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The united states of Diwali snacks

india Updated: Nov 10, 2012 19:36 IST
Sonal Ved
Sonal Ved
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Most of us have a sweet tooth, so Diwali is a good time to be in the country. But there’s more to the festival of lights than just mithai. Many regions create special savoury treats for the festival — some of which we’ve never heard of.

To give you a taste of four of them, Chef Dhaval Ajmera from ITC Grand Central, Parel, shares some authentic savoury recipes from all four corners of the country.

East
Kucho Nimki
Ingredients
1 cup refined flour
1/4 tsp nigella seeds
1/2 tbsp refined oil
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Method
In a bowl, mix refined flour with nigella seeds. Add oil and salt and mix well. Once the flour becomes crumbly, add water and bind it into a tight dough. Keep the dough aside for 20 minutes. Now divide the yield into small roundels and roll them into chapattis with the help of a rolling pin. With a sharp knife, cut the chapattis into several slanting lines to make diamond shaped pieces. In a frying pan, heat oil and fry the nimki over low flame until crispy and light brown in colour. Remove from fire and drain it on a kitchen paper. Serve hot.

West
Jeera Puri
Ingredients
1/4 kg refined flour
1 tbsp cumin seeds
Oil for frying
Water for kneading
Salt to taste

Method
In a large bowl, sieve refined flour and add one tablespoon of hot oil. Mix the dough with your fingertips and add water and cumin seeds. Knead it into a semi-soft dough and keep aside for 20 minutes. Divide the dough into small roundels. Flatten each roundel with your palm and roll it into small chapattis. With the tip of your knife, make small marks on the puri’s surface. This will prevent them from puffing up during frying. Heat oil and fry puris until golden brown and crispy.

North
Dal Samosa
Ingredients
2 cups refined flour
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup moong dal (soaked in water overnight)
1 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp dry mango powder
1 tbsp coriander seed powder
1 fat pinch asafoetida
Oil for frying
Salt to taste

Method
Drain moong dal and make a paste of it with water. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat a spoonful of oil and add cumin seeds. Once the seeds begin to crackle, add asafoetida and moong dal paste to it. Over a low flame, add garam masala, coriander seed powder, chilli powder, dry mango powder and salt, and stir until all the water from the dal has evaporated. Transfer the dry mixture to a plate and coll it to room temperature. Mix refined flour with salt and add some oil. Rub oil into the flour till a breadcrumb-like consistency. Add water and knead the mixture into a tight dough. Divide the dough into roundels and roll them into small chapattis (of 3-4 inch diameter). Cut the chapattis into half and keep aside. Take one semi-circle and fold it like a cone. Place a spoonful of filling in the hollow space of the cone and seal the parcel from top using wet fingers. Fry the samosas in hot oil until golden brown and crispy. Drain on a kitchen paper and store in jars.

South
Murukku
Ingredients
1 cup rice flour
3 tsp urad dal (roasted)
2 tbsp chilled butter (chopped)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp black sesame seeds
A fat pinch of asafoetida
Salt as per taste
1 murruku maker
Oil for frying

Method
In a mixer, grind roasted urad dal into a fine powder and keep aside.In a large bowl, mix rice flour with salt, asafoetida and urad dal powder. Add butter and gently rub the flour with your fingertips.Once the mixture turns powdery, add cumin and sesame seeds to it. Knead it into a soft dough by adding some water to it. Fill the murukku maker with this dough and keep it aside. In a large frying pan, heat oil and squeeze out jalebi-like overlapping circles from the murukku maker. Fry them until they achieve a light-brown colour and crispy texture. Serve hot or store in jars.