Diwali 2022: Choti Diwali recipes to leave your guests drooling
From desserts considered healthy and popular at Diwali time to the sweet treats considered very sacred in Ayurveda and other traditional medicines, check out these recipes for Choti Diwali, ahead of Diwali 2022
The festival of lights, Diwali or Deepavali, is observed with great pomp and show by the Hindu community across India where people decorate their homes with diyas, rangoli, ornaments and lights, eat delicious sweets and dishes, wear new traditional clothes, observe varied rituals, perform puja and plan other activities. Since Diwali is just around the corner, here are extraordinary recipes, from desserts considered healthy and popular at Diwali time to the sweet treats considered very sacred in Ayurveda and other traditional medicines, to leave your guests drooling on Choti Diwali.
1. Chocolate fudge
150 gms unsalted butter
200 gms dates
100 gms raisins
500 ml hot water (for soaking only)
60 gms unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150 ml milk
60 gms all-purpose flour (gluten free - you can use almond flour as well instead of flour)
50 gms chopped walnuts
Line an 8-inch x 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Soak dates and raisins in warm water till the dates become soft, drain it, chop it roughly and make a paste using a mixer.
In a saucepan, combine the butter, dates and raisin paste, and salt on a low heat till it mixes well. Remove the saucepan and set aside for 5 minutes or until it is at room temperature.
Stir in the vanilla. Add milk little by little, at a time, with continuous stirring. When the batter is well blended, add the flour, cocoa powder. Use a spoon to mix well until it is very thick and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
We use a wooden spoon or spatula. Add in nuts if using. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan with parchment paper. Bake the brownies for 25 to 35 minutes at 170C.
Once done, insert a toothpick into the centre to check if it is properly cooked. Cool completely before removing from the cake pan and cut into squares.
(Recipe: Senior Executive Chef Vivek Tamhane)
2. Whole Wheat Nevri (Fresh Coconut and jaggery pastries consumed in Goa during Diwali)
Ingredients for outer pastry of Nevri:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1.5 tablespoons ghee or oil
¼ to ⅓ cup water or add as required
1/4 teaspoon salt
Ingredients for Nevri stuffing:
1 tablespoon ghee or oil
1 cup freshly grated coconut
½ cup + 2 tablespoon grated jaggery
½ teaspoon cardamom powder
7 to 8 cashews, chopped finely
19 to 20 golden raisins (or 1 tablespoon of golden raisins), chopped finely
Method for the outer pastry of Nevri:
Mix 1 cup of whole wheat flour with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Keep aside. Heat 1.5 tablespoons ghee/oil in a small pan or tadka pan. Add the hot ghee/oil to the flour salt mixture.
Just allow the ghee/oil to cool if using your fingers, else you might burn them. Rub the melted ghee in the flour, with your fingers. The flour should have a bread crumb like texture.
Then add 1/4 cup water and begin to knead the dough. Add more water if required while kneading the dough. Knead to a smooth dough. The dough should be neither too soft nor too thick.
Wrap the dough with a damp muslin or cotton cloth and allow to rest for 10 to 12 minutes.
Method for making stuffing for Nevri:
In a pan, melt 1 tablespoon ghee. Add 1 cup of fresh grated coconut. Stir and saute the coconut for 2 minutes on low heat. Add the chopped cashews and raisins. Now add 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon of grated jaggery.
Stir well and saute the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes on low flame. Don’t saute the jaggery for a long time, just mix well. Switch off the gas and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder.
Transfer the mixture to a plate. Allow the mixture to come to room temperature.
Assembling and making Nevri:
Uncover the dough. Knead the dough again. Then roll and form into a log. Cut the log in equal slices. Roll each dough piece between the palms of your hands and then gently flatten into a round or oval shape.
Just ensure the balls have no cracks in them. I got 7 balls from the dough. Dust some flour over it. Roll the dough round in 4 to 5 inches diameter circle. Similarly roll all the dough balls into thin circle of almost same size and thickness.
Brush some water towards the edges of the nevris. Place 1 tablespoon or 2 to 3 teaspoons of the stuffing in the center or on one side of the circle, keeping the edges empty.
Make sure you don't over stuff as then it becomes difficult to shape the nevris. They may also break while frying. Fold from one side. Seal the edges properly. Now with your fingertips, start pinching and pleating the pressed edges.
Keep on pleating till you come to the end. Seal the end carefully with a pleat. Just ensure the edges are sealed properly else they might break while frying. Make all nevris this way. Keep the prepared nevris covered with a moist kitchen towel, so that they dough does not dry out.
Method for frying Nevri:
Heat 2 to 3 cups of oil in a pan. Once oil is hot, deep fry 1 to 2 nevris at a time depending upon the size of pan or kadai. Once one side is crisp and golden then flip the nevris and deep fry the other side until golden brown.
Flip once or twice for even browning and cooking. Place them on kitchen paper towels or napkin, to absorb excess oil if any. Once they come at room temperature, store them in an air-tight container.
You could also keep them in the fridge. You can serve Goan nevris warm or at room temperature.
3. Badam Pista Fudge Barfi
2 tbsp Butter
1 cup Almonds Badam
1 cup Pistachios Pista
1/2 cup Milk powder
1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Water
7 Saffron threads
Salt a pinch
Using food processor, coarsely powder almonds and pista. Heat butter in a non-stick pan on medium-low flame. Add the coarsely powdered nuts and sauté them for 2 to 3 minutes. Make sure not to burn the nuts.
