Pal Khova

Healthy, sugar-free Diwali recipes for this festive season

By mid day online correspondent | Mumbai

Published: Oct 16, 2019, 15:04 IST

Low-calorie sweeteners provide sweetness with minimal calories, benefit glucose levels and are found to be effective in weight management

The festive season is here and just one teaspoon of sugar in your diet can result in a gain of one kg of body fat in a year, not to mention the other metabolic ill-effects. Sugar is everywhere and not many can really know how much excess we consume. Thanks to the fact that sweets are positively entrenched in our culture as happy celebration foods, they can never be wished away.

Sugar in excess can lead to coronary heart disease, obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), lowered immunity, impaired brain function and increased risk to cancer. Therefore, resorting to sugar substitutes or low-calorie sweeteners can help maintain a healthy lifestyle without having to make any drastic compromises on taste. Low-calorie sweeteners provide sweetness with minimal calories, benefit glucose levels and are found to be effective in weight management.

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor says, "Correct knowledge is the key to correct choices. Replacing most of the high-calorie food products is difficult. However, sugar which adds free calories to the diet can be replaced easily with low-calorie sweeteners. People often say that it doesn't taste the same and I agree with them. It won't taste 100 per cent same, however, if one tries it for 2-3 weeks then they will get habituated to the taste. If compromising on 10 per cent of taste can help you cut down on your total calorie intake, it is a deal worth taking."

Pal Khova

2 litres milk
2 tablespoons thick yoghurt
20 Sugar-Free Natura Sweet Drops
½ cup fresh cream
½ teaspoon cardamom powder


Chana and Moong Payasam

2 tablespoons split Bengal gram (chana dal), soaked
2 tablespoons split skinless green gram (dhuli moong dal), soaked
4 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons ghee
15-20 cashew nuts
1½ cups milk
½ cup scraped coconut
2 tablespoons zero-calorie sweetener



For the filling:
500 gms of Khoya/mawa
6 tablespoons of zero-calorie sweetener
3 ¼ tsp of desiccated coconut
15 Cashew nuts (blanched and chopped)
15 Almonds (blanched and chopped)
20 Raisins
½ Green cardamom or nutmeg powder

For the outer covering:
4 cups of refined flour (maida)
2. ½ Salt
5 tbsps Ghee


Gajar Ka Halwa

8-10 medium carrots, grated
3 tablespoons pure ghee
2 cups skimmed milk
¼ teaspoon green cardamom powder
10-15 sultanas
⅓ cup zero-calorie sweetener
¼ cup grated khoya
10-12 pistachios, blanched, peeled and sliced


Mawa Anjeer Barfi

2 cups + 1 tablespoon (375 grams)
7-8 dried figs, chopped
1/6 cup zero-calorie sweetener
1 teaspoon liquid glucose
5-6 almonds, chopped
5-6 cashew nuts, chopped


German Chocolate Cake

100 gms milk chocolate, chopped
4 eggs
1½ cups zero-calorie sweetener
2 cups refined flour (maida)
A pinch of salt
1 tsp soda bicarbonate
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup chopped almonds
1 cup oil
¼ tsp citric acid


Kesar Pista Phirni

A few saffron threads
10-12 pistachios, blanched, peeled and sliced
5 cups (1 litre) skimmed milk
3 tablespoons coarse rice flour
¾ teaspoon green cardamom powder
3 tablespoons zero-calorie sweetener


Sugar-Free Kesar Phirni

2 cups Skimmed milk
3 tablespoons Rice, soaked
Saffron (a few strands)
3-4 Pistachios
3 tsp zero-calorie sweetener
¼ teaspoon Green cardamom powder


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