This Diwali, try some traditional recipes, invite people home!

Humble but fresh ingredients form the basis of rich Indian culinary tradition, where every dish evolved, has a specific purpose, place and accompaniment. This Diwali try these traditional recipes

Seema KainturaSeema Kaintura   26 Oct 2019 10:45 AM GMT

This Diwali, try some traditional recipes, invite people home!

The feasts, associated with Deepawali or any festival, for that matter, form an important aspect of its festivities. People come together, come closer when they share food. Food experiences are therefore vital aspect of any human celebration as food is life itself and sharing of food symbolizes sharing the joy of being alive. Humble but fresh ingredients form the basis of rich Indian culinary tradition, where every dish evolved, has a specific purpose, place and accompaniment.

Ranaas (rice bean) stuffed poori

Although not as popular as Kulthi, Ranaas or rice bean features prominently in Garhwali cuisine. Its stuffed pooris have been a Diwali staple for generations in Garhwali homes. Its varied colours have earned it the name of 'naurangi' which means nine-coloured. One can easily substitute the dal with kuleth or chana for making this dish without affecting its yum factor.

Ingredients: Ranaas-50g, Atta-250g, Oil- for deep frying, Ginger-1 inch, cumin-1/2 spoon, coriander powder-1/2 spoon, asafetida-a generous pinch, green chilies-2 small, turmeric-1/4 spoon, chopped green coriander-1 big spoon, oil for deep frying.

  • 1. Wash and rehydrate ranaas.
  • 2. Cover ranaas in water in a pressure cooker, add coriander powder and salt. Put the lid on and cook on high flame till a whistle. Reduce heat and cook further for 20 minutes.
  • 3. Grind asafoetida, ginger, cumin, green chilies, turmeric and salt to a fine paste.
  • 4. Drain excess moisture from the cooked ranaas and grind it to a coarse paste. Add the ginger paste and finely chopped coriander. The mixture should not be too wet.
  • 5. Make soft dough with atta and lukewarm water. Rest the dough for 15 minutes, covered.
  • 6. Make tennis ball-sized balls of the atta dough. Flatten between the palms and put 2 spoons of the dal mixture in the centre. Seal the mixture in the atta disc by shaping it into a ball.
  • 7. Flatten the ball again, gently and roll into 4 inches pooris.
  • 8. Heat the oil in a kadhai, lower the flame to medium and deep fry the pooris until golden.

Kadoo Raita

Another pahadi dish, kadoo raita can be made with either yellow or green kadoo (pumpkin). This raita provides the much-needed freshness and acidity to counter the plush flavor of stuffed pooris.

Ingredients: Pumpkin-250g, curds-250g, oil-1 spoon, mustard seeds-1/4 spoon, ajwain-1/4 spoon, cumin-1/4 spoon,turmeric-1/4 spoon, rock salt-to taste, ginger-garlic-green chili paste-2 spoons

  • 1. Put kadoo slice in minimal water and pressure cook for one whistle and 5 minutes. You can alternatively zap the slice covered in microwave at HIGH for 5 minutes turning once in between and resting for 10 minutes.
  • 2. Scoop out the flesh of the cooked kadoo and mash to a pulp with a spoon.
  • 3. Prepare tempering by heating mustard oil till it smokes. Let cool and add mustard seed, ajwain and cumin. When the seeds begin popping add the paste of ginger, garlic and green chilies. Add turmeric and rock salt. Take off the flame.
  • 4. Add the tempering to the pumpkin pulp and let the mixture cool completely.
  • 5. Add whisked curds to the mixture and mix well. Serve cooled with hot pooris.

Til aloo ki chutney

Any pahadi feast is incomplete without a dish of potato. This dish is taken from Nepali cuisine and is highly relished in Uttarakhand.