Add the milk powder and continue sautéing it for another 2 minutes. If your nuts are unsalted add a pinch of salt at this stage and set aside. In another pan on medium heat, add sugar, saffron threads, and water.
Once it dissolves completely, continue to simmer till you get one string consistency. For one string consistency, dip a wooden spoon in the syrup and lift out. Allow a few seconds to cool.
Now, touch the syrup with your forefinger and then touch your forefinger and thumb together and pull apart gently. You should see one string. Cook until you get one string consistency.
Add the sugar syrup and cardamom powder to the roasted ingredients and continue stirring it for 5 to 6 minutes on medium low flame till it leaves the side of the pan.
Transfer this mixture onto a greased plate or parchment paper. Spread it to desired thickness. Sprinkle additional nuts desired and press slightly using back of the ladle. Allow it to cool down completely. Cut them into desired shapes and serve.
(Recipes: Executive Chef Narasinh Kamat)
4. Pineapple and Mint Mousse Popsicle On Ragi and Oat Crumble
Ingredients for 4 popsicles:
Fresh ripe pineapple chopped-200 gms
Mint leaves-10 gms
White choclate-80 gms for mousse
White choclate-200gms for coating
Dairy free whipped cream-100 gms
Almond flour-50 gms
Ragi flour-50 gms
Agar agar-5 gms
Maple syrup-25 ml.
Pineapple essence-2 drops
Yellow edible color powder
Method of preparation:
In a small bowl, mix the ragi flour, almond flour and oats. Add the maple syrup and mix well. Spread the mixture on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. Remove from oven and allow the crumble to cool at room temp.
Heat the soya milk with agar-agar and mint leaves. Add 80 gms of white chocolate to the milk and heat further till the chocolate has melted fully and mixed well in the soya milk.
Strain and cool the mixture and fold in the whipped cream and the chopped pineapple. Pour the mousse mixture into popsicle moulds, insert the popsicle sticks and freeze for 3 hours till fully solid.
Heat the remaining 200 gms of white chocolate in a pan and add the yellow color as per requirement. Mix well and keep aside. De-mould the frozen popsicles and dip them into the colored molten chocolate and keep to chill.
Spread a handful of the crumble on the base of a plate and place the chocolate coated popsicle on it. Garnish with a ring of dark chocolate and some red berry coulis and serve.
(Recipe: Chef Arun Louis)
5. Anjeer Kaju Roll
• 300 gms anjeer (dry fig)
• 200 gms cashew nut
• 100 gms pista
• 400 gms sugar
• 50 gms dates
• 1 gm saffron
• 50 gms ghee
• 50 gms posto (poppy seeds)
Soak the cashew nuts for 2 hrs and strain. Grind to a fine thick paste. Add sugar and mix thoroughly. Heat a non-stick kadhai and cook this sugar cashew mixture in slow flame by adding little ghee for 15 mins. The consistency of the mixture will be thick dough. Keep aside for cooling to handle later.
Soak the anjeer for 1hr and make a rough paste. In the same non-stick pan, heat the remaining ghee and add the anjeer paste. Cook slowly till 10-12 mins till the mixture looks like a soft dough. Take out and keep it aside for cooling.
Dry roast the pista and make fine powder. Now divide the cashew nut dough into half. In one half add the pista powder and mix thoroughly to get the pista cashew nut dough which we will use for stuffing.
Soak the saffron in 1 tbsp of warm water. Add the saffron mixture to rest of the cashew nut dough and mix properly. For assembling the dessert, take a rolling pin and board. Baste some ghee on top of the board to make sure the dough doesn’t stick to the board when rolling.
Take the cashew nut and saffron mix dough. Roll like a long cylindrical shape. Now take the anjeer mix dough and roll it like a roti using a rolling pin. Repeat the same thing with pista cashew dough on top of anjeer sheet. At last place the saffron cashew roll in one side of the sheet. Gently roll the sheet to get the desired roll shape.
Now spread the poppy seed on top of any working table and roll the final anjeer dessert to get a coating. Keep the dessert in freezer for few hours until its hard enough to cut. Take out and cut the dessert into roundels. Garnish with chopped pistachio or almond.
6. Gond aur Gulkand ke Laddu
• 200 gms Gond (acacia gum)
• 300 gms whole wheat flour
• 250 gms sugar
• 250 gms ghee
• 50 gms almond
• 50 gms pista
• 50 gms cashew nut
• 50 gms dates
• 50 gms gulkand
• 25 gms cardamom powder
Take 50 gms of ghee in a non-stick pan and heat. Add all the nuts except dates and shallow fry in slow flame until light brown. Cool and coarsely crush the nuts in a blender and keep it aside.
Heat rest of the ghee into the kadhai and add gond to it. Make sure gond grains are getting immersed in the ghee. Or else the gond will not puff. Mix gently till gond gets puffed. Now strain the fried gond and cool.
Take a non-stick pan. Heat the same strained ghee and add whole wheat flour and cook on slow to medium flame until golden brown. The flour will release an aromatic smell. Keep it aside for cooling. Add sugar and green cardamom powder to it and mix properly.
Rough chop the dates and add gulkand to it. Mix and keep it for stuffing. For making laddu, take a large mixing bowl. Put the whole wheat mixture, coarsely chopped nuts and fried gond into it.
Gently mix all the ingredients together to get a binding texture. You also can add some hot ghee while mixing to get the perfect texture. Now take around 30 grams of mixture and shape like a laddu by stuffing the gulkand mixture in centre. Garnish with crushed gond and chopped almond.
(Recipes: Executive Chef Suraj Kumar Sahoo)