Saturday, December 26, 2015

Mumbai Roadside Sandwich

This sandwich is easy to make since you only need to make the green chutney and slice veggies. If you are short on time, this is a great solution for a quick meal. This sandwich is one of my favorites and I can eat it at anytime of the day! Cut the sandwich into pieces and enjoy it with some chutney and ketchup.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serving:  4

Ingredients:

For the sandwich:

  • 8 slices of bread
  • 1 cucumber peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 medium sized potatoes boiled, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 1 medium sized beet boiled, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 tomatoes sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/2 medium size onion peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 8 teaspoons green chutney 
  • Butter as required
  • Sandwich masala as required (ready made)
  • tomato ketchup as required (ready made)
For the green chutney:
  • 1 cup of coriander leaves (clean and washed)
  • 1/2 cup of spinach leaves (clean and washed)
  • 5 to 6 small chilies
  • 2 bread slices
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • a little water for grinding
For garnish: (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon shredded beetroot
  • 1 tablespoon shredded cucumber
Directions:
  1. To make the chutney, grind all of the ingredients in a mixer to create a smooth paste. The consistency of the chutney should be thick.
  2. Slice all the veggies and keep handy
  3. On a chopping board, chop the thick edges of the bread gently (I used thin slices to make the sandwich, where you don't need to cut edges)
  4. Spread butter on one side of each of the bread slices and then apply green chutney to that same side of bread
  5. Add cucumber and potato slices to the bread, sprinkling some sandwich masala over them.
  6. Place slices of tomato, onion and beets, adding a little more sandwich masala on top. 
  7. Cover with another slice of bread to create your sandwich. Repeat the process with the rest of the bread. Slice into squares or triangles. 
  8. Your Mumbai sandwich is ready, garnish with shredded beets and cucumber
  9. Serve sandwich immediately with chutney and ketchup 
Sandwich with cucumber, tomato, potato, beetroot and onion (served with shredded beets and cucumber)

Sandwich with cucumber, potato and tomato only ( served with potato chips)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Mexican Black Beans

The only thing my family loves more than Indian food is Mexican food. The primary ingredient in our meals is black beans, which you may eat with dips, salads or even burritos. A bowl of black beans with some rice, bread or greens is a meal in itself, but it is also a side dish to round out just about any meal.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serving: 4

Ingredients:
  • 2 - 15 oz. cans of black beans, rinsed and drained (you can also use dry black beans after soaking in water for 6 hours and then cooking in a pressure cooker)
  • 2 small onions diced. Set aside 1 tablespoon of diced onions for garnishing
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapenos, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tomatoes (for garnishing)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander leaves (for garnishing)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime/lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
Directions:
  1. Place a skillet or pot over medium high heat.
  2. Add oil and diced onions and cook for 4 to 5 minutes while stirring until soft.
  3. Add minced garlic, jalapenos, salt and black pepper. Saute for 1 minute.
  4. Add black beans and cumin powder. Stir for 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Transfer the beans into a bowl and squeeze fresh lemon juice on top.
  6. Garnish with onions, tomatoes, and coriander leaves.
  7. Serve with any Mexican meal.
Notes:
For Jains, omit onion and garlic. Instead you may use cabbage and one small seeded chopped tomato.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Makki Ki Roti

Makki ki roti is a classic Punjabi corn meal flat roti spiced with green chili, ginger, and some other spices. The combination of makki ki roti with sarson ka saag and butter is quite famous. This is another one of my husband's favorite dishes.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serving: 4 (8 rotis)

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup corn flour / maize flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flout
  • 1/2 teaspoon carom / ajwain seeds
  • Pinch turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced green chili
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • Salt to taste
Directions:
  1. In a bowl, mix together all of the ingredients together. Knead the dough together adding warm water as needed.
  2. Divide the dough in eight equal portions and shape into balls
  3. Roll out each ball by sprinkling a little corn flour on a pastry board to help the rolling process
  4. Heat a tawa and place a roti on it, cook on medium heat until one side is half done. Flip it over and cook until both sides are golden brown
  5. Serve hot with a dollop of butter or purified butter/ghee
  6. Make the rest of the rotis the same way
Notes:
Eat makki ki roti with sarson ka saag and dal makhani (see picture below) 


Makki Ki Roti with Sarson Ka Saag and Dal Makhani

Friday, December 4, 2015

Dal Makhani

Dal makhani, when translated literally means buttered lentils, has a very rich and creamy texture. It is made from whole urad dal (black lentil), rajma (kidney beans), butter, and cream. Though dal makhani is not a type of dal that you eat on everyday basis, it is extremely flavorful and best with fresh hot naan or rice. It requires a bit of advance preparation followed by 90 minutes cooking so it's best made with ample time. Dal makhani is a favorite of my husband (Ashok) and elder son (Ravi).

