Diwali is around the corner and i am sure all the Indians are gearing up for the celebrations. Just like any Indian festival, Diwali is incomplete without delectable chaats, lip smacking dishes and decadent rich desserts and sweets !Since this is the festival of indulgence, DSB is here with an array of recipes to make this diwali more festive ! Happy Diwali 🙂
DSB wishes all its readers a “very happy Diwali” .Diwali is a symbol of victory, light, happiness and jubilation. On this day, people forget their differences and together, celebrate the victory of good over evil with the hope of bringing goodness in themselves.
Diwali is just days away and i am reminiscing the festivities and celebrations of Diwali which are engraved as treasured memories in my heart. If there is one festival i miss the most living outside of India, it is Diwali ! One of the best memories of this festival is good food and laughter and chats with friends. Indians get into the diwali mode a week before and people are busy de-cluttering their houses and decorating with flowers, lights and mandalas/rangolis. Ladies get busy preparing delicacies and the house smells great for days even after Diwali is over. Many of you must already be busy preparing dishes for the day. DSB is here with some ideas and recipes which would help you create your special menu for the day !! Choose from an array of options for Snacks, Main course and desserts which are easy to prepare and are guaranteed to wow your guests !! happy Cooking 🙂
- DAHI CHAAT – This chaat is going to remind you of your famous chaat wala in Delhi. It has the moong dal vadas, papri, yogurt, spices and chutneys. Keep all the fixants ready and make the chaat as and when needed. To serve, try layering up and serving in glasses this diwali with dollops of yogurt and chutneys on top for a fun look.
- MATRA CHAAT – If you want a simple and filling dish which needs very less preparation and can be enjoyed with every one eating together, this is the dish for you. Pair it up with homemade kulchas which you can prepare in advance and your guests will be pleased.
- TIKKI CHOLE – Chaat is incomplete without the presence of the famous Aloo tikki and chole combination. This is not only filling but versatile too. Tikkis can be eaten with pindi chole and chutneys and yogurt by adults as a chaat. For kids, use these tikkis as patties for burgers or for wraps.
- PINWHEEL SAMOSA – Create a fun spin on the samosas with this dish. This might look like a complicated dish but it is really simple to make. Another great thing is that you can really control the portion size and get the flavours of samosa in bite size.. leaving scope for trying out other dishes. Go simple with potatoes and peas for filling or create a rich recipe by adding in nuts, cottage cheese/ paneer and sultanas.
- VEG SHAMMI KEBABS – This is a vegetarian version which uses kala chana, onions and spices. Fry it or bake them and even your non vegetarian friends would love a second serving of these delectable kebabs.
- ACHARI MATHRI – Diwali does not feel complete without the classic mathri and achaar – perfect accompaniment to the masala chai. This recipe combines achaar with mathris which makes it easy to serve and enjoy ! This recipe uses the spices used in making achaars but for a variation, use the masalas and oil from your favorite leftover pickles and make your own version.
- PUNJABI TADKA SAMOSA – Samosas are ubiquitous to celebrations and parties in India and this is one dish, no one can say no to. Make small sized ones if you plan to have a couple of items in the menu for your guests to enjoy. Tip – Shape the samosas a day or 2 in advance and freeze them. Thaw and fry them just before guests arrive. Always fry on medium high for a crispy outer shell.
- BAKED METHI NAMAK PARA – Calories can mount with every dish you put on the table. Since most of the dishes are fried for festivals, we have a baked namak para recipe here which can be made couple of days in advance and be enjoyed guilt free. You can also make a big batch and gift them to friends this diwali.
- TANDOORI TIKKAS – Try this tikka dish this time for a change in your menu. We are using diabetes friendly ingredients in this dish which can be enjoyed guilt free and you can practically make these tikkas with any vegetables you like. Make tikkas ahead of time and keep them warm in the oven on low setting so that you have warm tikkas throughout the day.
You might already have a family favorite recipe for Chutneys but here are my versions which my guests love :
ENTREES / MAIN COURSE
- MATHURA STYLE ALOO POORI – This is one of best Aloo sabzis i know. Potatoes are par boiled and added to a gravy made with tomatoes and fenugreek and cooked on slow flame for a couple of hours. Made with some very common and simple ingredients but the flavours developed through slow cooking makes this dish irresistible. Enjoy with a side of Bedmi kachoris and pooris for an authentic experience. Tip – Make this sabzi couple of hours before serving to get the best flavour !
- JAIPURI ONION KACHORI – Kachoris are always delicious but when stuffed with spicy achaari onion filling, these kachoris transform into something great ! You can bring the flavours of the famous Rawat kachoris in Jaipur home with this recipe which is guaranteed to make your taste buds tingle with joy !
