Indian Desserts for Ganeshotsav for diabetics with a sweet tooth

Posted by: at 9/02/2016 03:41:00 am

By Ms Meenal Sharma Binani, Dietician, Apollo Sugar Clinics, Jubilee hills Road Number 36

Diet plays a critical role in both reducing one’s risk for diabetes and for staying healthy with diabetes by delaying or preventing the complications.  One’s diet determines the amount of sugar consumed in the body, thus having a direct influence on sugar levels. People who have sweet tooth have a hard time resisting desserts.

Ganesh Chaturthi involves different rituals and lots of sweets. To ensure that one enjoys Ganesh Chaturthi without squandering their health with fluctuating blood sugar levels, Dr Ms Meenal Sharma Binani shares few recipes to bridge the gap between desserts and good health. “The festivities and sweets may make your diet go for a toss, but there is a way to gorge on your favorites “.Ms Meenal Sharma Binani adds.

Modak :

Make a healthy choice this festive season by opting for fruit or veggie modaks that are equally tasty. One should go all out and experiment with various fruits and vegetables for the filling. Another twist recommended is replacing the flour covering. Instead of rice flour, one can use de-hydrated fruit slices and fruit pulp. It is healthy, tasty and nutritious.

•    The best way to go healthy is by adding a lot of fruits and nuts to the filling of modaks
•     Go the steamed way and completely avoid frying them
•    One can choose Ghee over oil as it is a healthier option

Roasted modak is another option one could go for. Roasting the modak in the oven is not only healthy but also provides a crispy and crunchy taste. The stuffing could be anything from oats, to nuts to diced fruits

Preparation & Cooking Time: 40 mins
Makes about 12 -14


Sorghum (Jowar) Flour: 1 Cup
Jaggery: 10 gms
Grated Fresh Coconut: ¼ Cup
White Sesame Seeds: 2 tbsp
A big pinch of salt
Ghee: 1 tsp


Dry roast the sesame seeds on a medium flame till they turn light brown and allow to cool. Grind them to a fine powder and set aside
Melt Jaggery in a pan into a paste. In a bowl, add the jaggery paste, ground sesame seeds and grated fresh coconut – combine well. Roll this mixture into small round shape balls and keep them aside
Combine the flour and salt in a wide bowl. Add boiling water little by little to the flour, mix very well with a spatula and make a soft dough
Allow it to cool for 3-5 minutes then knead it well. The dough should be soft and smooth
Grease your palms with a little ghee. Take a ball of the rice flour dough and flatten it
Place in greased idly plates and steam cook for 10-15 minutes
This sugar-free modak recipe will satisfy the sweetest of the tooth.

Lauki/Doodhi Kheer :

Kheer is the all time favorite dessert of all Indians, one can eat it at any time of the day, but one also worries how much calories it contains. Kheer can also be healthy; one can make it healthy by changing few ingredients and the quantity of the ingredient. Lauki also known as Doodhi and Bottle Gourd is very healthy for a human body. It cools down the body temperature during the summer which is why it is recommended to consume half of bottle gourd each day. It also has the elements to cool down the burning sensation when someone is suffering from acidity. This Lauki ki Kheer contains 68 calories per cup which is healthier than any other dessert.

Ingredients for Lauki Ki Kheer:

1 cup of Grated Bottle Gourd (Doodhi/Lauki)
100 ml of low fat milk (99% fat free)
1 teaspoon of Sugar (40 cal)
Cardamom Powder (Elaichi Powder)


1.    Mix the milk and bottled gourd in a deep non-stick pan, stir well and cook on a medium flame for 10 to 12 minutes or wait till the gourd is fully cooked and the grated slices cannot be seen, while stirring occasionally.
2.    Add sugar to the milk and bottle gourd mixture, stir well and cook on medium flame for 2 minutes or till the sugar completely dissolves.
3.    Last but not the least add cardamom powder and stir well.
4.    Keep the pan aside until it cools off completely and then refrigerate it for at least 1 hour
5.    After an hour, Lauki ki Kheer is ready to be served.
In a normal kheer, due to the rice and seviya (Vermicelli), the intake of calories increases. Rice has 130 calories per gram, milk contains above 300 calories in one milk cart, 100 grams of sugar has 387 calories and all together it goes up to 1000 calories after adding milkmaid to give it better taste and some other artificial sweeteners. A diabetic can enjoy his dessert by replacing usal rice and milkmaid with the above mentioned ingredients and enjoy dessert without hampering health

Chocolate Sandesh :

Sandesh has been Bengali’s favorite dessert of all time. One may eat it only occasionally as it contains a lot of calories and it may not be healthy to eat it more than once a week. Ms. G.S Sudha Dietician, Apollo Sugar Clinics, Hyderabad shares her secret recipe to a nutritious Sandesh.

Ingredients for Chocolate Sandesh:

60 grms of freshly made low-fat paneer (Homemade) (80Cal)
2 Teaspoon of Sugar (40 Cal)
½ Tablespoon cocoa Powder (15 Cal)
½ Teaspoon Vanilla essence


1.    Mix the Paneer (Cottage Cheese) and sugar substitute in a deep bowl thoroughly
2.    Add cocoa powder and vanilla essence, and mix well till the mixture becomes smooth
3.    Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and shape each portion into round, flat circle.
4.    Refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Each Sandesh contains only 40 calories. Sugar takes a little longer to dissolve in the blood and it is easier to use honey or other artificial sweetener for people who are diabetic. One can also add dry fruits like walnuts, almonds, cashews etc to give a nutritious value to the dish. Refrain from adding too much sugar as it increases the sugar levels rapidly. A traditional sandesh requires a lot of ghee and sugar, due to its extreme sweetness. One Sandesh has more than 400 calories. While making a traditional Sandesh, one would add full cream milk and other ingredients like sugar (256 calories).  Instead of using high calorie ingredients, one can opt for healthy alternatives.  One can take skimmed milk which provides more proteins and provides calcium to the bones, it also has vitamin A and D which helps one keep healthy. Cutting down on all those calories will help one reduce weight without compromising with their favorite dessert. This recipe of Sandesh with a twist gives one an opportunity to enjoy dessert without compromising the taste. This recipe gives healthy vibe to the dessert as consuming little chocolate once in a while is good for health.
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