Nutrition Notes: It’s Time to Celebrate Diwali!

Foreword by Callie Brust, Nutrition & Wellness Educator for the San Diego Food Bank:

The San Diego community is wonderfully diverse and the San Diego Food Bank is proud to serve many of these varying culture groups. With all these international influences, we get to learn and share amazing recipes! The San Diego Food Bank’s talented Nutrition Education Volunteer teaches us about a recipe she enjoys during Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights.

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Diwali is an Indian festival of lights, celebrated each year in the fall. The festival celebrates the victory of light over darkness, and good over immorality by lighting lamps and fireworks. It’s a time for families to come together and share the happiness and excitement of the festivities. Prayers are offered to Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity and this marks the beginning of a new fiscal year in India. Family members create beautiful rangoli designs using colored rice, flour, sand and flower petals and light lamps in the evening. Diwali is a time for gifts, new clothes and lots of delicious treats, both savory and sweet. Here is a recipe of one of my favorite sweet treats, gajar ka halwa. It is a simple dessert made with grated carrots, milk, sugar and ghee or clarified butter. Though it takes some time to make it, the resulting delicacy is truly wonderful. Carrots contain beta carotene which is necessary for good vision. Research also suggests that beta carotene may help reduce the risk of certain cancers, slow ageing and diabetes-related symptoms.

Recipe: Gajar ka Halwa
Preparation time: 1 hour | Number of servings: 1 – 2

Ingredients:

– 1-1.5 cup of grated carrots
– 1 cup of milk
– 1 tbsp. of ghee or butter
– 2 to 3 tbsp. of sugar
– 1 tbsp. of chopped, roasted almonds or cashews
– 1 to 2 tsp. of raisins
– 1 to 2 pinches of cardamom powder

Directions:

1. Cook the carrots in the milk in a thick bottomed pan on a medium flame, until the carrots are cooked and the milk has almost evaporated.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and keep stirring on a low flame until the milk has evaporated and the gajar ka halwa comes together.

3. Gajar ka halwa tastes delicious served either hot or cold.

Here’s wishing you all a very happy and prosperous Diwali!!

References:
http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrient-rich-foods/24-carrot-health