Turn fasting into healthy feasting this festive season

October 5, 2013 Vegetarian Thali @TheRoyaleIndia 851 0 0

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With festivities in the air, we tried to explore all that you could feast on while fasting.

The fasting season is supposed to give us an oppurtunity to detox our bodies and remain fit, but many of us turn it into an excuse to gorge on high sugar, salty and fat-laden foods like chips, poori and even halwa.

A close look at what goes into making these food items show that the basic ingredients of these so-called fasting dishes, indeed full of essential nutrients and health benefits. Fasting season is upon us, but there is no need to reach for the french fries. Here is how you can keep it healthy…

Buckwheat Flour

Know More: You know it as kuttu atta, which is the most common flour used for making pooris and halwa during the fasting season. It has a rich, nutty flavour and a very high nutritional value. Buckwheat is not a cereal but a fruit. It is called a pseudo cereal to emphasise that it is not related to wheat. It is gluten free, leading people with gluten intolerance to seek it out as a flour alternative. It is grown in the Himalayan foothills, but its cultivation is on decline now.

Nutrition Quotient: Buckwheat is high in fibre, rich in proteins and B vitamins as well as minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese. The best part is that it is rich in essential fatty acids, and helps lower blood pressure, cholesterol and even manage diabetes. The nutrients present in it strengthen arteries and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

We say, you try:  kuttu ka kadi, chapati or even porridge. Avoid pooris and pakoras.

Kuttu Ki Kadi

Kuttu Ka Kadi for Fasting @TheRoyaleIndia


  • 1 ½ cup Kuttu ka atta (buckwheat flour)
  • 2 cup Yoghurt
  • 1 large potato cut into small dices
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • Clarified butter or groundnut oil to fry
  • 2 cup water
  • Rock salt to taste


  • Mix the potato dices with one cup kuttu ka atta and half teaspoon salt.
  • Add two tablespoon water and mix well to make pakoras (dumplings).
  • Heat sufficient oil in a wok or kadhai to deep fry the dumplings. Put marble sized dumplings in the oil and deep fry till they turn light golden.
  • Mix the yoghurt and half cup kuttu ka atta with two cup water and mix well.
  • Heat one tablespoon oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. Allow to splutter and add the chopped green chilies.
  • Saute for one minute and add the yoghurt mix. Bring to a boil stirring continuously.
  • Reduce the flame and allow to simmer for eight-ten mins.
  • Add the potato dumplings and simmer for three-four minutes.
  • Add salt to taste and serve garnished with coriander leaves.

Barnyard Millet

Know More:  ‘Sanwa rice’ is another favourite of fasting lot, is actually a wild seed and not a grain. It is mainly grown in the hilly areas of Uttaranchal. Because it tastes almost similar to broken brown rice when cooked, it is called sanwa rice. It is a digestible fibre similar to rice in taste and texture.

Nutrition Quotient: One serving of this rice contains 21 per cent carbs, 3 per cent protein, 1 per cent fat and 90 calories. A great source of energy, it contains a high amount of fibre, B-complex vitamins and important minerals like iron and magnesium. It is also said to be rich in phytochemicals which help lower cholesterol.

We say, you try: Sanwa kheer, idli and dhokla. You can also try sanwa khichdi flavoured with coconut milk.

Sanwa Ka Kheer

Sanwa ka Kheer for Fasting @TheRoyaleIndia


  • 1/2 cup Barnyard or sanwa millet (sama)
  • 1 ltr milk
  • 10 to 15 almonds
  • 10 to 15 pistachios
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 15 raisins
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  • Wash Barnyard or sanwa millet and keep it aside,
  • Boil milk in a heavy bottom pan. In the meantime, wash the raisins and pat them dry,
  • Thinly slice the almonds and pistachios,
  • Add the millet in boiling milk,
  • Cook sanwa in milk till cooked, and stir continuously,
  • Add sugar, cardamom powder, raisins, pistachios and almonds, mix well and cook for about five-seven minutes, stirring continuously.
  • Remove from the flame and serve hot or chilled as per your choice.

Waterchestnut Flour

Know More: Singhara atta comes from waterchestnut which is the underground bulb. The flour is made from dried and ground waterchestnuts, and does not contain gluten. In fact, the dried and milled grain could be better substitute for those allergic to gluten.