Soaking time: 8 to 9 hours
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup whole black urad dal (black lentil), soaked  
  • 1/4 cup rajma (red kidney beans), soaked 
  • 2 medium onions, chopped 
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped 
  • 4 inch ginger, chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, shredded for garnish 
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 4 green chilies, cut into half 
  • 7 to 8 pieces of limdo (curry leaves)  
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream 
  • 6 tablespoons butter 
  • 2 teaspoons red chili powder  
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds 
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon garam masala 
  • 2 tablespoons oil 
  • 1/4 cup green coriander leaves, chopped 
  • Salt to taste 

Directions:

  1. Put the black urad dal, rajma and approximately 6 cups of water in a pressure cooker and soak for 8-9 hours.
  2. In the same pressure cooker with dal, rajma and water already within, add the chopped tomatoes, curry leaves, green chills, half of the ginger, half of the garlic and red chili powder. Cook the dal under pressure for 8 to 10 whistles. Let it cool prior to opening the pressure cooker.
  3. In a pan, heat oil and butter on a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds. When the seeds change color, add the chopped onion and sauté until golden brown.
  4. Add the remaining ginger and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add garam masala and salt. Pour the mixture into the pressure cooker.
  5. Lower the heat and cook the dal without any whistles for 45 minutes. When the pressure is off, open the cooker.
  6. Add fresh cream and stir. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  7. Garnish with coriander leaves and shredded ginger.
  8. Serve hot with naan, roti, paratha or rice.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Mamra Ni Chatpatti (Puffed Rice)

When I was back in India, my sister taught me a dish she called "Mamra ni Khichdi." While she used to make it using onions & potatoes, I came up with slight variation, which came out good! I hope you enjoy this dish. It is very easy to make and takes under 20 minutes.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serving: 4 people

Ingredients:
  • 12 cups Mamra (puffed rice)
  • 2 seeded tomatoes diced (remove the pulp from tomatoes & then chop)
  • 1 red capcicum diced
  • 1 green capcicum diced
  • 4 to 5 green chilies finely chopped
  • 5 to 6 curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoon peanuts (unsalted)
  • 1 tablespoon roasted Chana dal (dalia)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds / rai
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds / jeera
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder / haldi
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon oil (corn, veg, olive or your choice of oil)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon dhanajeera powder / cumin and corrinder powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped corrinder leaves
  • salt to taste
Directions:
  1. Wash  the mamra with water two to three times, drain and keep aside (do not soak in water)
  2. Heat the oil on a pan 
  3. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds
  4. When the seeds crackle, add peanuts & chana dal. Saute for one minute
  5. Add the green chilies & curry leaves and saute for 10 seconds
  6. Add the green & red capcicum & tomatoes and saute for three minutes (do not overcook)
  7. Add the red chilli powder, dhanajeera powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and saute  for 30 seconds
  8. Add the mamra and salt and mix well
  9. Garnish with coriander leaves & lemon juice 
  10. Serve immediately


Venetian Cauliflower

A few months back I saw this recipe in the New York Times food section by chef David Tanis. I really liked his recipe and thought I can make this dish. I did twist the recipe a little bit and it came out very delicious. You can eat with roti, rice and even with pasta.


Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serving: 4 people

Ingredients:
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds (lightly toasted)
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon red crushed pepper/ red chilli flakes
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
  • Pinch of saffron
  • Salt to taste

Directions:
  1. Cut cauliflower into very small florets of equal size
  2. Blanch florets in boiling water for 2 minutes (cool in cold water and drain)
  3. Put olive oil in a pan over medium heat 
  4. Add onions and cook until lightly brown
  5. Add saffron, cinnamon, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, black pepper, green chillies and red crushed pepper and salt
  6. Add lemon zest, raisins, cranberry and cauliflower florets
  7. Toss with wooden spoons to distribute
  8. Cover with the lid and cook for about 5 minutes (until cauliflower is tender)
  9. Add toasted sliced almonds 
  10. Sprinkle the coriander leaves
  11. Serve warm

Quinoa With Stir Fry Vegetables

Quinoa is a simple and easy to cook healthy alternative to rice. In fact, you may also cook it using a rice cooker. It is extremely nutritious, high in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Cooked quinoa looks a bit like couscous, but is crunchier. Quinoa may also be used as a substitute for pasta and rice.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serving: 4

Ingredients:

For Quinoa:
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon/lime juice
For stir fry vegetables:
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup asparagus cut (3 inch length)
  • 1 cup red capsicum diced (1 inch cubes)
  • 1 cup green capsicum diced (1 inch cubes)
  • 1 cup plum tomato diced (1 inch cubes)
  • 1 cup red onion diced (1 inch cubes)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or chopped fresh green coriander leaves
  • 5 to 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • Salt to taste
Directions:
  1. Rinse quinoa with cold water and drain water through a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Transfer drained quinoa to a cooking pot, add 1 1/2 cup cold water and salt.
  3. Bring quinoa and water to a boil with the lid on. Then, turn the heat down to simmer cook for 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Remove quinoa from heat and allow to sit five minutes with the lid on. Fluff quinoa gently with a fork.
  5. Sprinkle lemon juice on and quinoa is ready to serve.
  6. For the stir fry vegetables, heat oil in a wok or large deep skillet on low heat.
  7. Add whole garlic cloves and sauté until golden brown. Then, remove the garlic from oil and keep on the side.
  8. Add onion and stir fry for two minutes. Then, add the remaining vegetables and stir fry for 5 to 7 minutes on medium high heat or until vegetables are tender crisp.
  9. Add sautéed garlic, salt, black pepper, red chili flakes and mix.
  10. Place quinoa on plate, top with stir fried vegetables. Alternatively, you may mix everything together.
  11. Garnish with chopped parsley or fresh chopped green coriander leaves.
Notes:
You can add your choice of vegetables. For Jains exclude garlic and onions. If you want it spicy you can add chili sauce. For extra flavor you can also add dry cranberry, walnuts, pine nuts etc.

