Celebrating Janmashtami: Embracing the Divine Sweetness

Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna, is one of the most joyous festivals in India โ€“ a time to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna who is not only a symbol of love, compassion, and wisdom but also a symbol of harmony between humans, nature, and animals.

ย The picture of Lord Krishna playing his flute in a lush green field surrounded by his loving cows is etched indelibly into India's cultural ethos.

ย Celebrating Janmashtami with all things natural and wholesome not only honours the tradition of Lord Krishna but also reflects our commitment to organic living and sustainable practices.

ย One of the memorable traditions of Janmashtami is the delectable spread of dishes that are lovingly prepared and offered to Lord Krishna by his devotees.

ย As we prepare delicious foods to celebrate his birth, let us take a moment to remember that the purity and authenticity of the ingredients we use have a great impact on our health and that of the planet.

ย For example, Cow's Ghee, often referred to as "liquid gold," is considered a divine elixir for association with Lord Krishna and has been a staple in Indian households for centuries. A vital ingredient in various medicinal preparations in Ayurveda., its health benefits include helping digestion and assimilation of food, boosting strength, enhancing skin health and lubricating bones and joints to maintain flexibility.

ย But very often the conventional Ghee we buy in the market is contaminated with pesticide residue.

ย Organic India's Cow's Ghee is made from the organic milk of cows raised on organic farms with love and compassion. Our ghee is free from chemical pesticides and hormones, ensuring wholesome goodness in every bottle. A naturally rich source of fat-soluble nutrients and healthy fatty acids, our Cowโ€™s Ghee is heat stable & perfect to use for cooking at high temperatures.

ย When we talk about a feast, how can we forget our favourite Indian mithai or desserts?

ย From kheer to basundi to halwa to laddus to rasgullas and gulab jamuns, India boasts one of the largest varieties of desserts.

ย But loaded with processed sugar, these desserts can hurt our health increasing our risk of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, fatty liver and heart disease.

ย Wholesome alternatives like Cane Jaggery and Palm jaggery not only have a lower glycaemic index than white sugar but also contain vitamins and minerals, vital for good health. However, itโ€™s important to ensure that the natural sweeteners we buy are organic and not processed with chemicals to ensure their authentic flavour and health benefits.ย 

For example, Organic India's Jaggery is free from harmful chemicals, making it a healthier alternative to conventional jaggery. Moreover, It retains all the natural minerals and nutrients, such as iron, calcium, and magnesium, which are often lost during the refining process of regular sugar. It helps digestion, boosts immunity, and provides a steady release of energy, making it an excellent choice for athletes and those leading an active lifestyle.

ย Also being devoid of chemicals, Organic India jaggeryโ€™s authentic rich flavour enhances the taste of various dishes. Whether it's sweetening your tea, making traditional sweets like laddoos or payasam, or even sprinkling some over your favourite dessert, the organic jaggery from Organic India adds a delightful, caramel-like sweetness.

With all this talk about desserts, it's only fair we talk some moreโ€ฆ

So this Janmashtami, we are showcasing some of the best-loved simple, traditional healthy desserts of India, prepared with whole organic ingredients to celebrate both this joyous festival and our health and wellbeing. ย ย 

  1. Jaggery Rotiย 

Jaggery roti, also known as gud roti or gur ki roti, is a delicious Indian flatbread made with jaggery and whole wheat flour. It's a sweet and wholesome treat that is perfect for breakfast or as a snack. Here's a simple recipe for making jaggery roti:

ย Ingredients:ย 

For the dough:ย 

1 cup whole wheat flour (atta)

1/4 cup Organic India Jaggery (grated or powdered)

1/4 cup water (adjust as needed)

A pinch of salt

Organic India Ghee for cooking

Dry flour for dustingย 

Instructions:ย 

  • In a small saucepan, add the jaggery and water.
  • Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring continuously until the jaggery completely dissolves and forms a syrup. This should take a few minutes. Once done, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly.
  • In a mixing bowl, take the whole wheat flour and a pinch of salt.
  • Gradually add the jaggery syrup to the flour. Start with a small amount and mix it in.
  • Knead the mixture into a soft and smooth dough. You may need to adjust the water or flour to achieve the right consistency. The dough should be slightly sticky due to the jaggery but manageable.
  • Divide the dough into small, equal-sized portions and roll them into smooth balls.
  • Take one dough ball and flatten it slightly with your palms.
  • Dust it with dry flour and roll it out into a thin circle or roti. Keep the roti on the thinner side as it will cook more evenly.
  • Heat a tawa or griddle over medium heat. Once hot, place the rolled roti on it.
  • Cook the roti on one side until small bubbles start to form on the surface. It should take about 1-2 minutes.
  • Flip the roti and cook the other side. While cooking this side, apply a little ghee or oil on the surface. Press gently with a spatula to ensure it cooks evenly.
  • Cook until both sides are golden brown, and the roti puffs up slightly
  • Remove the jaggery roti from the griddle and place it on a plate.
  • Serve it hot with a dollop of ghee or eat it as is.ย 

Jaggery roti is best enjoyed fresh and warm. You can serve it with yoghurt, pickle, or any other side of your choice. It's a sweet and nutritious treat that's perfect for satisfying your sweet cravings while also being a wholesome meal.

