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Masala recommends healthy alternatives for Indian sweets and mithai that you can enjoy this festive season

by Ashima

How to stop that rapidly expanding waistline before any aunties comment on it.

By Ashima Sethi

I think we can all agree that one of the best parts about festive season are the boxes o f sweets that just begin magically piling up on your dining room table. From barfi and laddoo to jalebi (my personal favourite) and everything in-between, it seems like the gift we Indians love to give most, is the present of ensuring our loved ones will have to sign up for a gym membership as part of their New Year’s resolutions. Thanks to all the sugar, syrup and ghee, Indian sweets are SWEET with a capital S, but what if I told you there were healthy alternatives you could enjoy? Check it out:


One of the city’s go-to spots for delicious, regional vegetarian Indian fare, another one of Saras’ specialities is their fresh sweet treats under their Mi-Thai brand. Available for order via their website and their food delivery partner Foodpanda, Saras often has special mithai items for each annual celebration, whether it’s Ganesh Chaturthi or Diwali, so make sure to keep tabs on their page as they introduce more options to customers with various dietary restrictions.


This social media-based store offers a variety of different mithai for every celebration including Raksha Bhandan, Vaisakhi, and more. Browse through their goods via Instagram or Facebook to check out their tempting range that includes modaks, chenna, and more, as well as set boxes. One of the benefits of this store being community-owned is that you can consult them about which sweet treat would best fit your festivities!


If you’re looking to go the savoury route and skip sweet treats all together, Desi Munching offers a variety of moreish snacks, primarily premium grade dry nuts and fruits. From almonds and cashews to pistachios, walnuts, pine nuts and more, you can select the amounts you want to order via their social platform. Moreover, they also offer simple and affordable festive boxes comprising of a selection of their snacks.


Maem’s Kitchen specialises in premium eggless cookies available in a variety of flavours including cheesecake, cashew, brownie, chocolate chip, and multigrain. Some of these options are also cooked without flour or butter, so they offer a healthier alternative than the usual cookie offerings we’re all accustomed to. Furthermore, during celebrations like rakhi, they offer affordable boxes and sets you can gift to your loved ones.


Renu Cooks Clean is best known for their snacks made from natural ingredients, specifically their energy bites that are available in a wide-range of flavours including some that are vegan-friendly. These bites feature ingredients like cocoa, coconut, cashews, pistachios, all of which add some fun texture and boast several health benefits so you can binge guilt-free. Get in touch with them if you require gift boxes for any occasion.


Specialising in healthy bites, this is a good option for those who have dietary restrictions and prefer sweet options that are vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar free, and more. Some of the things they offer include the Coco-walnut sprinkle, a chewy bite packed with fresh dates, coconut, walnuts and almonds, as well as the Tropical retreat, vegan nutribites made with dates, cranberries, goji berries, and various nuts. Purchase one of their gift boxes for a mix of their best sellers!


Another a great option if you’re looking for an assortment of mithai this festive season, Gulabo have several Indian sweets on the menu that they make fresh, including their signature gulab jamuns and coffee jamuns, Besan mava barfi made with no refined sugar, Gajrella barfi, and more! They also have mixed, assorted options so you can gift someone a little bit of everything.


Dates and Nut Ladoo by Chef Kamlesh Rawat

An indispensable part of any festivity, check out this recipe for healthy, sugar-free, tasty ladoos made from just three ingredients!


  • 20 large dates (pitted)
  • 1/4 cup of mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, and peanuts)
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut (optional)


  1. Dry roast the nuts for a few minutes on a stove top, stir in between twice, and then set aside to cool
  2. Add dates to a pan, and warm them until they turn soft
  3. Add in desiccated coconut if you would like to
  4. Knead or blend dates and then set them aside
  5. Add nuts to a blender and pulse them coarsely or chop them into pieces
  6. Mix the dates and nuts together or blend them together
  7. Take a scoop of the mixture and roll them into balls
  8. Roll them in the desiccated coconut for a final garnish

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