Baked Potato Nachos

Do you ever get tired of using corn tortilla chips for the base of your nachos? Try this baked potato nachos recipe and surprise everyone with the unique twist. This recipe became an instant favorite when I made it for my family. It is very easy to make and healthier than conventional nachos. This recipe is also perfect for game day. Give it a try!


Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoon oil (olive or any oil)
  • 1 small red onion (diced)
  • 1 small green pepper (diced)
  • 1 small red pepper (diced)
  • 2 small seeded plum tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green coriander leaves
  • 2 jalapeños (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions/ spring onions/ scallions
  • 1 cup Mexican cheese (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder 
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 avocado (diced)
  • 8 to 10 corn tortilla chips for crunch
  • Salt to taste 
  • Salsa (check the recipe for salsa already on my blog)

For Black Beans:

  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans - rinsed and drained
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 jalapeno (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime/ lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Scrub, wash and pat dry potatoes. Cut into 1/4 inch thick slices with skin (do not peel the skin).
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place potatoes in a bowl with oil, salt, black pepper and red chilli powder. Mix well to coat potatoes with oil and seasoning.
  3. Transfer potatoes to a large baking sheet and spread in a single layer.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
  5. To make the beans, place a skillet or pot over medium high stove. Add oil, onion and cook, while stirring, until soft.
  6. Add minced garlic, jalapeño, salt,  black pepper and sauté for 1 minute.
  7. Add black beans and cumin powder. Stir for few minutes ( 3 to 4 minutes).
  8. Squeeze lemon juice on the beans and stir. The beans are now ready to serve.
  9. Place the potatoes in a serving plate and top with cheese (optional). Bake longer to melt the cheese.
  10. Top with the cooked black beans, diced tomatoes, green peppers, red peppers, green onions, avocado, Jalapeños, red onions and black olives (optional).
  11. Garnish with coriander leaves, salsa and corn chips.
  12. Serve immediately.


Notes:

You may also add sour cream and fresh guacamole on the nachos (check the recipe for fresh guacamole on my blog).


Ragda Patties in a Twice Baked Potato Pocket

Ragda patties is a popular Indian fast food dish derived from the streets of Mumbai. If you are looking for a spicy and flavorful Indian chaat to have, then you should try this dish. Ragda patties is a combination of thick ragda (thick curry or gravy) aloo patties (potato cutlets), and a variety of spicy chutneys. The crispy potato pocket is a unique twist that brings the dish together, creating a wonderful presentation. My dish requires three parts to prepare - 1) the ragda 2) the patties and 3) the potato pockets. While this is a time consuming recipe, it is worth a try!

Soaking time: 4 to 5 hours
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes
Serving: 4
Ingredients for Ragda:
  • 1 1/2 cups dried white peas / vatana (pre soaked and boiled)
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 to 4 green chillies minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger minced 
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon dhanajeera powder (coriander and cumin powder)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 5 to 6 curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • Pinch asafoetida/hing
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoon sweet tamarind chutney
  • 1 teaspoon red garlic chutney
  • 2 teaspoon green coriander chutney
For patties:
  • Use baked potatoes flesh
  • 1 tablespoon chili and ginger paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoon corn flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Oil for shallow fry
  • Salt to taste
For twice baked potatoes:
  • 4 big potatoes, scrubbed and dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black powder
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or any oil
  • salt to taste
For Garnishing:
  • Gram flour sev
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup green coriander leaves chopped
  • Chaat masala to sprinkle
Directions:
  1. Pre-soak the white beans for 4-5 hours
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, Pierce the potatoes with the fork in a few spots. Put the potatoes in a tray, placing the tray in the center of the oven. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. While potatoes are baking, start the process for ragda and patties. After 45 to 50 minutes take out the potatoes from the oven
  3. Hold the potato with a mitten and trim off the top of the potatoes to make a canoe shape. Carefully scoop out most of the potato into a bowl, and keep the potato flesh on the side for later to use for the patties. Leave enough potato in the skin so the shells stay together. 
  4. Seasoning the potatoes with salt, red chili pepper and black pepper, drizzle some oil and bake it again for 10 minutes until it gets lightly brown. Once done take it out from the oven and keep it on the side.
  5. Drain the soaked white peas and cook in a pressure cooker for two whistles with salt and turmeric powder added
  6. Switch off the flame and let the steam disappear, open the cooker and set that aside
  7. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds. When seeds crackle, add hing, and curry leaves. Add in onions, with some salt so that they cook faster. Cook the onions until they are golden brown. Now add green chili, ginger and garlic, sauté for 1 minute.
  8. Add tomatoes and cook until tender. Add all spices - red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, dhanajeera powder and salt, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. Add the cooked peas along with water and mix well. Add some water if needed (if it is too thick)
  10. Let it simmer for 10 minutes until all the flavors mingle together
  11. Turn off the stove, add all three chutneys in to ragda and stir (2 tsp. green,1 tsp. red and 3 tbs. sweet chutney)
  12. Now use the remaining of baked potato's flesh, add corn flour, chili and ginger paste, turmeric powder, lemon juice, sugar, garam masala, salt and mix well
  13. Shape into balls, flatten them like patties
  14. Heat a pan, add very little oil, shallow fry the patties on both sides on medium heat until evenly brown
  15. Pour some ragda on a plate, placing the baked potato pocket on the ragda. Then fill the potato pocket with some more ragda and add patties into pocket. Drizzle green coriander chutney, red garlic chutney, sweet tamarind chutney
  16. Sprinkle onions,chaat masala, sev and coriander leaves. Similarly, make the other servings. Serve hot immediately

