garnish with additional nuts if desired.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature. Dates halwa makes for a delightful dessert or a healthy snack.
  • Feel free to adjust the sweetness, nuts, or spices according to your taste preferences

3. Banana halwa

(Recipe by Chef Shivani Sharma)

Ingredients

5 small banana

1 cup milk

½ cup ragi flour

1 cup sugar

¼ cup ghee

1 tsp cardamom powder

10 cashew nut (chopped)

10 almonds (chopped)

Method

  • Peel off the skin and add banana and milk into a mixer grind it into a smooth paste.
  • Heat ghee in a pan, add chopped cashew nuts and almonds fry until golden brown.
  • Take it out and keep it aside.
  • Add ragi flour and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add the banana paste and stir for a few minutes.
  • Add sugar and stir well.
  • Add cardamom powder and mix well.
  • Stir continuously until it thickens finely.
  • Finally, add cashew nuts and almonds and mix well.
  • Tasty banana wheat halwa is ready to serve.

4. Sweet potato halwa

(Recipe by Shivani Sharma)

Ingredients

800 grams sweet potato approx. 2 (medium-sized)

Water as needed (for pressure cooking)

½ tsp salt

½ cup ghee (divided)

10 pieces almonds (roughly crushed)

10 pieces pistachios (roughly crushed)

½ tsp saffron strands

3 pods green cardamom seeds (powdered)

2 tbsp jaggery (optional)

Dried rose petals (optional – for garnish)

Method

  • Pressure – cook the sweet potatoes with sufficient water and salt for about 4 whistles.
  • Allow them to cool to a workable temperature, peel and mash them well, and set aside.
  • In a frying pan, heat 2 tbsp ghee and fry the almonds and pistachios for about 30 seconds and set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat the remaining ghee and sauté the mashed sweet potatoes along with saffron and cardamom for about 5 minutes
  • Add the jaggery if using, combine well, and cook for another 5 mins till its combined properly.
  • Take it out to a serving dish and garnish with almonds, pistachios, and dried rose petals
  • This halwa can be enjoyed warm and chilled

5. Bajre ka Halwa

(Recipe by Chef Ishijyot Surri)

Ingredients

1 cup bajra flour (pearl millet flour)

1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter)

1 cup jaggery, grated (adjust according to sweetness preference)

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

Chopped nuts for garnish (almonds, cashews, pistachios)

Instructions

  • 1. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat ghee over medium heat. Add bajra flour and roast it on low to medium heat until it turns golden brown and you can smell a nutty aroma. Stir continuously to avoid burning.
  • 2. In a separate pan, heat the milk and add grated jaggery to it. Stir until the jaggery dissolves in the milk and forms a syrup.
  • Slowly add the jaggery-milk syrup to the roasted bajra flour, stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
  • Keep stirring the mixture over medium heat until it thickens and reaches a halwa consistency.
  • 3. Add cardamom powder to the halwa and mix well for a flavourful touch.
  • Garnish the bajra halwa with chopped nuts of your choice.
  • Once the halwa reaches a desired consistency, remove it from heat and transfer it to a serving dish.
  • 4. Bajre ka Halwa can be served warm and enjoyed as a delightful winter dessert.
  • Feel free to adjust the quantity of jaggery and ghee based on your taste preferences. Enjoy your homemade Bajre ka Halwa!
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