Ingredients: Potatoes-250g,white til (sesame)-50g, lemon-1, green chilies-3-4, mustard oil-1 spoon, cumin powder-1 spoon, coriander powder-1 spoon, asafetida-a pinch, turmeric-1/4 spoon, salt to taste, mustard seeds-1/4 spoon,

  • 1. Boil potatoes. Cool, peel and dice them to cubes.
  • 2. In a big wide bowl put potatoes, add sliced onion, salt, coriander and cumin powder.
  • 3. Dry roast the til (white sesame) till golden, cool and pound them into a semi-fine powder.
  • 4. Prepare tempering. Heat mustard oil to smoke, reduce the flame and add mustard seed, asafoetida and turmeric. Remove from fire and add slit green chilies.
  • 5. Pour the tempering over the potato mixture.
  • 6. Add roasted til powder to the potato mixture and mix very well.
  • 7. Finally add the lime juice, mix and adjust the seasoning.

Suran kebabs

A contribution of the Kayastha home-kitchens which turned fake meat recipes into an art long before the trend became an international gastronomical fad. Crispy and melt-in-the mouth these kebabs give galoutis a run for their money.

Ingredients: Suran-250gms, chana dal-2 big spoons, ginger-garlic paste-2 spoons, asafetida-a pinch, red chilies powder-1/4spoon, garam masala-1/4 spoon, dry mango powder-1/4 spoon, salt to taste, oil-5 spoons.

  • 1. Peel and cut suran in cubes
  • 2. Place in heavy bottomed pan with chana dal, add ginger-garlic paste and cook till soft in minimal water.
  • 3. When cooked mash in well in the pan, add asafetida, garam masala powder, red chili powder, dry mango powder and mix well. Let cool.
  • 4. Heat oil in a pan. Making small kebabs from the cooled mixture, shallow fry them till crisp and golden on the outside. Drain the oil well and serve with green chutney and paranthas.

Suran stew

The festival of Diwali sees ubiquitous suran (elephant foot yam) stew prepared in many variations across UP. This one calls for whisked curds. With the ban on patakhas, soft, spicy, piping hot suran encased in flaky pooris or paranthas is bound to provide that much needed explosion of sensation within.

Ingredients: Suran-250g, lemon-1, onion-1 big ground to a paste, curds-3/4 cup, ginger paste-1spoon, asafetida-a pinch, salt-to taste, oil- for deep frying and 30 ml for masala, turmeric-1/4 spoon, red chili powder-1/4 spoon, coriander powder- 1 spoon, garam masala- ¼ spoon, cumin-1/2 spoon, green coriander chopped-1 big spoon.

  • 1. Wash suran and peel with ghee smeared hands. Chop the suran into small dices and add lime juice. Keep for half an hour.
  • 2. Wash again, drain well and deep fry on medium heat till golden. Set aside.
  • 3. In a pan splutter cumin, add asafetida, onion and ginger paste. Add dry spices coriander powder, turmeric and red chilies powder and cook further till oil separates.
  • 4. Lower heat, add whisked curds to the masala mixture and stir till incorporated.
  • 5. Add suran cubes. Adjust water and salt and cook till soft.
  • 6. Add chopped green coriander and garam masala. Serve with paranthas.

Bakheer

Sinfully delicious, this simple four ingredients dish is prepared especially on Bhaidooj with stuffed pooris and celebrates new harvest.

Ingredients: New rice-1 cup, new gur (jaggery)-1 cup, evaporated milk- 2 cups, green cardamoms-4 crushed.

  • 1. Wash and soak rice. Chop the gur.
  • 2. Cook the rice with the gur and crushed cardamoms.
  • 3. Add evaporated milk to the cooked rice and mix.

Khajoor (dates) Laddoos

Although not traditionally associated with Diwali, this sweet is easy to assemble, hardly takes any time to make, makes good use of the dry fruits one get as gifts during the festival; and is super tasty. Do remember to deseed the khajoors though.

Ingredients: Finely chopped khajoors-1cup, chopped mixed nuts-2 cups, sesame and khus-1 spoon each, ghee-I big spoon, desiccated coconut- I big spoon, ground green cardamom-1 spoon.

  • 1. Slow roast the nut with ghee in a thick bottomed pan, add poppy seeds.
  • 2. Take off the flame and add sesame and coconut powder. Mix well. Let cool for 2 minutes.
  • 3. Add dates and cardamom powder and mash well.
  • 4. Roll into balls with greased hands.

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