Notes:
You can also eat ragda patties without baked potato pocket, place the patties on a plate, pour the ragda over the patties, drizzle the chutneys, garnish with sev, chaat masala, onion and green coriander leaves. (both photos are shown below). You can also eat ragda with bread, without having patties.
For all three chutneys check recipe on my blog.


Pani Puri

Pani puri is one of my favorite dishes! It's one of those items that you can keep eating. Instead of sprouts in pani puri you can use hot ragda. You can make puri at home or they can be bought from a local store. Fun Fact: They are known as "golgappas" in Northern India and "poochkas" in West Bengal.


Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serving: 4


Ingredients:

For the puris:  80 puris (make the puris in advance)

  • 1 cup fine semolina/rava
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon plain flour/maida
  • 6 tablespoon soda water approximately (bottled)
  • salt to taste
For the pani:
  • 2 1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 1 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped ginger
  • 10 to 12 small green chillies (adjust spice level according to your taste)
  • 1 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon roasted whole black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons black salt/sanchal
  • 2 tablespoons pani puri masala
  • 8 cups water
  • Salt to taste
Other ingredients:
  • Dates and tamarind chutney (for recipe check on my blog)
  • 1 cup mixed sprouts (whole moong sprouted and blanched, kala Chana / black chickpeas cooked) and boiled potatoes cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup boondi (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder for potato, Chana and moong filling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala for potato, Chana and moong filling
Directions:
  1. For the puris combine the rava, plain flour, soda water and salt to make a semi stiff dough and kneed well. Allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes
  2. Divide the dough into 80 equal portions and roll each into 1 1/2 inch circles
  3. Deep fry the dough in a kadhai/wok in hot oil on a medium flame until they puff up and are golden brown
  4. Remove, drain on absorbent paper and store in an air tight container
  5. To make the pani, grind the coriander leaves, mint leaves, ginger, green chili, whole black pepper and roasted cumin seeds with enough water to create a paste like mixture
  6. Transfer the ground paste to a large bowl, add pani puri masala, black salt, regular salt, lemon juice and stir to mix
  7. Stir in 8 cups of water and place in a refrigerator to chill for at least 2 to 3 hours (before serving add the boondi, if desired)
  8. In a bowl mix the sprouted and blanched whole moong, cooked kala chana, cubed boiled potatoes and chopped coriander leaves, add chaat masala, red chili powder and mix
  9. To serve, press down on the top of each puri with your thumb to make a hole and then fill with a little moong, chana, potatoes, and then top it off with a little sweet chutney.
  10. Immerse the filled puri in the chilled pani and eat immediately
Notes:
  
For sprouted Moong and red Chana:
Soak the whole moong and red chana in the water for 10 to 12 hours separately. Drain the water, wrap the beans in a muslin cloth or you can leave them in a bowl with a cover and with very little water (1 tablespoon). Store the soaked moong and red chana in a warm dark place for 1 to 2 days until sprouted. Instead of the sprouts you can also use ragda (for ragda check the recipe on my blog)

Puris:

Dahi / Yogurt Batata Puri

Dahi Batata Puri is a popular chaat, that is very quick to put together. Whenever I make pani puri, I always make dahi batata puri and believe me not a single family member will complain. It is a simple Indian street food recipe that is easy to make.


Prep time: 30 to 35 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serving: 4


Ingredients:
  • 32 crispy puffed puris (store bought as for pani puri or you can make it at home)
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 2 medium potatoes boiled and peeled
  • 1/2 cup moong sprouts 
  • 1/4 cup boiled kala Chana/black chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup sweet date and tamarind chutney
  • 1/4 cup green coriander chutney
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 11/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup sev
  • salt to taste

Directions:
  1. First chop the boiled and peeled potatoes, Boil the moong for 2 to 3 minutes  (when you boil add a little salt and turmeric powder). Drain after.
    Cook the whole kala chana in a pressure cooker. (5 to 6 whistle) When it is gets cool, open the cooker and drain the water.
  2. Add salt to the yogurt and whisk till smooth
  3. Mix together the chopped potatoes, sprouted moong, kala Chana, salt, 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder and chaat masala
  4. Make a hole in each puri, fill with the potato, Chana and Moong filling and place on a plate. 
  5. Pour some yogurt over the filling
  6. Place dollops of the sweet chutney and green chutney over the yogurt, sprinkle sev, red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder and chopped green coriander leaves
  7. Serve immediately 
Notes: For dates and tamarind sweet chutney and green coriander chutney recipe check on my blog, and also for puri check the pani puri recipe on my blog.



