Sugar-free Janmashtami recipes: Paneer kheer to sattu laddoo, 5 delicious sweets - Hindustan Times

Sugar-free Janmashtami recipes: Paneer kheer to sattu laddoo, 5 diabetes-friendly sweets

By, New Delhi
Sep 13, 2023 03:30 PM IST

People who have diabetes and want to restrict their sugar intake can prepare these 4 diabetes-friendly recipes to include in Lord Krishna's bhog.

Janmashtami, the festival that commemorates birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervour across India. From Mathura-Vrindavan's grand celebrations that start 10 days prior to the festival, to Rajasthan's Phoolon Ki Holi; from Maharashtra's Dahi Handi to West Bengal's Nanda Utsav, there are many colours and flavours of Janmashtami celebrations in India. Many people keep a day-long ‘nirjala’ fast on Janmashtami. Apart from this, the festival is also known for its grand spread which has 56 bhog items that are prepared and offered to Lord Krishna. Janmashtami special food comprises of rice, dal, seasonal vegetables, ghevar, malpua, pickles, cow ghee, peda, makhanas, butter, jalebi among many other delicacies. (Also read: Janmashtami 2023: What makes the celebrations of Lord Krishna's birth in Mathura and Vrindavan so special? Find out)

People who have diabetes and want to restrict their sugar intake can prepare these 4 diabetes-friendly recipes to include in Lord Krishna's bhog.(Pinterest)
People who have diabetes and want to restrict their sugar intake can prepare these 4 diabetes-friendly recipes to include in Lord Krishna's bhog.(Pinterest)

People who have diabetes and want to restrict their sugar intake can prepare these 4 diabetes-friendly recipes to include in Lord Krishna's bhog.

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"Janmashtami is a Hindu festival celebrated with great enthusiasm, especially in India, to mark the birth of Lord Krishna. Sweets and other delicious dishes are an integral part of the celebration. If you or someone you know is diabetic and would like to enjoy diabetic-friendly sweets during Janmashtami, here are some ideas," says Sukanya Poojary, Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bangalore, Malleshwaram.

Here are sugar-free dessert recipes suggested by Sukanya Poojary:

1. Sattu laddoos


1 cup sattu

1/2 cup dates paste (use only if the blood sugar is in normal range, or replace with stevia)

2-3 tablespoons ghee

1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder

A pinch of salt

Chopped nuts for garnishing


  • Roast the sattu: Heat a pan or kadai on low-medium heat. Add sattu and dry roast it for about 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Roasting sattu enhances its flavour.
  • In a separate pan, add the paste of dates with 2-3 tablespoons of water. Heat it on low-medium heat until the dates melts.
  • Combine sattu and dates paste. Add a pinch of salt and cardamom powder for flavour, if desired. Mix everything well. Use a spoon to initially combine the ingredients.
  • Add ghee: Gradually add ghee while mixing until the mixture can be easily shaped into laddus. The ghee helps bind the mixture together.
  • Shape into laddoos: While the mixture is still warm but cool enough to handle, take a portion of it and shape it into round laddus.
  • Garnish: You can press chopped nuts onto the surface of each laddu while they are still warm.

2. Sugar-free Shrikhand


2 cups of Greek yogurt or hung curd

1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder

A pinch of saffron strands

Stevia powder as per taste

1 tablespoon of warm milk

Chopped nuts for garnish (almonds, pistachios)

A few strands of saffron for garnish


  • Prepare hung curd: Take regular yogurt, remove excess water by staining and make hung curd. Place a cloth or a clean kitchen towel over a strainer or sieve and set it over a bowl. Pour the yogurt into the cloth, gather the edges, and tie it into a bundle. Allow it to hang for 4-6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Soak saffron: Soak a pinch of saffron strands in 1 tablespoon of warm milk and set it aside.
  • Mix ingredients: In a mixing bowl, take the hung curd, stevia powder, cardamom powder, and the saffron-infused milk. Mix everything well until it's smooth and creamy.
  • Chill: Place the Shrikhand in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours.
  • Serve: Garnish with chopped nuts and a few saffron strands.

3. Paneer kheer


200 grams of paneer

2 cups of milk

1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder

A pinch of saffron strands

1 tablespoon chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios) for garnish


Prepare paneer: Grate or crumble the paneer and set it aside.

Heat milk: In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the milk over medium-low heat. Stir it continuously to prevent it from sticking to the bottom and simmer until it reduces slightly and thickens. This will take about 15-20 minutes.

Add paneer: Add the grated or crumbled paneer and stevia to the simmering milk. Stir well to combine.

Flavour with cardamom: Add cardamom powder and saffron strands to the kheer. Continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes.

Garnish: Turn off the heat and garnish the paneer kheer with chopped nuts.

Chill and serve: Allow the kheer to cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate it for a few hours before serving. Chilling enhances the flavours. Serve it cold as a sugar-free dessert.

4. Oats and dry fruit laddoo


1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup mixed dry fruits (such as almonds, cashews, pistachios, and raisins), finely chopped

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1/2 cup dates, pitted and chopped [Use only if the blood sugars are within normal range, or replace with stevia].

2-3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)

1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

2-3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (adjust to taste)


  • Dry roast oats: In a pan, dry roast the rolled oats until they become fragrant and slightly golden. Remove them from the heat and let them cool.
  • Mix with dried fruits: Combine the roasted oats with the chopped dried fruits (apricots, figs, raisins) and unsweetened shredded coconut in a bowl.
  • Add ghee: Add a small amount of ghee to the mixture. This will help bind the ingredients together. Start with a tablespoon of ghee and add more if needed.
  • Form laddoos: Take small portions of the mixture and press them firmly between your palms to shape them into laddoos. If the mixture isn't sticking together well, you can add a bit more ghee.

5. Panjiri


1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup ghee

1/2 cup chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios)

1/4 cup stevia

1/4 cup grated coconut

1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder

A pinch of saffron strands

Raisins for garnish


  • Dry roast whole wheat flour: Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over low-medium heat and add the whole wheat flour. Dry roast it, stirring continuously, until it turns golden brown and you can smell a nutty aroma. This will take about 10-12 minutes. Remove the roasted flour from the pan and set it aside to cool.
  • In the same pan, melt the ghee over low heat. Add the chopped nuts and sauté until they become lightly golden.
  • Reduce the heat to the low flame, and add stevia to the ghee-nut mixture. Stir continuously until the stevia powder melts and combines with the ghee.
  • Add the roasted whole wheat flour to the ghee and stevia mixture. Mix well until everything is combined.
  • Stir in the cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, saffron strands and grated coconut.
  • Allow the mixture to cool down to a temperature where you can handle it comfortably with your hands. While it's still warm, shape it into laddus or store it as a loose mixture.
  • Garnish (optional): If you like, you can garnish each laddoo with a raisin on top.

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