  1. Makhana Paag

Makhana Paag also known as Makhana Chikki or Foxnut Brittle, is a sweet and crunchy Indian snack made with makhana (foxnuts or lotus seeds) and jaggery. It's a delicious treat that's perfect for festivals or as a healthy snack. Here's a simple recipe for making Makhana Paag:

Ingredients:

2 cups makhana (foxnuts or lotus seeds)

1 cup grated Organic India Jaggery (you can adjust the quantity based on your sweetness preference)

2-3 tablespoons Organic India Cowโ€™s Ghee

1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

A pinch of salt (optional)

Instructions:

  • Heat a heavy-bottomed pan or kadai over medium heat and add the makhana.
  • Dry roast the makhana, stirring continuously, until they become crisp and light brown. This should take about 7-10 minutes. You can test the readiness by taking one makhana and breaking it; it should snap easily. Remove the roasted makhana from the pan and set them aside.
  • In the same pan, add the grated jaggery and a little water (about 2-3 tablespoons) to help melt the jaggery.
  • Heat the jaggery over low to medium heat, stirring continuously until it melts and forms a syrup. This should take a few minutes.
  • You can check the consistency of the syrup by dropping a small amount into a bowl of water. It should form a hard, brittle ball. Be cautious not to overcook the syrup to prevent it from becoming too hard.
  • Once the jaggery syrup is ready, add cardamom powder and a pinch of salt (if using). Stir to combine.
  • Quickly add the roasted makhana to the jaggery syrup.
  • Mix everything thoroughly to coat the makhana evenly with the syrup.
  • Grease a clean, flat surface or a tray with ghee to prevent sticking.
  • Transfer the makhana and jaggery mixture onto the greased surface.
  • Flatten it with a greased rolling pin or use your hands to shape it into a thin, even layer while it's still warm. You can use a greased rolling pin to roll it out evenly.
  • Allow the Makhana Paag to cool completely at room temperature. As it cools, it will harden.
  • Once completely cool and firm, break the Makhana Paag into small pieces or cut it into desired shapes using a sharp knife.
  • Store the Makhana Paag in an airtight container. It can be stored at room temperature for several days.

Enjoy the sweet and crunchy Makhana Paag as a delightful snack or dessert. It's a healthy alternative to traditional chikkis made with nuts and sugar.

  1. Pasi Paruppu Payasย 

Pasi Paruppu Payasam, also known as Moong Dal Payasam or Green Gram Payasam, is a delicious South Indian dessert made from moong dal (split green gram), jaggery (unrefined cane sugar), coconut milk, and flavoured with cardamom and ghee. It's often served during festivals and special occasions. Here's a simple recipe to make Pasi Paruppu Payasam:

ย Ingredients:ย 

1/2 cup Organic India Moong Dal Split

1 cup Organic India Jaggery (adjust to your desired sweetness)

1/2 cup thick coconut milk

1/2 cup thin coconut milk (or regular milk)

2 tablespoons Organic India Cowโ€™s Ghee (clarified butter)

1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

A pinch of salt

A few cashews and raisins for garnish (optional)ย 

Instructions:ย 

  • Rinse and Soak the Moong Dal
  • Rinse the moong dal thoroughly in cold water and then soak it in water for about 15-20 minutes. This helps soften the dal and reduces cooking time.
  • Drain the soaked moong dal and add it to a pressure cooker or a saucepan.
  • Add enough water to cover the dal and a pinch of salt.
  • Pressure cook the dal for 2-3 whistles or until it's soft and well-cooked. If using a saucepan, simmer the dal until it's soft and cooked through. Drain any excess water and set the cooked dal aside.
  • In a separate pan, add the grated jaggery along with a little water (2-3 tablespoons) and heat it over low to medium heat.
  • Stir continuously until the jaggery completely dissolves and forms a syrup. This should take a few minutes. Once done, remove it from the heat and strain to remove any impurities if needed.
  • Add the cooked moong dal to the jaggery syrup and mix well. Place the mixture back on low heat and simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavours to meld together.
  • Pour in the thin coconut milk (or regular milk) and stir well. Let it simmer for a few more minutes.
  • Add cardamom powder to the payasam and mix it in for a lovely aroma and flavour.
  • Finally, add the thick coconut milk and stir well. Be careful not to boil the payasam once the thick coconut milk is added, as it can curdle.
  • In a small pan, heat the ghee and lightly fry the cashews and raisins until they turn golden brown.
  • Pour the ghee-roasted cashews and raisins over the Pasi Paruppu Payasam.
  • You can serve Pasi Paruppu Payasam warm or chilled, depending on your preference. It's delicious either way.ย 

Enjoy your homemade Pasi Paruppu Payasam as a delightful and comforting South Indian dessert with the creamy goodness of protein-rich moong dal, jaggery, and coconut milk.ย 

This Janmashtami, let us celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna with a renewed commitment to organic living, mindful consumption, and sustainable choices. By choosing organic products, we not only enhance the flavours of our celebrations but also pay homage to the divine by embracing the purest gifts of nature. Happy Janmashtami!

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