Green Split Moong Dal Vada With Vegetables in Appe Pan (Not Deep Fried)

This dish is very easy to make and the best thing is that you don't need to fry the vadas. I use my appe pan all the time for making different kinds of vadas. For all those unfamiliar with this pan, the appe pan can be used for making vadas, pakodas, falafel balls, malai kofta balls and also you can make vegetable manchurian balls. By using this pan, you have a healthier alternative to the deep fried foods.


Soaking time: 1 hour
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serving: 4


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup split green moong dal (35 vada)
  • 4 medium green chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed whole cumin seeds (roasted and crushed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed whole black pepper (roasted and crushed)
  • 1 small green capsicum (diced)
  • 1 small red capsicum (diced)
  • 1 small seeded tomato (diced)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons oil for vada
  • 3 tablespoons water (to grind)

Directions:
  1. Soak the dal for at least 1 hour in warm water
  2. Drain the water and grind the moong dal with green chilies to a coarse paste in the food processor. Transfer into a bowl
  3. Add the crushed black pepper, crushed cumin seeds, salt and mix
  4. Heat the appe pan on medium high heat, and add few drops of oil in each of the wells
  5. Add a tablespoon of the batter in each well of the hot pan, sprinkle a mixture of the diced veggies on the top (see 1st picture below) 
  6. Let it cook until golden brown. Flip the vadas over to cook the other side
  7. Cook the rest of the batter same way
  8. Serve hot with green chutney and sweet chutney



Notes :


If you like, you can also add chopped onions or any other vegetables you prefer.
For Jains do not add ginger, it will still be delicious.


Tiranga Dhokla

In honor of India's Independence Day on August 15th, I have made this tasty and colorful dish. Dhoklas are steamed snacks that originate from Gujarat. To represent all three colors of the Indian Flag, this Tiranga (means "tricolor") Dhokla was made with dhokla batter, mint coriander and spinach paste and red chili paste. You can also use only spinach puree for the green color and carrot puree for the orange. Enjoy!!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serving: 4


Ingredients:
  • 4 cups dhokla batter (see the notes below to make homemade batter or you can get it ready made from the Indian store)
  • 1/4 cup mint coriander and spinach paste (ingredients below)
  • 2 tablespoons red chili paste (ingredients below)
  • 2 tablespoons oil (for greasing the plate and for tempering/tadka)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander leaves (for garnishing)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon roasted cumin/jeera powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda bicarbonate (Eno soda)
  • 1 tablespoon grated coconut
  • Pinch hing/asafoetida 
  • Salt to taste
For Green Paste:
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup mint leave
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • Salt to taste
For Red chili paste:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • Salt to taste
Directions:
  1. First make green coriander, spinach and mint paste in a mixer (you can add little water if required to grind the paste)
  2. Separately, make the red chili paste in the mixer (you can add little water if required to grind the paste)
  3. Divide the dhokla batter into three parts - one for green, white, and orange.
  4. For the green batter, add green paste to the batter and mix well 
  5. For the orange batter add red paste to the batter and mix well
  6. Divide eno/bicarbonate soda in three parts and add into green batter first, then white batter, finally orange batter and mix well
  7. Heat water in a steamer pot
  8. Grease the plate ( deep dish/thali )and transfer the green batter into plate, steam it in the pot for 3 to 4 minutes
  9. When it is done pour white batter for white layer on top of the green layer and steam it again for 3 to 4 minutes
  10. Now add orange layer on top of the white layer, sprinkle red chili powder and cumin powder and steam it for about 10-12 minutes (to test if the dhokla is done - insert a knife or toothpick to see if it comes out clean. If it does - it is ready)
  11. When it is done, remove and allow to cool
  12. For tempering, heat remaining oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When the seeds crackle, add sesame seeds and hing. Then, pour the tempering over the tri- colored dhokla
  13. Cut it into squares and garnish with chopped green coriander leaves and grated coconut
  14. Serve with green chutney

Notes:

For homemade dhokla batter use 1 cup rice and 1/4 cup urad dal. Soak rice and dal separately for 5 hours. Grind it in a grinder and make batter like idli batter. Add 1/2 cup sour yogurt and leave the batter overnight for fermentation. Add salt, 1 tablespoon chili ginger paste and then divide into 3 equal portions.



Mumbai Pav Vada

Pav Vada is like an Indian burger made by deep frying a potato patty in gram flour batter mixed with various spices and coriander leaves. Originating in Mumbai as a low priced street food, this dish can now be enjoyed in many restaurants. Growing up in India, I have had Pav Vada in many places and still make sure I have some every time I go back to visit my family. To eat during any meal, test out this Pav Vada recipe at home.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serving: 4

