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Saying it Sweet for Diabetics


Saying it Sweet for Diabetics

Don’t let the diabetic in your home go without sweets this festive season!

It is the season of indulgence. For buying, gifting and eating. Diwali is synonymous with sweets. For a diabetic that sure doesn’t sound like music to their ears. So, what can you give to a family member, especially a child, who has diabetes? Should they look forlornly at everybody else hogging on sugar-laden sweetmeats? Not necessarily!

Today there is a wide choice of sweets that you can make with artificial sweeteners. Even dry fruits can be used to sweeten a mithai. You can use natural sweeteners like palm sugar and, at a pinch, even gur or jaggery. It’s not just diabetics; we all can do with less sugar in our sweets!

Here are some sweet suggestions!

  • Sooji halwa or rava kesari can easily be made with artificial sweeteners and so can besan ka laddoo and channa or unsweetened khoya based sweets.
  • Kheer and payasam can be made with sweeteners.
  • Try adding sweet potatoes which are perfectly good for diabetics. In fact, you can make mango/jackfruit shrikhand and the fruit will sweeten the dish adequately.
  • Figs -both fresh and dried – and raisins and blackcurrants add zing to a sweet dish and cuts down the amount of sugar used.
  • If you are making jackfruit payasam, keep aside a bowl for the diabetic and then add the gur or sugar for others. Blueberries and other berries—strawberry, raspberry, paneer or blue/purple grapes – makes a nice natural sweetener to a custard, payasam or sweetener. Add them to a milky rabadi or creamy dip for double ki mithai or paal poli!
  • Use one packet of sweetener –sucrose based—to substitute for 2 teaspoons of sugar.

Rabri/Rabadi—quick recipe


Milk (reduced to half)4 cups
Bread slices2
Sweetener like Splenda2 tablespoons
Cardamom/elaichi powder1/4 teaspoon
Saffron/kesar strands¼ teaspoon
Slivered cashew/almonds roasted in ghee1tablespoon
Ghee2 teaspoons


  1. Trim and discard the crusts of the bread slices.
  2. Make bread crumbs in a blender. Keep aside.
  3. Boil the milk in a thick bottomed wok and reduce to half.
  4. Lightly roast the bread crumbs in a spoon of ghee.
  5. Add the bread crumbs to the reduced milk and sweetener and cook on a medium flame. Stir continuously till thick.
  6. Remove from the stove, add the cardamom powder, saffron and mix thoroughly.
  7. Refrigerate and serve chilled.
  8. Add any fresh fruit puree to this basic rabri.
  9. Garnish with dry fruits.

Tasty Tip:

  • Add deep fried boondis or sooji/maida crisp pooris to this lovely milk base.
  • You can totally substitute a cup of boiled and mashed sweet potato instead of the bread. With a dash of almond powder, it becomes badam kheer!!
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Padmini Natarajan
Padmini Natarajan calls herself Dame Quixote for she is forever tilting at windmills! A storyteller, poet, columnist, blogger, editor and journalist, she has specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. She has worked for over 15 years as Part-time Language Editor and Writer of manuals, curriculum textbooks and other material with an E-education organization, EZVidya/Chrysalis that is aimed at empowering Teachers, Students and Parents. She taught Vedic Heritage at Kalavardini to children from the ages of 3 to 14 and written and directed skits and plays. She won the Gourmand Special Jury Award in Paris in 2009 as co-author of ‘Classic Tamil Brahmin Cuisine’. Her book of short stories - ‘Crossroads: Stories from South Indian Lives’ - has good reviews on Amazon. Padmini has been concerned with paying it forward with her involvement in organizations like Sneha, a suicide prevention NGO, Canstop, Cancer Support group and many women’s organizations. Her other passion was acting, on stage, TV and screen. She is a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff, a music maniac who listens to Golden Oldies and has a strong Facebook presence. Nowadays she is an armchair activist and world traveler from the safety of her home. Quite the hypochondriac, she is exploring spiritual enlightenment through Vedanta and loves to spout philosophical thoughts to unwary audiences.