- DAL MAKHNI AND GARLIC NAANS – For north Indians, this dal is considered the starting of winters. Black urad dal and raajma are simmered in a rich gravy made of ginger, garlic, tomatoes, spices and cream and cooked till the dal imbibes the flavour. As the name suggests, add a dollop of butter on top before serving. Serve with naans or lachcha paratha for a true north indian feast !
- MUSHROOM COCONUT BIRYANI – This dish is going to be a point of conversation with your guests. Mushrooms biryani is not uncommon but this recipe uses coconut milk to cook the rice which brings richness to this dish without adding a mount of calories. This dish is complete in itself. Make in advance and you won’t have to spend time in the kitchen when your guests are around.
- VEG GARDEN BIRYANI – Rice dishes are always welcomed and can be made in advance and you can spend time with your guests, not in the kitchen when you have company. Biryanis are the royal versions of pulao and pack in aromatic flavours. Add vegetables of your choice and garnish with nuts for a royal feast.
- SHAHI PULAO – If you are short on time, this pulao is going to come to your rescue. It need about 30 minutes of cooking time and still loyal rich. Serve with a side of minty boondi raita, achaar and fried papad for a complete meal. Add fried paneer on top as a garnish.
- SHAHI PANEER – No Indian feast is complete without a paneer dish. This is a tried and tested recipe which has embellished many of my parties and is always a hit with guests. The best part is, its skinny but looks and tastes royal 🙂
- ALOO KOFTAS – Koftas are perfect when you are cooking for a huge party of guests. Make the aloo kofta balls in advance and freeze them to cook on the D day. The gravy can also be cooked a day before . Thaw the koftas and drop in hot gravy half an hour before serving. Serve on a bed of rice or try with these fun looking Spinach Pooris.
- MUMBAI PAV BHAJI – Pav bhaji is a quick fix to serving a battalion of people. When you guests coming in double digits, it is best to prepare dishes which is easy to make, can be made in bulk and need few accompaniments. You can make the bhaji in advance and it tastes great after a couple of hours of resting. If you feeling fancy, make your own ladi pavs and dazzle your guests. Tip – Add some beetroot and tomato paste in this dish for attaining a vibrant color in the dish.
- BESAN LADDOO – Laddoos are ubiquitous to Indian festivals and besan laddoo are amongst one of the most popular laddoos. Why not make these at home this time ? Besan laddoos are much easier than they appear and trust me, home made laddoos are far superior in taste than the market stuff ! Try them.
- ALMOND MALPUA – This is one of the easiest Indian desserts which can be made in a jiffy and are always loved by all. This recipe is a variation to the traditional recipes and uses Almond powder in the batter which brings a very subtle but rich taste to this dessert. Serve with kheer, rabdi to give an extra royal treatment to your guests.
- KESARI KHEER – If you are looking for a fuss free, make ahead dessert, look no further. Kheer is one that pleases everyone and can be made way in advance. Make it with whole milk or try a variation with coconut milk mixed along with whole milk for a unique flavour. Add in saffron for the taste towards the end of the preparation.
- RASMALAI / RASBHARI – Rasmalai is loved by everyone but can get a bit challenging if you don’t know your way with the paneer. Make your life simpler and use store bought rasgullas.. simple ! This recipe will teach you how to transform the tinned rasgullas into soft, melt in the mouth ras malai. Make sure to make extra.. coz your guests would want more 🙂
- KESAR KAJU GUJIYA – If you get stuck with mithai you don’t know what to do with, transform them into gujiyas and use the leftover mithai and kaju katlis for the stuffing. To make it healthy and guilt free, bake instead of deep frying gujiyas this time .
- APPLE PIE GUJIYA – Prefer cakes, pies and tarts to Indian sweets? Try fusing the 2 to create a unique recipe this time. This recipe takes the apple pie filling and transforms into into gujiyas which is perfect for diwali. Serve warm and top it with vanilla ice-cream.
- MANGO CAKE WITH LEMON PUDDING TRIFLE – Who can say no to Mango? Mango are out of season but if you have a canned version at home, give this a go… your guests would love the mango surprise. Use a lemon pudding packet and make a quick pudding to layer up with mango cake to make this trifle. Try Mango cheesecake bhapa doi too which can be made using canned mango pulp.
- LAUNG LATA – Similar to gujiyas, laung lata are pastry stuffed with nuts and khoya, encased in the pastry in an envelop form and tucked in place with the help of a laung/clove. Fry it in oil or ghee if you feel fancy and dip it in sugar syrup. This is a popular sweet for holi but works great for diwali too.
- LAUKI KI BARFI – Lauki is often considered a non delectable vegetable by kids but with this dessert, you would win their hearts too. You might not find lauki easily in the Indian market now but if you do, give this recipe a go. For India living abroad (who can find lauki easily), try this unusual sweet this diwali and make a guilt free, light dessert.