Gudi Padwa Special- Sugar free Shrikhand with apple and dry fruit, a healthy treat!
Gudi or Gudhi Padva is a spring-time festival that marks the traditional New Year according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar. It is the first day of the month of Chaitra.
This holiday is celebrated by many other names in different states of India and is called Gudi Padhwa in the state of Maharashtra. Offices and schools are closed and people celebrate by cleaning and decorating entrances to their homes with ‘torans’ -garlands made of marigold flowers and mango leaves, and by erecting gudis. Gudi is a special flag made for the day and hoisted outside the house on top of a bamboo pole. The gudi is made with festive silk cloth, neem and mango leaves, a garland made of sugary disks and topped with a kalash, which is an upturned copper pot.
The bitter neem leaves are good for health and along with the sweet sugar garland, it symbolizes that life is bittersweet but we overcome the hardships and emerge victorious. The gudi symbolizes victory, as it did for Lord Ram and for King Shalivahan and is also called Brahmadhwaj – Lord Brahma’s flag. It is believed that Lord Brahma created the universe on this day.
The traditional sweet in Maharashtra is the Shrikhand which is offered to God and then shared with family and friends. I am thankful that so many of you have written to say that how much you liked the Kesar Pista Shrikhand in 30 minutes.
This year, I decided to make a sugar free, Apple Honey Walnut Shrikhand. Combined and layered with fresh and dry fruit and sweetened with honey, this is truly a healthy treat. I like the crispy crunchy texture of the apple juxtaposed with the silky smooth Shrikhand. You may add other fruit as well.
Here is the recipe-
Honey Nut Shrikhand with Apple
- ¾ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt or 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt, drained well as shown here
- 2 teaspoons honey or to taste
- ¾ teaspoon green cardamom seed powder
- 1 pinch of saffron threads, warmed and crushed
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- ½ apple diced fine
- For topping-mango chunks, chopped walnuts, pistachios and cherry.
To make the Honey Nut Shrikhand with Apple-
- Mix together the drained yogurt, honey, cardamom seed powder and the crushed saffron threads. Stir in the chopped walnuts saving a couple of pieces for topping. Set aside. You can serve the Shrikhand right away but it tastes even better after it is refrigerated for a few hours.
- Layer the Shrikhand and diced apple in a serving bowl, top with mango cubes, the saved walnut pieces, pistachios and top with a cherry.
Happy Gudi Padwa all! Happy New Year!