By Nmami Agarwal
Wrapped in woollen knitted sweaters, mufflers, gloves and boots while sipping masala chai is the most aesthetic approach to settle in this freezing weather. No matter how chilly winters are, we all tend to stay warm and cosy despite of frosty winds. Frosty! The season of festivity! Christmas! Well, how one can forget the arrival of Christmas?
Christmas is another name to winters, with overwhelming vibes through-out the week of Christmas celebration till the New Year knocks your door! When, already everything outside is relishing, then why to hold back with your Christmas cook-book? So, here we present few mouth-melting delicacies making your Christmas-eve perfect. Have a look!
Dates and nut rolls: Date rolls filled with nuts are soft, chewy and the next best thing to jolt your senses and awake with a burst of energy! It’s a very quick and finger licking sweet prepared just in minutes. It replaces high fat and high calorie chocolates and candies and easy to carry while travelling.
- 2-3 shredded Dates
- ¼ tsp cardamom powder
- ½ tsp flaxseed powder,
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios each 2.5 g each)
- ½ Coconut powder (optional)
- Blend dates in a food processer and make a paste.
- Add nuts, dates, flaxseed powder and cardamom powder to it.The nuts give a nice crunchy taste and cardamom powder enhances the flavour of the sweet.
- After roasting for 5-10 minutes keep it aside to cool down.
- Then form balls or any desired shape and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
- Sprinkle coconut powder on it and enjoy!
Figs and almond cake– This is beautifully rustic, simple, unpretentious yet delicious fig cake is kept moist with ground almonds & yoghurt. It’s gluten and dairy-free and is perfect to have with breakfast or evening coffee or tea. Almond flour is mainly rich in vitamin E, fat-soluble compounds which acts as antioxidants in the body. Additionally figs are a good source of soluble fibre which helps in keeping you full for longer periods of time and relieves constipation.They can also reduce hunger and promote weight loss.
- 1 tsp oil for greasing pan
- 30g natural raw almond flour
- 30g coconut sugar
- 100g whole wheat flour/oat flour
- 25g yoghurt
- ½ tbsp cinnamon
- 2 egg, beaten
- ½ tbsp honey
- 5-6 ripe figs
- Heat oven to 200 º
- Apply oil to a 9-inch fluted tart pan or pie pan; set aside.
- Put almond flour and coconut sugar in a food processor and blend.
- Add whole wheat flour/oat flour, yogurt and cinnamon; pulse to combine.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk egg and honey together.
- Add the almond mixture to the bowl and beat until batter is just mixed. Pour batter into pan.
- Remove stem from all the figs and cut in half. Arrange fig halves cut-side up over the batter.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until golden outside and dry at centre when probed with a cake tester. Cool before serving.
Compared to the traditional fig and almond cake, the healthy swaps are as mentioned:
||Whole wheat flour/ oats flour
Banana halwa– A traditional dessert recipe from the Kerala cuisine, which is cooked on special occasions and festivals and will make your mouth water. Mildly sweet and chewy this sweet dish is prepared using banana, ghee, green cardamom powder, and last but not the least jaggery powder.
- 1 bananas
- 2 tbsp suji
- ½ teaspoon green cardamom
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 5 g mixed chopped nuts
- 1 tablespoon Jaggery powder
- Peel off the bananas and mash in a large bowl.
- Now, put a pan on a medium flame and heat ghee. When the ghee is melted, add the mashed bananas and nuts and reduce the flame to low.
- Stir in the mashed bananas in ghee and let it cook until they become light brown in colour. Keep stirring the mixture to avoid stickiness at the bottom.
- After 15 minutes, add Jaggery powder to the pan and stir well and cook for another 5 minutes. Add cardamom powder, stir once again for few seconds and remove the pan from the flame.
- Transfer the halwa to a serving bowl and allow the mixture to cool down at room temperature. Banana halwa is ready to be served!
Layered coconut crepe: Both festive and homey at once, we promise it is a finger licking sweet. An easy and swift dish with rice batter and sweet coconut fillings. A light and sophisticated dessert. Coconut is a significant source of both calcium and vitamin D and also strengthens immunity.
For the crepes
- 20g Rice flour
- 20g oat flour
- 50 ml Water
- A pinch Salt
- ½ tsp rice bran oil
- Nutella – 1 tsp
- 5g Grated coconut
- ½ tsp Cardamom powder
- ½ tbsp coconut Sugar
- 5 g Nuts
- Prepare the filling by dry roasting all those ingredients given under ‘ for filling ‘ over a low flame. Sauté that continuously until the coconut becomes soft. Do not make them crispy. When done, set aside to cool.
- Now make crepes or dosa. For that, grind together rice flour and water. Make a smooth batter. Add salt and mix well.
- Divide the batter into two bowls. Add nutella or hazelnut spread to one bowl and mix well.
- The batter must be flowing in consistency.
- Now heat a non-stick pan, when hot, grease the tawa well with oil.
- Now pour a ladle full of nutella mixed batter by rotating the ladle with batter to cover the whole pan. Coat the pan with thin layer of batter.
- Let it cook for 2 minutes or until done.
- Once it’s done take off the dosa with spatula.
- Repeat the same and prepare dosa.So crepes or dosa is ready.
- Now assemble the sweet coconut crepes.
- Take a nutella dosa on a plate followed by normal dosa (crepe). You will get a stack of crepes (dosa) with alternative colour.
- Now keep the filling on the top and roll it gently. Decorate with some nuts or pistachios. Slice with a sharp knife. Serve warm and enjoy.
Kulkuls are made all over India at Christmas time. They are bit of sweet moulded dough shaped into small curls and are best to eat with tea or coffee. Also baking is a healthier option than frying to make Kulkuls. Additionally it is nutritious as it contains Oat flour which is high in soluble fibre & helps level blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
- 70 g oat flour
- 30g semolina (Suji)
- ½ tsp chia seed powder
- 1/8th tsp salt
- 10 g coconut sugar, powdered
- 15 ml coconut milk/plain milk
- Canola oil for brushing
- 1 tsp ghee
- Mix the oat flour and semolina and rub the ghee into it.
- Add the salt, chia seed powder, coconut sugar and coconut milk and knead into firm dough.
- Leave dough to rest for 1/2 hour or so.
- Make marble sized rounds of the dough. Flatten each round with the help of back of the fork, pressing lightly. Roll top most of flatten dough so that you get a curled up shape with the ridges showing on top.
- Brush some canola oil on top of it.
- Instead of frying bake at 200ºC for 15 minutes.
- Let it cool down and then serve.
Compared to the traditional Kulkuls, the healthy swaps are as mentioned:
Make this Christmas healthy by opting for healthy swaps and enjoy. Say no to extra sweet treats.