Gudi Padva is a spring-time festival that marks the traditional new year for Marathi Hindus.

An important part of the festivities is the traditional and delicious food!

One thing Indians can’t do without, is food! and festival times, are occasions to celebrate, and diets are happily forgotten.

The traditional meal of shrikhand puri or basundi puri for Gudi Padwa is a must-have. “Through the year, we avoid this meal because everyone is health conscious. But on Gudi Padwa, we stop counting the calories.

Unfortunately, all Gudi Padwa food isn’t quite as delicious but is symbolic. A paste of jaggery, salt, crushed neem leaves, and mango juice, with a touch of pepper chili. This is consumed first thing in the morning on Gudi Padwa, before any other food. The neem is believed to purify the body and protect it against diseases. Hence we start the new year on a healthy note. Jaggery is indicative of sweetness, neem of bitterness, mango juice of sourness, pepper for spice and salt of saltiness. This is symbolic of the primary emotions-happiness, sadness, surprise, disgust, and anger-which must all be treated as similarly.

Basundi is a popular milk-based Indian dessert. Basundi though a simple dessert to cook is, but the goodness and flavor you get of that reduced milk is worth it. Here is a sugar-free basundi recipe which you can try.

Note: You can make a similar recipe using dates or apricots as well. Both being sweet can replace sugar.

Enjoy!

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