Ingredients:
  • 3 medium size potatoes (boiled, peeled and mashed)
  • 3 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Pinch of garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Pinch of hing/asafoetida
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 8 pieces of bread/laddi pav (small square shaped white bread rolls)
  • Dry red garlic chutney
  • Green coriander chutney (optional)
  • Sweet dates and tamarind chutney (optional)
  • 8 green chilies (fried)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep-frying
For the outer covering:
  • 3/4 cup besan/gram flour
  • 1 tablespoon rice flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dhanajeera powder
  • Pinch of hing
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • Salt to taste
Directions:
  1. In a mortar and pestle pound the green chilies, ginger and garlic
  2. Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds, Once they crackle, add the hing.
  3. Add pounded mixture, turmeric powder, garam masala and saute for a few seconds, then add the mashed potatoes, salt and mix well
  4. Add green coriander leaves, lemon juice, pinch sugar and continue to mix well
  5. Remove from the stove and cool, and then divide into 8 equal portions, shaping into round balls
  6. Now for outer covering combine all the ingredients in a bowl and make a batter using water (approximately 1/3 cup of water)
  7. Dip each potato ball into the batter and allow to coat the ball well
  8. Deep fry each ball in hot oil, until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and keep aside
  9. Taking the green chilies, remove all of the seeds, apply a little salt and fry in hot oil until it changes the color slightly
  10. Cut each bread piece (pav) in half and spread some dry garlic chutney, green chutney and sweet chutney inside
  11. Place one vada in each bread/pav and serve immediately with fried green chili, dry garlic chutney on the side

Notes:
You can also bake the potato patties individually using Diablo Vada baker (see the picture below). Just dip the potato ball into the batter, put it inside the Diablo using a little oil and bake them on a stove, cooking on both sides. (just like how you make a grilled sandwich on the stove)
For all three chutneys (red dry garlic chutney, green chutney and sweet chutney) please check recipe on my blog




Baked potato vada maker
Baked potato vada

Bombay Pav Bhaji

Pav bhaji has many variations relative to ingredients and garnishing, but it is essentially a spiced mixture of mashed vegetables in thick gravy cooked in flat griddle and served with soft white buttered bread. This is a fast food fare from the Indian state of Maharashtra. Pav bhaji is now offered at outlets from simple hand carts to formal restaurants in India and abroad. Everyone in my family loves Pav bhaji. I hope you like my
recipe and enjoy the dish.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serving: 4

Ingredients for the Bhaji:

  • 3 Idaho potatoes (boiled, peeled and mashed)
  • 1/4 cup boiled and mashed green peas
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 1/2 small green capsicum (diced)
  • 6 plum tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons pav bhaji masala
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt to taste
  • 8 pieces of pav bhaji bread (buns)
  • 8 teaspoons butter (for the bread)

Chili-garlic paste:

  • 10 to 12 cloves garlic
  • 2 green chillies
  • 4 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dhanajeera powder/cumin and coriander powder
  • 2 tablespoons green coriander leaves
  • salt to taste

For the garnishing:

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green coriander leaves
  • 4 lemon wedges 
  • Butter (four small squares)

Directions:

  1. First, to make the chili paste, add every thing in a food processor and blend. Then, add a little water and keep aside.
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a large pan or kadai.
  3. Add the onions, a little salt and saute for a five minutes while stirring occasionally. Once the onions are translucent, add the green capsicum and mashed green peas. Saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Mash well using a potato masher
  5. Add boiled potatoes, mix well and cook for 3 minutes. Then, add 1/2 cup of water and cook for 2 more minutes, while mashing it with the help of a masher.
  6. Add the red garlic chili paste, pav bhaji masala and salt (add a little salt as there is already salt in the garlic paste.). Cook for 2 to 3 minutes (add less paste if you don't want it too spicy).
  7. The bhaji is now ready to serve. Garnish it with green coriander leaves 
  8. Slit the bread vertically while heating a large tava/pan/griddle. Add butter and the bread, cut in half, on the pan. Cook on medium heat until they turn light brown and crisp on both sides.
  9. Serve the bhaji with bread, onion and a lemon wedge.
  10. Top the bhaji with butter (optional).



Chili-Garlic paste

Bhaji

Bhaidku (Spicy Porridge)

Bhaidku is a Gujarati word for spicy porridge. Bhaidku is very healthy for children and it is a light nutritious meal. It is usually served hot with khakhras.  In India, Bhaidku is so popular that you can find ready-made flour available in stores. The recipe below is made from different mixed grains. You can eat this for breakfast or for lunch. Enjoy the recipe and try it!!


Prep time: 10 minutes + grinding time
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serving: 4


Ingredients:

For Bhaidku: (about 2 cups flour mixture)
  • 1/3 cup rice
  • 1/3 cup whole moong
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat
  • 1/3 cup whole jawar
  • 1/3 cup whole bajri (millet)
  • 1/3 cup chana dal (split chickpea)
For 4 people:
  • 12 tablespoons bhaidku mixture           
  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 4 green chillies minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped green coriander leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 4 cups of hot water

Directions:
  1. Clean, dry grind all of the grains together to a coarse powder. (Use as required)
  2. On a low flame, heat ghee in a pan, add hing, carom seeds and the bhaidku mixture
  3. Roast for two to three minutes until the color changes
  4. Add the hot water, turmeric powder, black pepper, minced green chili and salt
  5. Cook for at least six to seven minutes, stirring continuously until it starts to thicken. Make sure there are no lumps (consistency should be like a thick stew)
  6. Garnish with green coriander leaves and serve hot
Notes:
You can also add vegetables of your choice and also add melted ghee on the top of bhaidku. 


Dahi Vada

Dahi vada is very easy to make, prepared by soaking vadas in thick dahi (yogurt). Dahi vadas can be eaten as a snack or as part of a meal. These are great as a side dish for a formal dinner, appetizer or served as a chaat. This dish is also my husband's and my son's favorite. Enjoy!

