Diwali feast

Diwali is not just a festival for lights, lamps and firecrackers. It is also a festival that calls for mouth-watering delights to feast on as well. And most importantly, it is a time to sit down with your family and share a meal.

A Diwali feast is normally vegetarian, typical dishes including:

Poori: Unleavened, deep fried bread

Kala channa
Khasta aloo, and
Kheer

POORI

What you need:
Wheat Flour: 1/2 cup
All-purpose flour or rava: 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Oil: 2 tbsp and oil for deep-frying
Warm milk/water to knead the dough

Method:

Mix flour, oil and salt and then knead well by adding milk to make a hard dough. Poori dough should be made a little harder than chapati dough. This prevents the puri from retaining more oil when it is deep-fried. Cover it with a wet cloth. Divide the roll into lime-sized balls. With the help of a rolling pin, roll each to circular shape. Deep-fry the pooris in hot oil for a minute. Fry till puffed and golden in colour. Preparing poori dough with milk instead of water makes the pooris puff up nicely and remain soft.

Channa masala

What you need:
Chana (chick peas): 2 cups
Cooking oil: 3 tbsp
Chopped onion: 1 large
Chopped garlic: 1 tbsp
Green chillies: 2
Ginger (grated): 3 tbsp
Coriander powder: 2 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Cumin powder: 1 tsp
Tomato (chopped): 2
Fresh chopped coriander leaves: 1/4 cup
Salt to taste

Method:

Wash and soak the chick peas in water overnight. Cook the chick peas in a pressure cooker till soft. Drain and keep aside. Heat oil in a deep pan and when hot, add the cumin seeds. Cook till they splutter. Add the green chillies, ginger and garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the onion and fry till soft. Now add the boiled chick peas, coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masala and red chilli powders and mix well. Cook for a few minutes and then add the tomatoes, chopped coriander and salt to taste. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes. For added flavour, put in 1/2 tsp raw mango powder.

Aloo sago

What you need:

Boiled potatoes: 4
Oil: 1 tbsp
Cumin: 1 tsp
Mustard: 1 tsp
Fresh ginger (finely chopped): 1 inch piece
Green chillies (finely chopped): 4
Tomatoes (chopped): 3
Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Warm water: 1/2 cup
Salt to taste

Method:

Peel the boiled potatoes and then crush or dice them into small pieces. In a deep-frying pan, heat the oil and add the cumin and mustard till it splutters. Saute the ginger and green chillies for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes and fry till the mixture is almost dry. Add salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder and stir. Now, put in the potatoes and fry for a few minutes. If you’d like the dish to have a little gravy, then add warm water and let it all boil.

KHEER

What you need:

Broken vermicelli: 1 pack
Badam/cashew nuts: 1 cup
Raisin : 1/4 cup
Condensed milk: 1 tin
Boiled milk: 1 to 1 1/2 litres
Ghee: 1 cup
Sugar: 1 cup

Method:

Heat the ghee in a non-stick pan over medium heat and fry the vermicelli till it is golden brown. Stir often to fry evenly. In another vessel, boil the milk and add in the vermicelli. Pour in the condensed milk and add sugar to get the desired level of sweetness. Let it cook on a medium flame, with constant stirring. Add in the badam/cashew nut and raisins. For added flavour, lightly fry them in ghee and then add to the mixture. Cook till the vermicelli is well done, adding more milk or boiled water if needed. Once the vermicelli is cooked, heat till the kheer starts thickening.

AND FOR after DESSERT…

After all that festive feasting, here’s something to ensure that your tummy agrees with all that Diwali feasting. Grind dry ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, garlic, black pepper and then fry them with some gingelly oil, ghee and honey and some jaggery. Have this concoction after a heavy meal and rest assured, you should be fit and fine for more delicacies.

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