Any happy festival is made happier when it is made healthy too. With varied sweets and snacks to eat and greet, it is also important to include a few healthy sweets and snacks to reduce the damage already created by fatty intake of delicacies. After all the goodies have been stuffed and the digestive system has had over loaded duty to perform, there is always the kashayam/poshion for stomach cleaning (dosaikal.com/deepavali kashayam), which is given as a damage control mechanism.
Yet, this is my contribution to a healthy sweet for the festival of lights, especially suitable for kids and due to the Clarified Butter/Ghee content- in limitations for adults too.
Pottukkadalai/Nilakkadalai Urundai/Roasted Channa-Groundnut Laddu (Sweet Ball)
These Urundais/sweet balls are made in combination with roasted channa, peanuts and palm sugar all in powder form. It is an easy to make sweet as well as high in nutritional value due to the protein rich chick pea and peanuts. White refined sugar has been avoided as they have only empty calories. Palm sugar which is rich in iron and other minerals is an added source of nutrition in the recipe. If powdered palm sugar is not available, cane jaggery syrup, palm jaggery syrup or unrefined cane sugar which is ‘Naattu Sarkkarai’ in Tamil can be used.
Pottukkadalai is Roasted Channa, also called Chutney Dhal in the northern part of India. It gets this name as it is directly used to make chutneys/dips without the burden of frying/roasting the lentil at home. It is had as a simple teatime nibbler too in Tamilnadu. Combined with pieces of coconut and jaggery it can be a healthy munch suitable to curb hunger between meals.
- They are naturally fat-free, saturated fat-free, and sodium-free. Roasted chana helps lower your risk of heart disease and may reduce your risk of colon cancer.
- They help to keep blood sugar low as the carbohydrate present in them takes longer time to digest and hence it has a low GI which makes them a suitable snack for diabetics.
- Use them to add a protein boost to meals without introducing meat or unnecessary fat to the dish.
- Roasted chana contain 6 grams of dietary fiber, or 22 percent of the recommended daily requirement of 28 grams. Dietary fiber encourages regular bowel movements, prevents constipation and lessens the risk of heart disease.
- They are also a good source of calcium, potassium and magnesium.http://www.tarladalal.com/glossary-roasted-chana-1800i
Here are a few nutritional facts of groundnuts or peanuts-
- They are actually legumes but carry almost all the qualities of other popular edible kernels such as pistachio, almonds, etc.
- They compose sufficient levels of mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), especially oleic acid. MUFA helps lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL or “good cholesterol” level in the blood
- The kernels are an excellent source of vitamin E (a-tocopherol);
- The nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. 100 g of peanuts provide about 85% of RDI of niacin, which contribute to brain health and blood flow to brain.
- The nuts are rich source of minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
- Just a handful of peanuts per day provides enough recommended levels of phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins, and protein.
Pottukkadalai-Nilakkadalai Urundai/Roasted Channa-Peanut Laddu/Sweet Balls
Ingredients (makes appr. 20-22 urundais)
- pottukkadalai/roasted channa – 1 1/2 cup
- nilakkadalai/peanut – 1 1/2 cup
- palm sugar (powder) – 1 1/2 cup
- elakkai/cardamom powder – 1 tsp
- chukku podi/dry ginger powder – 1 tsp
- nei/clarified butter – appr. 1/4 cup
Method of Preparation
- Dry roast- roasted channa and powder it in a blender
- Dry roast peanuts, remove skin and powder it in a blender
- Take a wide bowl and place all the dry powders – channa powder, peanut powder, palm sugar powder, cardamom powder and dry ginger powder and mix well
- Heat clarified butter in a small pan and pour on top of the powder mix.
- Make lemon sized balls and they are ready to enjoy.
- Be mindful of the roasted channa. Normal raw bengal gram is not the one to be used here. Go for the roasted gram available in south-indian groceries.
- Palm sugar can be substituted with ‘Naatu Sarkkarai’ which is unrefined cane sugar, easily available in local stores in tamilnadu.
- Another substitute can be jaggery syrup or palm jaggery syrup. In that case, usage of clarified butter can be reduced as the syrups act as binding agents themselves. A little touch of ghee should be enough.