Often known (and literally translated) as the Festival of Lights, Diwali is one of the most sacred and beloved events in the Hindu calendar. Though it’s officially a holiday in 11 other countries (and one province in Pakistan), Diwali is most lavishly celebrated in India and Mumbai, its largest city. While the scripture behind Diwali varies between Hindu traditions, all celebrate a common theme: the power of humankind, guided by the light of self-control, furthered knowledge and compassion for others, to triumph over darkness and evil. In many traditions, Diwali marks the veneration of Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, and Dhanvantari, God of Hope and Healing.
With such a meaning, you’d expect bursts of color and light as far as the eye can see, and Diwali doesn’t disappoint! The whole of India hangs diyas, or colored lights, outside windows and doorways; they burn throughout the festival nights. Colorful floor decorations called rangoli dot the floors of homes and businesses. The streets are ablaze with lights, fireworks, and colored powder and abuzz with shopping and celebration akin to the West’s Christmas observance.
Whether you’re a homesick Indian or just can’t swing a ticket to experience Diwali in India, there is one way to get a taste of India’s most festive time: the sweets of Diwali.
Diwali Food/Food Philosophy Overview
Like most cultural celebrations, food forms a major part of the Diwali experience. Carts sell sweet and spicy food on nearly every street throughout the festival, and families and friends watch the festivities or relax afterward over sweets.
Food is also a major part of the Indian identity. Children grow up at their mothers’ apron strings, watching as families come together to cook and chat. As adults, they return to bring the family recipes to life and catch up on everything that’s happened between visits. To cook Indian food is a window into what it is to be Indian, and I intend to give each of my customer that authentic experience.
And I mean authentic. Both the cultural roots of my recipes and modern health consciousness inform my food philosophies. Traditional Indian cuisine evolved over centuries before ingredients were invented in a lab or waterlogged inside a can; if it doesn’t use real India-native ingredients, it’s just not real Indian food. And while I won’t bore you with pages after page of studies, the human body was never intended to use fuel pumped up with artificial ingredients and stretched over months by chemical preservatives. These recipes were a gift from my ancestors, using the ingredients they had available to craft delicious, time-tested recipes, and I intend to honor that gift.
As you might imagine with such a joyous holiday, Diwali food is heavily represented by sweets. This post will focus on creating natural, traditional Indian sweets to brighten up even the most colorful Diwali celebration. Don’t worry; all of our Laddu recipes are artificial sugar free, preservative free, artificial colors free, low-carb, so you won’t have to break your diet to get the best of your Diwali!
One of the holiest days in Hinduism, Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil and is cause for the biggest celebration in Indian culture. As the Sanskrit word Diwali literally translates to “festival of light”, celebrations across India (and, increasingly, the world) feature candlelight processions, fireworks, gatherings, and food.
Of course, no celebration in any culture would be complete without food, and that’s where I come in. As Indian culture spreads abroad, more and more people (like you, for instance) are looking for authentic freshly made Indian sweet treats, never frozen, never-canned ingredients. As a native South Indian, I grew up on truly authentic Indian food and continue to cook it for my family and friends. Just as I use only the freshest ingredients, I want to pass that on to the world; I never to open a processed can food to cook. I am committed to using whole grains and natural ingredients in my recipes, and those looking for low-carb and low-sugar Indian sweet treats without sacrificing genuine Indian recipes will find a haven here.
Rava laddu is south India’s go-to sweet, a staple at festivals, weddings, gatherings, pujas, and wherever people congregate. Comparable to “bliss ball” truffles in the West, rava laddu is a no-bake treat that’ll save you time without a compromise on flavor. Rava (or semolina and coconut) laddu is an all-natural, high-quality, and seriously tasty dessert you can make and have any time.
In addition to its easy recipe and great taste, rava laddu will wow you with its long shelf life.
Sesame and Almond Laddu
Known in the West as sesame, till includes an incredible amount of nutrients, including (but not limited to) calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, zinc, fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, protein, and tryptophan. Till is a do-it-all ingredient for every health-conscious eater, helping with blood pressure, blood sugar, digestion, inflammation and metabolic function, as well as healthy skin, nails, hair, and even cancer and radiation protection.
My till laddu offers a satisfying crunch of almond on top, adding a satisfying dose of healthy fat, protein, and fiber along with it.
Cocoa, hemp, chia Laddu
Did you know hemp seeds are from the same species as cannabis (marijuana)? Hemp and Marijuana are species of Cannabis that are both members of the Cannabis Sativa family. Hemp contains a very low concentration of THC, while Marijuana is high in THC. Hemp seeds have a long list of health benefits. They are highly nutritious, rich in good fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Because of their mild, nutty flavor, they are versatile to use in salads, as toppings or in desserts. Eat them raw or roasted. Hemp hearts are vegan, vegetarian, keto friendly, paleo friendly, gluten-free and diabetic friendly. Hemp hearts are a great addition to the divine Diwali festive season.
Hemp hearts are high in Omega-6 compared to flax, while flax is high in Omega-3. Hemp seeds without shell are commonly called Hemp hearts. Hemp hearts are exceptionally high in essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6, protein and fiber.
Arabic Gum, Pistachio Laddu
Gond, also known as Gum arabic, acacia gum, acacia, is a natural gum collected from different species of the acacia tree. Acacia is most known for its medicinal values. It is widely used in treating various conditions. Acacia has a long list of benefits. With so many benefits, let's make a satisfying laddu with it. Though it is called gum, it doesn't stick to teeth. It is a bit sticky, but is known to reduce plaque and is used to treat gingivitis. Along with health benefits, gond has perfect crunchy texture, that it is a great ingredient to make laddus. Though Acacia gum odorless, bland, its brittle texture makes laddu unique. What a great way to celebrate Diwali.
It is high in dietary fiber. Acacia is known to lower cholesterol, relieve irritable bowel syndrome. It promotes weight loss. It is also known to be one of the best probiotic. It promotes good bacteria in intestine and mouth. It is used in pharmaceuticals to treat gingivitis and reduce plaque. This festive season, enjoy low-carb and low-sugar Indian food without sacrificing genuine Indian taste. Those looking for low-carb, low-sugar recipes will find a haven here. Whether it is Diwali, Navratri, Dasara, Sankranthi or Rakhi, this sensational laddu will impress everyone.
Rajgira, Coconut Laddu
Tiny Seed. Big flavor. That’s amaranth. While the coconut and brown sugar provide a delightful flavor, it’s the amaranth that does the heavy lifting.
Originally a staple of the Aztec diet, amaranth soon made its way to Asia where known as ragjira, its taste, texture, and nutrition earned it the title of “king seed.” The leaves, flowers, and seeds of all three are edible. Amaranth is a great replacement for flour in gluten-free Indian recipes, as it adds texture and flavor while improving the nutritional profile. Amaranth is also an exceptional thickener for the roux, white sauces, soups, and stews.
Replacing flour with amaranth is a major nutritional upgrade. Amaranth is the only grain which contains Vitamin C and is also high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium. Amaranth also beats most other grains in lysine, an essential amino acid not produced by the body and used to metabolize fatty acids as well as grow strong, thick hair and absorb calcium.
Enjoy and have a festive Diwali!
Enjoy Diwali recipes here - http://www.ujwalasdelicacies.com/category/diwali-sweets/