Hello, Foodies and Buddies!
We have this awesome Beetroot Apple Halwa by Chef Sakshi Garg as our Dish of the Week and what an amazing dish it is. Before we dive into this delectable Indian sweet, here are some words from Chef Sakshi:
“Eat, drink, going to the office, taking care of my family, cooking at home, sleep, repeat.
More or less, this was my routine for a long time. After finishing my engineering, I started working for an IT company. Frankly, I very rarely cooked till I got married. Post that, I started enjoying it. Making new dishes and surprising my dear husband was like my next hobby. With years to pass, work started keeping me busy and after my son, I had to stay away from kitchen for a while.
Slowly after my son started crawling, I found myself back into the kitchen. FoodyBuddy has come with a positive flow of energy into my life. Yes, it eats up almost all of my free time but the positive responses from the foodies gives me the motivation to keep pushing myself.
Often, there are days when I think of taking a break but then could not resist myself from posting again. There were a few particular instances when I thought I would completely stop posting. But my friends, neighbours, and most importantly my family motivated me to keep going.”
And, we are all very happy that you keep posting on our platform so regularly, ma’am 🙂
So, coming now to this amazing dish of Chef Sakshi’s, we asked her what the dish was exactly.
She replied, “‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away,’ we grew up hearing this. Add a balanced proportion of Beetroot, Watermelon seeds, Jaggery and Coconut to it and we get a “Health Booster” disguised in the form of a dessert. It is delicious and versatile and fits well into a healthy and balanced diet.
Small insights into the benefits of the ingredients:
Beetroot: helps maintain healthy weight, is a good source of folate and minerals, manages blood pressure, gives glowing skin, detox naturally, boosts energy and stamina, helps digestion, etc
Apple: good for weight loss, good for the heart, lowers risk of diabetes, may prevent cancer, etc
Watermelon seeds: essential nutrients like zinc, Vitamin B, a good source of healthy fats and proteins, etc
Jaggery: detox, anti-oxidants and minerals like zinc and selenium which help prevent free radicals responsible for early ageing.
The list can go on and on as the benefits of all the ingredients in the dish are extensive.”
Thank you for such a detailed explanation, ma’am!
This dish clearly means a lot for Chef Sakshi so we asked her if it held any special significance to her and she answered, “My son relishes it since he was 9 months old. A taste he must have inherited from my father who also loves it. Needless to say, this is one of those “guilt free” dishes which are enjoyed by all the generations.”
Is it one of Chef Sakshi’s favourite dishes as well?
“Being a health enthusiast, I rarely have desserts. But, this one I can have any day and any number of times. Hence, a big favourite when it comes to my not so sweet tooth,” she said with a smile.
So, how did Chef Sakshi learn to make such a tasty and healthy dessert?
“This is a dish I learnt from my dearest mommy (Vinita Garg). She always tells me, the main ingredient in any dish is the love and compassion we put while preparing it. Maybe I got it naturally from her, and when I made it for the first time, it even surprised her. I still remember that day. Someone in the family had wished for “Carrot Halwa”. In the absence of a perfect seasonal carrot, this dish struck my mind.
“I was under pressure, as it was to be served to 4 generations at the same time. To many, I didn’t even reveal that it was beetroot. Finally, it came out nicely and everybody just loved it. But for me, mom’s expressions were like a report card and thankfully, I passed with flying colours.”
Wow, what a great story about the origins of this superb dish 🙂
Chef Sakshi was even kind enough to provide us with a full recipe for the dish!
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes
Level of Cooking: Medium
Ingredients for Beetroot and Apple Halwa Recipe
o Beetroots boiled and grated 1½- 2 cups
o Red apples 1 medium
o Ghee 1/4 cup
o Chironji 1/4 cup
o Melon seeds (magaz) 1/4 cup
o Jaggery (gur) grated 1 cup
o Khoya/mawa 1 cup (Optional)
o Scraped coconut fresh 1/4 cup (Desiccated coconut)
o Green cardamom powder 1 teaspoon
o Dry fruits powder (Optional)
o Raisins (Optional)
Heat some ghee in a non-stick pan. Add chironji, raisins and melon seeds and sauté for a minute. Add lightly boiled grated beetroots, mix and cook for a minute. Grate in apple, mix and cook till moisture evaporates.
Note: – Please follow any one of (a) or (b) in Step 2.
Step 2 (a) – If using Khoya
Add jaggery, mix and cook till it melts and thickens. Add khoya and coconut, mix and cook till it cooks completely.
Step 2 (b) – If using Milk
Add milk, mix and cook till it thickens completely. Then, add coconut, Jaggery/sugar/ sugar-free till ghee starts separating
Switch off heat, add cardamom and dry fruits powder, and mix well.
In case you were wondering if there were any challenges in cooking this dish, we asked Chef Sakshi the same question and she replied, “There is a balance which needs to be adjusted accordingly which highly depends on the natural taste of the available beetroot and apple. Also, the main challenge is to disguise beetroot, so that kids don’t reject it just by hearing the name. Sometimes, I get requests from diabetic foodies, for them, I replace Jaggery with Sugar-free to make it possible for them to enjoy it.”
Being such a celebrated chef on FoodyBuddy, we asked Chef Sakshi if there were any other dishes she was looking to make famous on FoodyBuddy.
“Well, I can’t think of a specific dish because I feel every dish that comes out of my kitchen should be healthy. I plan to prepare all the little unhealthy dishes with my Healthy tadka into it without compromising the authentic taste. The list will cover a variety of dishes, especially, desserts like Shahi tukda, everyone’s favourite snacks like Samosa, Bread rolls, various Kababs, all kinds of Tikkas, Chinese items like Chilli Gobhi, Veg Manchurian balls. This list will increase with time as I like to surprise myself by attempting new dishes often.”
We can’t wait, ma’am 🙂
And finally, we asked Chef Sakshi if she had any closing words and she said, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank FoodyBuddy. We now have this beautiful platform where not only we share food, but share cultures across. I take utmost care and precaution to ensure that the foodies must get the cleanest, healthiest and hygienic food exactly the way my family does. It gives me great pleasure when people like my dishes and write testimonials. Tags like #HealthQueen and #Chef4HealthyFood brings a smile to me even though I had had a hectic day at the office.”
Thank you so much for your kind words, ma’am and we appreciate you being such a committed member of our FoodyBuddy family 😀
FoodyBudy is always looking for unique dishes to be featured as a Dish of the Week. If you would like your dish to be featured, please do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org