This Diwali is all set to be extra sweet for all the vegans in our midst as the market is flooded with many vegan mithai options. As proof of growing popularity of the vegan way of life many traditional mithai brands have come up vegan options of traditional Indian sweets.
The growing popularity of plant-based eating has encouraged the best brands like Vijay Sweets, Haldirams, Meethi Kahani, Hari Prasad Mithai Wale among others to introduce lip smacking speciality vegan sweets for the festive season.
Why Vegan Mithai?
During Diwali, Mithai becomes a special treat for all of us. Mithai has a special place in every Indian household keeping the festivities alive with its sweetness, rich texture and taste. We have all grown up celebrating new beginnings with a variety of mithai, which is why we associate them with happy memories with friends and family. However, mithai is also associated with being high in calories and something that has to be consumed in limited portions, especially for the health-conscious.
Prashanth Vishwanath, Country Director Veganuary India, says, “It is a common assumption that a vegan diet has limited options and the festive season can turn out a real bummer for vegans. But the good news is – it’s fairly easy to switch to veganism and with a huge demand for vegan mithai, dynamic halwais are creating delicious desi sweets – without the desi ghee!”
Many of these mithais are super healthy filled with lots of nuts, seeds, plant-based milks, jaggery, raw sugar, vegan ghee and oodles of love for all.
Vegan Mithai Recipes For Diwali
Scroll down for the recipes of some of the mouth-watering vegan sweets you can try it out this festive season.
1. Vegan Gajar Ka Halwa
Gajar ka halwa is the most sought after Indian sweet especially in the winters when carrots are in abundance. Traditionally laden with clarified butter and evaporated and solidified milk, the vegan form of gajar ka halwa is easy to cook and tastes just as delicious that no one will notice the difference.
Soak 10-12 cashews and form a smooth paste with half a cup of water
Heat 1 Tablespoon Coconut oilin a pan and add ½ kg carrots (peeled and coarsely grated) followed by cooking on medium-high flame for 5-10 minutes with occasional stirring.
Add ½ cup sugar and mix well. Continue cooking on medium heat for some time.
Add the cashew paste and continue stirring for a couple of minutes.
Add the cardamom powder and garnish with roasted nuts.
2. Veganbadam Barfi
Vegan badam barfi is easy to prepare with less than 30 minutes of cooking time making it an ideal way to keep the festival sweetness fully intact. It is prepared using almond flour or ground almonds, sugar and a pinch of saffron (optional).
- Place 1 cup sugar to a non-stick pan. Add 1/2 cup water and dissolve the sugar completely.
- When the syrup is formed, use low flame and add 2 cups blanched almond flour and mix well to break lumps, if any.
- Continue stirring on medium heat. Once the mix thickens, add the cardamom and turmeric (for a yellow tint).
- Cook until the mix gets thick and begins to leave the sides of the pan
- Remove the mix and let it cool on a greased tray or a non-stick mat.
- With oily hands start kneading the mix while still warm until it becomes a soft and smooth dough.
- Roll dough to your desired thickness and cut in square or triangle pieces
- Garnish with almonds or your favorite nuts.
3. Vegan Gulab Jamun
Gulab jamun is a classic Indian delicacy of red-gold spheres of bliss perfumed with cardamom and dipped in a delectable sugar syrup widely available at any restaurant or a sweet shop round the corner. The vegan gulab jamuns are the dairy free version of this delicious sweet that are as enjoyable as the traditional ones.
For the gulab jamuns:
- 1 cup of non-dairy milk powder or fine ground almond powder
- 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- a pinch of baking soda
- 1 to 2 tbsp of soy custard/yogurt
- First place all dry ingredients in a bowl – almond powder, sugar, flour and baking soda
- Mix it with vegetable oil and slowly add soy yogurt until mix looks sticky.
- For sugar syrup,mix 2 cups water1 1/2 cups sugar, a pinch of saffron and3-4 cardamom crushed cardamom in a pan over heat.
- Keep stirring the syrup till sugar dissolves and the mix becomes slightly goopy. After this, add tsp rose water and turn off the heat.
- Roll the dough to prepare small, even balls and fry the gulab jamun in the oil.
- Once they turn golden brown, fish them out of the oil and soak them in sugar syrup for 1 to 2 hours before serving.
- Top it with almond slices, rose petals, or nuts of your choice.
4. Vegan Rasmalai
Rasmalai is by far one of the most iconic Indian desserts one could ever lay their hands on. Now imagine a completely plant-based treat of fluffy flavour balls floating around in a sea of sweetened milk topped with saffron and cardamom.The almond flour balls when soaked in the rabri are super delicious and every bite is pure bliss.
- For the rabri, take 3 cups of almond milk in a pot and bring it to boil. Add 7-8 tbsp of sugar, 3-4 strands of saffron and continue stirring to prevent burning. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool.
- For the fluffy balls, add 64.5 g of cashews, 1 tbsp. of corn starch, 1/6 tbsp. of ground cardamom and blend for 15 seconds. Check for any lumps and blend until it’s fine powder.
- To this powdered flour, add 56 Gms Almond Flour, a big pinch of salt,3 Tbsp Vegan Cream Cheese, 9.86 gms Vegan Butter or Oil and 1-2 tbsp sugar. Press and mix to make a dough out of the same.
- Bake the dough in shallow baking dish at 135° C for half an hour or until the mixture is completely dry on top and has lightened in colour. Allow it to cool andslice the cake into inch long squares and separate it out.
- Pour the entire rabri over this. Garnish with almonds, pistachios and rose petals and let the mixture chill for a few hours before serving.
This vegan rasmalai is proof that eating plant-based sweets does not mean missing out on your childhood favorites!
5. Vegan Coconut Laddu
Laddus are an integral part of every occasion and when made with the right ingredients, they are super healthy. They are super-easy and need just 4 basic ingredients, vegan coconut milk powder, desiccated coconut powder, natural peanut butter, and jaggery powder which makes them traditional and completely healthy.
- 2 cup Desiccated Coconut Powder
- 1 cup Vegan Coconut Milk Powder
- 3 tbsp Natural Peanut Butter
- 1 tbsp Dried Rose Petals (optional)
- Add ¼ cup water to 1 cup jaggery powder and mix well.
- Now add all the other ingredients to this mixture and mix well.
- Roll into small laddus and enjoy!
This festive season, craft a sweet story for all your new beginnings by choosing the kindest form of indulgence with vegan mithais – that don’t just taste good, but do good – for you, the animals and our planet.