Until 6 weeks ago, I was suffering from a serious delusion. I thought my life was perfect and that everything was just right whether it was my health, work, family, friends and so on. Delusion is dangerous. It makes you believe what is not true. It feels good to remain in that make-believe world but an intervention becomes necessary. Being a border -line diabetic came as a shock to me. It felt like I was living in a bubble, thinking I was healthy but that wasn’t true. I was pushed to take the test just because a doctor friend was shocked when I confessed about not able to recall when was the last time I got a health check up done. He literally forced me into and I am glad that he did. The result was not the one I preferred but atleast it was a wake up call which is important because only now I was in a position to do something about it.
When I first got to know that I was a border-line diabetic, I began to analyze why it happened? There could be several reasons –
- My irregular and sometimes extreme diet patterns leading to long hours of starvation or eating heavy meals together
- the stress levels which I was unable to control
Did I feel any symptoms that I ignored? Well, I felt an unnatural craving for sugar where one morning I woke up to have a big cup of milk with 4 tablespoons of Horlicks and plenty of extra sugar and still it felt like it wasn’t enough! I ate a chocolate every few hours and felt my energy crash several times in a day.
I started reading up on diabetes and asked my parents who have been diabetics for so many years for their guidance. Obviously, a lifestyle shift was in order and that is what I did. I started eating my meals more regularly. I tried to work out with discipline and started going for walks. I limited my sugar intake and replaced it with more natural sugars from fruits and dates. Ofcourse I have days where I end up eating more than that is necessary but I compensate it by eating light later. Skipping meals was the most difficult habit to overcome and I still struggle with it. But with the encouragement of my family and friends, I manage to stay disciplined.
This is my last dessert that I developed as a part of the 7 diabetes friendly recipes for Aster Medical Center. It has been absolutely wonderful doing this as it is so close to what I am going through in life. Thank you Aster Medical Center for this opportunity and for running this successful campaign called #AsterAgainstDiabetes. If you have been falling back, here’s your chance to know what Aster Medical Center has been doing this November on Facebook, Twitter , Instagram. You can also get yourself checked for diabetes at their FREE camp happening at Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Park on the 4th and 5th of December (4-7 PM)
This dish is a Bengali dessert called Sandesh. I made a rose sandesh using stevia which makes it suitable for diabetics. It is low calorie and is quite healthy without the processed sugar. I also made the paneer at home, which makes this dessert healthier. To make paneer, you can opt for low fat or full fat milk and allow it to heat until it boils. Once it boils, add vinegar to it so that the milk curdles. Take it off the heat and add ice cubes so that the cooking process stops. Place a colander over a pot, layer it with a thin muslin or cotton cloth. Pour the curdled milk into the colandar. Bring the muslin or napkin together and while doing so squeeze the curdled milk. Take a plate and keep the muslin with the curdled milk on it and place a heavy weight on top of it to drain off as much water as possible. It is as simple as that!
For the rest of the recipe –
- 2 litres milk
- 3-4 tbsp of vinegar
- 2 tbsp stevia
- few drops of rose essence
- crushed rose petals
- Once the paneer is drained off all the water, open the muslin cloth and take it out of it in a bowl or a plate. Mash the paneer with your fingers and make it very smooth
- Add stevia and rub it well into the paneer. Add rose essence and the crushed rose petals.
- Knead well to bind and get rid of all the lumps
- Make small 10 round portions and if you have a sandesh mould, place it in there. I did not have a mould so I simply shaped them oval with my hands
- Garnish with more rose petals and store it in the refrigerator
- Serve chilled
- Adapted from Tarla Dalal