Desi diner’s Diwali spread | india | Hindustan Times
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Desi diner’s Diwali spread

We bring you five traditional, finger-licking Diwali eats to be munched on at card nights, pre-festive bashes and on the Day-D

india Updated: Nov 11, 2012 01:50 IST
Sonal Ved

For food blogger Jyotika Purwar from, the festival of lights is a time to indulge in traditions. Hailing from North India — a region known for grand Diwali festivities, we thought she was perfect to help us set up our dining table. She shares with us five traditional recipes that blend perfectly into the spirit of delicious celebrations.

1/2 kg semolina (suji) n 1/2 cup oil n Salt to taste n 2 tsp ajwain (carom seeds) n 1/4 tsp asafoetida n 1/2 tsp red chilli powder n Water

In a bowl, mix semolina with asafoetida, ajwain, red chilli powder and salt. Add water to this and knead into a medium-soft dough. Cover it with a thin muslin cloth and keep aside for an hour. Unwrap the dough and divide it into small roundels. Flatten each roundel with your palm and roll it into small puris (about 4cm in diameter). Then, in a kadai (wok), heat oil and fry the matharis until they are absolutely golden-brown and crispy. Top them with pickles, chutney, mashed and boiled potato and sev (fried chickpea flour) before serving.

Aloo tikki
Ingredients for the tikki:
2 kg potatoes (boiled and mashed) n 3 slices of day-old bread n Chilli powder as per taste
Salt as per taste
Ingredients for the stuffing:
1 cup green peas (mashed)
1/2 inch ginger root (grated)
4 to 5 green chillies (finely chopped) n 12-15 stalks of fresh coriander (chopped) n 1 tsp coriander seed powder n 1 tsp chilli powder n 1 tsp dry mango powder n 1 tsp chat masala n Oil for frying

Soak bread in water to make a soft mash. In a bowl, mix potatoes with chilli powder, bread pulp and salt to make the tikki cover. To make the stuffing, mix peas with ginger paste, green chillies, coriander, coriander seed powder, chilli powder, dry mango powder, garam masala and salt. Take a handful of the mashed potato mixture and shape like a shallow cup. Fill stuffing in this cup and deftly fold the edges over. Flatten
it gently with your palm and shallow- fry it in a pan over low flame. Once the tikkis appear brown on both sides, remove from fire and serve hot with mint chutney.
Masala channa and peanuts
250 gm roasted channa shelled (chickpea)
250 gm roasted peanuts (unsalted)
30 curry leaves
5 green chillies (finely chopped)
1 tbsp oil n 1 tsp dry mango powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp roasted cumin seed powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp black salt
1/2 cup onions (finely chopped)
Red chilli as per taste
Salt as per taste n 1 lemon wedge

In a pan, heat oil and sauté green chillies and curry leaves for a few minutes. Then, add the roasted channa and peanuts to this and mix everything well. Season the mixture with dry mango powder, coriander powder, roasted cumin seen powder, garam masala, black salt and chilli powder. Cook the mix for a few minutes on low flame and remove from fire.
Finish with chopped onions and a dash of lemon juice.

Ingredients for gujiya:
1/2 kg refined flour
1/2 cup pure ghee
1 tbsp water
Milk for kneading the dough
Extra ghee for frying

ingredients For the filling:
n 1/2 kg mawa (dried milk)
n 250 gm powdered sugar
n 1/2 cup almond flakes
n 1/2 cup dry coconut flakes
n 1 tbsp chironji (charoli nut)
n 1 tsp cardamom powder
n 1/2 tsp saffron

Make slurry by mixing a spoonful of refined flour with water. In a pan, heat mawa and stir it continuously till it begins to brown. Then, allow it cool for 6 to 8 hours. To finish filling, transfer browned mawa to a large bowl, add powdered sugar, almonds, coconut, cardamom powder, saffron and chironji. Make the gujiya cover by mixing refined flour with ghee. Rub the fat into the flour with your fingertips, until it achieves bread crumb-like consistency. Add milk and knead it into a soft dough. Let it rest for an hour. Roll it out into small puris and place a spoonful of mawa mixture on one side. Apply some slurry on the edges of this puri and seal both ends to make a crescent shape. Heat ghee and fry the gujiyas until golden.

Paneer tikka
Ingredients for the tikka:
400 gm cottage cheese
(cut into 2 inch squares)
1 onion (diced)
1 bell pepper (diced)
1 lemon (halved)

Ingredients For the marinade:
3 green chillies
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
2 tbsp thick yoghurt andhandful of mint leaves
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
Salt as per taste

n In a mixer, blitz green chillies with lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, yoghurt, mint leaves, sugar, cumin seeds, garam masala powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Marinate cottage cheese cubes in this mixture and allow it to rest for 45 minutes. In a shallow pan, heat oil and sear the marinated pieces until golden and keep aside. Rub the leftover marinade on bell peppers and onion dices and sear them as well. Skewer the dices onto a toothpick and serve hot with mint chutney and a dash of lemon juice.