Nutrition Quotient: It is a good source of potassium, vitamin B and antioxidants. The kernel contains high level of protein (up to 20 per cent), starch (52 per cent), fat (up to 1 per cent), sugar (3 per cent) and minerals. Of late, waterchestnuts have been found beneficial to diabetics With low calorific value, high vitamin and fibre content, the water chestnut is seen as an ideal diabetic food.

 We say, you try: Add radish and spinach leaves in the flour and make rotis. Dhoklas are an interesting option too. Avoid making pooris, ghee laden burfi, halwa and pakoras.

Singhara Rotis

Singhara Rotis for Fasting @TheRoyaleIndia


  • 2 cups singhare ka aata/water chestnut flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 2 potatoes boiled and mashed
  • 1 finely chopped green chilly
  • 1 tablespoon coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp ghee/butter


  • Mix all the ingredients together except oil and make a dough with water.
  • Make small balls, and roll out chapati with a rolling pin. Spread little ghee on tawa/griddle.
  • Cook both sides till nice golden colour.
  • Serve with yogurt.


Know More: Popularly known as Sabudana, tapioca is basically starch extracted from a plant. The processed version is called sago, which is available in the market in the form of small globules of pearls. While in Northern India, it is typically used in fasting dishes, with other ingredients like potatoes, chillies and peanuts, the flour can also be used to make breads and pancakes. In Southern India, it is popular as wafers and porridge.

Nutrition Quotient: Sabudana is extremely low in fat but also low in protein. One hundred grams of dry sago would give you 355 calories, including an average of 94 grams of carbs, 0.2 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of dietary fibre, 10 milligrams of calcium, 1.2 milligrams of iron, and traces of fat, carotene, thiamine, and ascorbic acid.

We say, you try: Tapioca based khichdi, kheer and upma. Avoid deep fried vadas and pakoras.

Sabudana Khichdi

Sabudana Khichdi for Fasting @TheRoyaleIndia


  • 250 gms sago or sabudana (soaked overnight)
  • 150 gms crushed peanuts
  • 2 potatoes , boiled , peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 slit green chillies
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • salt to taste


  • Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds.
  • When the seeds crackle, add the green chillies and saute for few seconds.
  • Add the potatoes, mix well and saute for two minutes.
  • Add the sabudana, salt and sugar. Mix well and cook for three minutes, while stirring continuously.
  • Add the groundnuts,mix well and saute again for one minute.
  • Serve hot

Amaranth Flour

Know More:  Rajgir Atta is made from seeds of a plant called amaranth. It is used for making pastas and baked goods. The flour is usually made into chapatis or paranthas and served with vegetables.

Nutrition Quotient:  A protein power house, it contains lysine, an amino acid missing or negligible in many grains. High in fibre, calcium, antioxidants and protein content, the best reason to eat it would be for its nutritional value. It can easily make up for a staple choice for those with diabetes because of its low glycemic index value and lack of gluten.

We say, you try:  Rajgir and oat bran put together in buttermilk and flavoured with mint is a healthy breakfast option. You can go for amaranth instead of the standard oatmeal and add nuts, spices and fruits. Make soups, desserts, pudding or smoothies.

Rajgira Ni Raab

Rajgira ni Raab for Fasting @TheRoyaleIndia


  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp rajgir or amaranth flour
  • 4-5 tbsp jaggery
  • 2.5 cups water
  • ½ tsp Peepramul powder + 1/2 soonth powder
  • (OR)
  • 1 tsp chai masala powder


  • In a medium saucepan bring the water and jaggery to boil.
  • While jaggery water begins to boil, heat ghee (in low fire) in another thick sauce pan.
  • Add rajgira flour and roast continuously on low heat till it turns to mild pink.
  • In the meantime, strain the jaggery to remove the impurities .
  • Bring the flour mixture on heat again and pour the jaggery water carefully. Stir continuously the mixture with other hand to prevent any lumps.
  • Add the peepramul powder + soonth powder (or) chai masala powder.
  • Simmer the raab/soup for another two-three minutes till it start thickening
  • Serve warm in a soup bowl.

Enjoy these simple and healthy recipes this festive season, and we bet you could be fitter!

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Categories: Healthy Living, Recipe Corner