Soaking time: 4 hours
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serving: 4 (about 30 vadas)

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup urad dal (split black lentils, washed, soaked for 4 hours and drained)
  • 1/2 cup split green moong dal (washed, soaked for 4 hours and drained)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped ginger
  • 4 teaspoons chopped green chili 
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch eno soda (optional)
  • 4 cups whisked dahi / yogurt
  • 1/2 cup date and tamarind chutney
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon black salt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green coriander leaves
  • Oil to fry
Directions:
  1. Wash and soak dal in lukewarm water for 4 hours. Drain the water and grind the dal, green chili and ginger to a smooth paste in a food processor. Add salt and a pinch of eno, mix well
  2. Heat a sufficient amount of oil in a kadai (frying pan) on medium flame. Drop a tablespoon of batter into the oil (you can do six vadas at a time, depending on the size of the kadai) and fry until light golden. Drain onto an absorbent paper. Repeat for the remainder of the batter
  3. Put vadas in a bowl of warm water and leave for 10 minutes
  4. Squeeze vadas between your palms to drain out the water. 
  5. On the side, whisk yogurt well with black salt and salt to taste
  6. Place vadas on a plate and cover with the yogurt, adding sweet chutney. Sprinkle red chili powder and roasted cumin powder
  7. Lastly, garnish with green coriander leaves and the dish is ready to serve.
Notes:

For the date and tamarind chutney, check my blog for the recipe

Sprouted Moong Salad

This simple to make salad is a healthy and refreshing meal fix on any given day. This dish is perfect for when you are craving something light and nutritious. Ready in ten minutes, you can easily take this for lunch on the go or at the office/school. Just remember you have to sprout the moong beans in advance!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 3 to 4 minutes
Serving: 4


Ingredients:
  • 2 cups sprouted moong
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 cup cucumber chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup raw mangoes chopped
  • 2 seeded green chilies chopped
  • 1/4 cup green coriander leaves chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon roasted cumin seed powder (jeera powder)
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt to taste

Directions:
  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan
  2. Once boiling, add sprouted moong, salt and turmeric powder
  3. Cook the sprouts for 2 to 3 minutes and then drain the water
  4. Let the sprouts cool to room temperature
  5. In a bowl add tomatoes, cucumbers, mangoes, onions, all spices including lemon juice
  6. Add sprouted moong and toss the salad very lightly
  7. Garnish the salad with green chili and chopped green coriander leaves

How To Make Sprouts:
Soak the whole moong beans in water for 10 to 12 hours. Drain the water and then wrap the beans in a muslin cloth or you can leave them in a bowl with a cover and with very little water (1 tablespoon). Store the soaked moong beans in a warm dark place or oven for a 1 to 2 days until sprouted.

Vegetable Gram Flour/Besan Omelette

You might already know this simple and tasty omelette recipe, which happens to also be vegan friendly. Essentially, it is made out of gram flour, rice flour, onions, tomatoes, capsicum, chilies, coriander leaves and some spices. The best part is that this omelette can be made in under 20 minutes. It is relatively easy to serve at the drop of hat to guests and for a morning breakfast. My whole family loves to eat this dish with bread turning it into an omelette sandwich.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 (about 8 pancakes)


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup gram flour
  • 2 tablespoons rice flour
  • 2 small plum tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 1 small green capsicum (finely chopped)
  • 1 small red capsicum (finely chopped)
  • 1 small red onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 green medium hot chillies (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green coriander leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ajwain/ carom seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil, as required, for cooking the omelette
Directions:
  1. Mix the gram flour and rice flour while adding water, little by little, at the same time. Mix it well so there are no lumps in the batter (the batter should be medium consistency similar to a thick milkshake).
  2. Add the vegetables and spices. Mix it all well.
  3. Heat a tawa or non-stick pan and grease it with few drops of oil.
  4. Pour a ladle of batter in the center and spread it evenly to form a round pancake
  5. Add some oil drops on the edges and on top of the omelette. Allow it to cook while on medium heat.
  6. When it is cooked and golden brown in color on one side, flip it over and cook the other side.
  7. Cook the omelette until both sides are crisp
  8. Follow the same procedure with the rest of the batter
  9. Serve with green chutney and tomato ketchup
Notes:
For Jains, omit onions and ginger paste. You can use cabbage as a substitute.


Vegetable Omelette and Omelette Sandwich



Vegetable Omelette 


Watermelon Pizza

This watermelon pizza recipe will help you savour every last warm weather moment before Fall/Winter truly kicks in!

The beauty of this kid friendly dessert/snack is that there is no cooking involved and it's fully customizable based on your taste preferences. I've given my suggestions below, but feel free to try this with your favorite fruits as toppings.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Serving: 4

Ingredients:
  • 4 round slices of watermelon
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate kernels
  • 1/2 cup orange seedless, sliced
  • 1/2 cup peach, shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • salt to taste for seasoning

Directions:
  1. Cut 4 pieces of watermelon, (about 1 inch thick), which will be the base of your "pizza"
  2. Slice the strawberries, oranges, and shred the peach
  3. Open the pomegranate and take out the kernels
  4. On a large piece of a watermelon, place the slices of fruits on it, also put the berries and pomegranate kernels
  5. On the top put shredded peach, basil and mint leaves
  6. Season with salt and black pepper to your taste 
  7. Use a pizza slicer to cut triangles out of the watermelon and create pizza slices

Notes:
You can also add grated white chocolate or coconut on top using your choice of fruits. You can also sprinkle the with fruit chaat masala if you like.

