Are you planning to surprise your brothers with some innovative, sweet and savoury treats this Raksha Bandhan? Then ditch the regular ‘gulab jamuns’ and ‘gajar ka halwa’, and try give a makeover to the traditional sweet and savoury dishes.
Swipe refined flour with quinoa and white sugar with maple syrup or palm sugar. Even chefs will give you some quick lessons to rustle up a whole lot of quirkiest eats for your brothers.
(Banana blossom cutlets)
“If we go by the dictum, ‘health is wealth’, we really need to take care of what our brothers are eating. Raksha Bandhan is a festival when our brothers take a vow to protect us. We should at least take a vow to protect their health. So, why not give our regular dishes a healthy twist?” says chef Ananya Banerjee.
She makes the universal favourite chocolate brownies with quinoa which is loaded with protein and is high on taste too. The sweet and nutritious kiwi fruit is bound to add a zesty flavour to your dishes. Rich in Vitamin C, dietary fibers, foliate, mineral and antioxidants, it can be a bright idea to make sweet kiwifruit samosas by stuffing it with kiwi fruits, brown sugar, cinnamon powder, cashew nuts, orange zest and biscuit crumbs. You can serve some kiwi fruit papdi chaat with dates chutney too.
(Sweet kiwifruit samosa)
During the festive time, the sweet tooth cannot be ignored. How about cooking all-time favourite gulab jamum using sweet potato? Home chef Ayandrali Dutta says: “Not many know that these sweet potatoes are a super food and are full of antioxidants. I plan to make gulab jamuuns with sweet potatoes by mashing it and adding khoya, nuts and pistachio. And then frying the small balls and putting it in sugar syrup.”
(Sweet potato gulab jamun)
Savoury dishes too can be interesting as Ayandrali plans to make some banana blossom and cottage cheese cutlets. With people getting connected and cultures blending more every day, regular Indian desserts are getting a plush and new look. Chef Sunny Punjabi from Dishkiyaoon, Mumbai, has come up with innovative sweet dish shahi tukra and gajar halwah lasagna.
(Healthy Quinoa Brownie)
Food curator and stylist Shaheen Ali has grown up learning how even a simple dish can be presented to look gourmet. She says, “In India all our festivals somehow revolve around food and with Raksha Bandhan approaching our major concern becomes what to cook and how to make it look beautiful and presentable. Being health our major concern, it is important to adopt healthy recipes even during celebrations. Switch to using jaggery, honey or brown sugar instead of white sugar. If you are on a baking spree, use quinoa, whole wheat flour, oats or finger millets.”