There are few things that compare to gorging during festivals. Now, what if we told you that you could eat more but pack in fewer calories? Neha Malude has a few suggestions.

 Deep-fried snacks, sugar-soaked mithai and a constant stream of guests makes keeping a tab on how much you eat almost impossible during festivals. All the festivities are usually followed by a strenuous detox week. This year, we show you how to make Holi healthier and keep that calorie intake in check.

Dahi vada

You’re probably wondering: ‘Healthy dahi vada? You mean the vada that is Dahi-Bhalladeep fried?’ True, the vada is deep-fried. But it’s made with lentils, cumin, ginger and cilantro and topped off with thick yoghurt – all of which is good for you.

Bake and shallow fry the vadas smaller and use plenty of low fat yoghurt. This way you have a snack that not only takes care of hunger pangs after that long day of playing Holi but also cools you down.

Gajar ka halwa

carrothalwaGajar ka halwa has the potential to be rich, and extremely decadent. With plenty of ghee, milk and dry fruits, this one usually heads straight from mouth to hips. But tweak the recipe a bit and you have a much healthier alternative. Go easy on the ghee or use unsalted butter, use low fat or skimmed milk instead of cream and more raisins than cashew nuts.

Puran Polipuranpoli

This humble roti made in Maharashtra originally calls for a large tablespoon of ghee smack dab in the center of it. Skip it entirely and the poli is lighter instantly. Stuffed with a mixture of roasted channa dal and jaggery (already a great alternative for refined sugar) and roasted like a chapatti, it’s usually served with milk or a spicy, tangy dal. However you enjoy this treat, it’s a great snack and can even double up as dessert.

Matthri and Gujia

GujiaA Holi snack-list is incomplete without savoury snacks. Try using whole-wheat flour instead of maida (refined wheat flour) for matthri. Instead of frying, try baking them first – this cooks them halfway or a bit more – and to get that flaky, crispy finish shallow fry them.

So, choose to make your Holi sweets and savoury snacks healthier this year and your waistline will thank you later. Happy Holi!