Dubai: The festival of lights that numerous Indian households wait for, is here. It symbolises the win of good over evil. According to ancient Indian scriptures, the entire kingdom of Ayodhya was lit up with diyas or clay lamps after their king, deity Ram, defeated Ravana, who had abducted the former's wife. Sweets were distributed in every household and a grand feast was held to honour Ram. Celebrated on an amavaysa or new moon night, the festival of lights is based on the Indian lunar calendar.
Keeping that celebration alive, every year on Diwali, Indian confectioners, traditional sweet makers and restaurants around the world get busy trying to create and recreate old and new recipes. Traditional sweets like motichoor ladoo, besan ladoo, mysore pak and savouries like moong dal pakori, onion pakora or fritters, fafda, murukku or chakli are very popular during this time. A traditional meal on Diwali consists of puris, chole, aloo tamatar ki subzi, dahi vada and more.
Here are two quick and delicious recipes you can make for your guests at home:
Moong Dal Pakori or yellow lentil fritters
Preparation time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
100 gms moong dal yellow
5 gms cumin
4 gms green chilly
2 gms turmeric powder
3 gms red chilli powder
10 gms gram flour or besan
Salt to taste
10 gms fresh coriander, chopped
Refined oil, for frying
For coriander mint chutney
60 gms fresh coriander
20 gms fresh mint leaves
5 gms ginger
Black salt to taste
15 ml lemon juice
1. Wash and clean the dal and soak in water for at least 2 hours.
2. Drain the excess water and grind the dal coarsely, in batches.
3. Transfer the paste in a bowl, add chopped chillies and coriander leaves, cumin seeds and any other spice of your choice.
4. Mix well and keep aside.
5. Separately, combine all the ingredients for the chutney in a grinder and make a fine paste.
6. Heat oil in a wok and fry the pakoris in small batch, taking a spoon full of batter until crisp and golden brown,
7. Serve hot accompanied with chutney.
Mattar paneer makhanae ki sabji
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
25 gms ghee
5 gms cumin
100 gms onions, chopped
12 gms ginger-garlic paste
4 gm green chilli, chopped
3 gms turmeric powder
4 gms red chili powder
5 gms coriander powder
100 gms tomato purée
220 gms paneer or cottage cheese
180 gms green peas
Salt To taste
1 gm asafoetida or hing
30 gms makhana or fox nutseeds
10 gms fresh coriander
1. Heat pan and add half teaspoon of ghee, toast makhana till lightly brown. Keep aside to cool.
2. Heat the remaining ghee in a separate pot and temper cumin, then asafoetida and add chopped onion. Sauté for 5 minutes on medium heat.
3. Add ginger-garlic paste, green chilies, and continue to cook for another couple of minutes.
4. Add all the spices and tomato puree, mix well, and cook on a low heat for another 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Add green peas and cook for another 5 minutes. Add salt, paneer, mix well and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
6. Stir well, add fresh coriander, and serve hot, garnished with makhana or foxnut seeds.
Recipes courtesy: The Yellow Chilli catering team
Would you like to share some cooking tips, stories or recipes with us? Email us at email@example.com