Come festival and the cravings overpower any diet plans. But this isn’t an excuse that foodies in Delhi are using to relish the sugar rush that comes with traditional Makar Sankranti delicacies. And city-based home chefs confirm that they are witnessing a higher demand for healthy snacks this time around. And it doesn’t hurt that there’s quite a variety available, from Gur Til Bhugga to Jaggery Peanut Sesame Shots and even Biotin ladoos!
“Most of the people have gone back to working from home, and this makes it very easy to put on weight since we just station ourselves in front of the laptop, all day long,” says Manika Singh, a school teacher from Shalimar Bagh, adding, “I’ve hardly any outdoor activity or dedicated time to exercise. And since there’s nothing exciting happening right now, so festivals become an easy excuse to binge on some yummy and fattening delicacies. But for Makar Sankranti, I ensured that only healthy, sugar free sweets come to our house. And while ordering, I was so pleasantly surprised to see that home chefs are offering such a wide variety of these.”
Shikha Sachdeva, home chef from Kalkaji-based The Culinary Courtyard, says she has received a lot of orders requesting for healthy alternatives. “Due to the Covid situation, people want to only focus on eating healthy. So automatically the demand for sugar-free sweets and desserts made using healthy options such as gur, has increased. I’ve been making Dry Fruit Stuffed Dates, Cranberry and Pistachio Bars with home-made mawa, Jaggery Peanut Sesame Shots, and even makke ke atte ke crackers. Everything is healthy, and no one wants just the typical gur til bhhuga. We have something called date fingers, which are selling by the kilo,” she adds.
In fact, it is to cater to such demand for healthy foods that Anjali Wadhwa from Rajouri Garden-based A’s Kitchen has especially added Biotin ladoo, to her menu. Besides being non-fattening, it also contains a wide variety of nuts that highlight its immunity boosting qualities. She says, “We do have til bhugga and til pista rolls, but are also offering healthy options such as our new addition, Biotin ladoos, which we have made especially for this occasion. This is a healthy ladoo that has all kinds of dry fruits and absolutely no ghee or oil. We have recently noticed a rise in demand for healthy options, more than the usual sweets. And these ladoos are truly a guilt-free choice that people can make while enjoying the festivities in the comfort of their homes. These also help in building immunity.”
And for those who love to stick to the traditional til bhugga, there are some healthy versions as well! One such option is being prepared by Greater Kailash-based Madhu Ji Meals by Madhu Suri. She says, “With the recent rise in cases, people are preferring sugar free delicacies as they want to be careful about their health and weight. So since til bhugga is a staple for Makar Sankranti, we have come up with its gur version, which is much in demand right now. Additionally, I’m also making masala gur, which people love in winter. It’s is a mix of dry fruits and masala and is a season speciality for not only it’s relished more around this time, but also safeguards our health in many ways. Quite a healthy dessert!”
Author tweets @anjuri
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