Diwali, the Indian festival of lights is on October 26th this year. This is one of the most popular festivals in India! Most people celebrate with fireworks, new clothes and families and friends exchange sweets. I’ll confess that I don’t often eat sweets. For one, they go directly to my waistline and for another, they usually have some ingredient that I can’t eat. Plus when I crave food, its usually something savory. I really dislike how sickly sweet most Indian sweets are. BUT, when you make it yourself, you’re in control. And with healthy ingredients like beets, I don’t feel guilty at all.
I love the natural sweetness of the beets and didn’t feel the need to add much sugar at all. There are layers of texture in this simple dessert. The cooked grated beets still retain some of their crunch. The roasted cashews are crisp. The raisins plump up when cooked with the beets and milk and are almost juicy when you bite into them.
Beets are in peak season right now and there are so many ways of preparing them apart from slicing them up for a salad. I love beets but hate the mess of cleaning up after them! Golden beets though come with all the crunch of beets, a mild sweet flavor and none of the mess. So here goes, the first recipe for this week of daily Diwali dessert inspiration!
This recipe is a take on carrot halwa.
- 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons ghee (or unsalted butter)
- 1/2 cup whole cashews
- 1 big or 2 small golden beets, grated (about 2 cups)
- 1.5 cups milk, divided (A non dairy milk will work too)
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron
- 1.5 tablespoons sugar (for a low glycemic alternative, use coconut crystals!)
- 1/4 cup raisins
Heat 2 teaspoons ghee over medium heat till it melts and starts to froth. Roast the cashews for 3-5 minutes or till slightly brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool and crisp up.
Microwave 1/2 cup milk for 30 seconds. Gently crush saffron in your palms and add it to the milk. Stir and let sit for a few minutes.
Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a pot over medium heat till it starts to froth. Saute the grated beets for 3 minutes. Add the milk with saffron, the rest of the milk, raisins and sugar. Stir. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. The beets should be cooked but still have some bite to them. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, garnish with the roasted nuts before serving.
For a nice presentation, you can dust with powdered sugar.