**Shilpa Bhide teaches English and modak-making with equal ease in Pune. A true Sugran, her technique-driven recipes are very popular on Angat Pangat.**
I had known the symptoms of diabetes, since I was 10 years old. My dad was a Type-1 diabetic with highly fluctuating blood sugar and I remember watching him give himself insulin shots early morning and before meals. Like all kids, I dreaded shots. I told him I could never do that. “Yes you could,” he said most gently, “if you had to.”
I couldn’t comprehend what he meant until a few years later, when I was diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus and believe me, it was very devastating. Being suddenly dumped with a chronic, never-ending, incurable condition that affects every aspect of your life was a bit of a bind and I found it quite difficult living with it day in, day out forever.
I did a lot of research on the disease. Read articles, blogs and every write up that spoke about diabetes. I soon realised that “awareness, acceptance and management of diabetes” can be extremely challenging but of pivot importance in order to lead a healthy life.
During my research, I came across an interesting perspective by a Spanish psychology counselor, who rehabilitates patients with chronic diseases. He asked his patients, “Can you have a pet tiger? Sure. So long as you feed it well, groom it, and never turn your back on it, you can co-exist with a tiger in your living room. But if you neglect the tiger, starve it, and turn your back on it, the tiger will pounce on you and tear you to shreds. Diabetes is the tiger. Feed it right. Take care of it right. And the two of you will live just fine together.”
A dietician prescribed a low GI (glycemic index) diet, which is high in slow releasing carbohydrate foods. I was told not to look at it as a ‘diet’, but a “lifestyle.” It’s not something you do to lose weight and then go with your regular lifestyle. There are more myths than facts we believe in when it concerns a diabetes-friendly diet. One has to do a lot of trial-n-error with foods before adopting them in their regular diet. “Salads, legumes and most fruits are good. A high protein and low-carb diet does a lot of magic! Refined sugars are a complete no-no. Fad diets are the other threats a diabetic should stay away from….” Irrespective of so much having been written and spoken, we tend to binge. It’s very challenging to stay off sweets, especially for a person having a sweet tooth! The initial determination fades away slowly and one struggles to stay in the game. It gets worse during festivals, when the whole world around you is enjoying sweets and you are the only one feeling cursed.
People end up saying, “I don’t care,” “I can’t take this anymore,” “ A little sugar is fine, sometimes,” “I live to eat, not eat to live,” and other such things to justify themselves. Being through this unfair experience motivated me to use my research on food to create some sweets that diabetics can eat “guilt free”
These are our traditional recipes with a variation to suit a diabetic diet. Do try making them and enjoy Diwali guilt free!
- 1 cup ragi flour,
- 1 cup oats (dry roasted and coarsely ground),
- 1 cup gram flour,
- 1 cup dry dates (khareek) powder,
- 2 cups trail mix ( almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts, walnuts – all coarsely grounded)
- ½ cup jaggery,
- ½ cup dry coconut ( dry roasted and coarsely powdered)
- 2tbsp poppy seeds (dry roasted.)
- 2tbsp cardamom
- ½ cup pure ghee
Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee and roast ragi flour and gram flour. Add oats, poppy seeds, dry coconut and date powder and roast till it leaves a mild aroma. Add the trail mix powder and cardamom powder. Mix jaggery to the hot mixture and the left over ghee. Roll the laddoos when the mixture cools.
Note: Since this recipe contains nuts, it falls easily on the richer side of the sweets spectrum, so indulge in it in small portions and only one a day to satisfy your sweet tooth. Dates are naturally sweet and full of nutrients. Although not allowed in large quantities for diabetics, it is any day a better option compared to other sugar-laden sweets. Poppy seeds and nuts are rich in protein, calcium etc. And therefore, there is a good dose of nutrients too in store.
For the covering-
- 2 cups fine rava
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 2tbsp pure ghee
- Pinch of salt.
- 1cup luke warm milk
For the filling:
- 2 cups khava (dry roast till light golden)
- 2 teaspoons rava ( fine)
- 1 cup Dry dates fine powder
- Sugar free, Natura – as per taste.
- 2 teaspoons cardamom powder
- 2 teaspoons dry coconut and poppy seed mixture (fine powder)
Heat ghee and add to the rava and wheat flour. add salt .Make a soft dough using luke warm milk and set aside for 1hour. Knead into a soft dough.
Mix all the ingredients mentioned in the filling. Make small pedhas and set aside. Make puris from the dough and stuff the pedhas. Roll the satoris. Roast them till very light golden. Let them cool. Later shallow fry in pure ghee. Serve hot or cold.