    


Sing Batata Ni Khichdi

Sing Batata ni Khichdi translates to Peanut and Potato Rice in English.

Usually this recipe calls for cubed potatoes, but I chose to go a slightly different route with shredded potatoes instead. Typically this dish is made during days of fasting as it is easy and quick to make. On those days, traditionally, you use only peanut oil. Add some yogurt to the rice for a tasty touch. Hope you all make and enjoy this fast food.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serving: 4

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups shredded potatoes / approx. 4 potatoes large (peeled and washed and shredded )
  • 1 cup of roughly chopped peanuts (dry roasted and skinned)
  • 1 teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 4 medium green chilies chopped
  • 7 to 8 curry leaves (limdo)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Rock salt to taste (sindhav salt)
Directions:
  1. Fill a bowl with water, add 1 teaspoon salt. Peel, wash and shred the potatoes. Drop the shredded potatoes in the salted water, or else they will discolor.
  2. Heat peanut oil in a nonstick pan or in a heavy bottomed kadai. When it heats up, add the jeera/cumin seeds. When it crackles, add the curry leaves and the shredded potatoes (before adding potatoes, you must remove potatoes from the water and squeezed the potatoes with both hands)
  3. Stir the potatoes with the jeera, oil and curry leaves, cooking on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes
  4. Add the chopped peanuts, green chili, minced ginger, and stir.
  5. Cover the pan and stir halfway through the cooking process
  6. Cook them on low heat until potatoes are cooked lightly brown. 
  7. Add rock salt, lemon juice and sugar stirring well to distribute the ingredients evenly across the dish
  8. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves 
  9. Remove from heat and serve

Notes:
You can also make this using raw bananas, instead of potatoes. The steps remain the same.

Dudhi Halwa

Dudhi Halwa (or Lauki Halwa in Hindi) is a delicious dessert made from bottle gourd/calabash/squash. In India, my mom makes halwa at least once a week and over the years, I learned the recipe through her. The great thing about this dessert is that it requires only a few ingredients and it doesn't take too long to make!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serving: 4

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of dudhi, peeled and shredded (remove the seeds before shredding)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 to 5 threads of saffron (soaked in 1 teaspoon of warm milk)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground cardamon seeds
  • 2 tablespoons almonds, peeled and sliced (boil the almonds for 2 to 3 minutes to remove the skin)
  • Edible silver leaf/Vark (optional)

Ingredients:
  1. Remove the water from the shredded dudhi buy squeezing it out. Set aside about 2 packed cups of dudhi
  2. Boil 2 cups of milk in a pot until it reduces to about 1 cup and set aside
  3. Melt the ghee in a frying pan on medium heat, add dudhi and saute until it is tender.
  4. Pour in the milk to the bring dudhi milk mix to a boil
  5. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture becomes thick, stir occasionally in between to prevent sticking
  6. Add sugar, cardamon, saffron and 1 1/2 spoons sliced almonds. Stir continuously until the mixture gets to a consistency of a soft sticky dough. It will take about 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon sliced almonds
  8. Apply silver leaf/vark on top of the halwa (optional)
  9. Serve hot or at room temperature

Mathiya or Mathiya Papad

As Diwali approaches, I'll be sharing a few recipes to help you celebrate the holiday! In many Gujarati households, it is a custom to make a variety of snacks and sweets during Diwali to enjoy with your loved ones.

The first recipe is for Mathiya, a type of savory papad that has a spicy yet sweet crunchy taste.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serving: 4

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup mathiya flour / math dal flour
  • 1/2 cup urad dal flour
  • 1 tablespoon gram flour/besan
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon carom seeds/ ajwain
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white chili powder or coarse black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon papad kharo (soda khar)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying 
  • Warm water as needed (approx 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon )

Directions:
  1. In a bowl mix the three flours, ghee, carom seeds, white chili powder and sugar
  2. Add papad kharo to warm water 
  3. Add water to knead the dough. In order to get dough stiff, it will need to be pounded with a stone mortar or with your fists. 
  4. After pounding the dough for at least 15 minutes, create small round balls with the dough 
  5. With a rolling pin, roll out the balls into a thin round shape (slightly bigger than the size of a puri)
  6. In a deep wok/kadai, heat the oil on a medium high setting. Fry the mathiya one at a time until they are golden brown
  7. Mathiya is ready to serve
Notes:
Store mathiya in an air tight container for freshness


Chorafali / Fafda

Chorafali or fafda is another Diwali specialty in Gujarati households. This gluten free crispy vegan snack is perfect for munching at anytime during the day.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serving: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup gram flour / besan / chana dal flour
  • 1/2 cup split urad dal flour
  • Pinch carom seeds
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • Pinch soda (baking soda)
  • Pinch crushed black pepper 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon black salt to sprinkle (mix it in a small bowl)
  • Oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup water to 1/3 cup water approx
Directions:
  1. Boil 1/3 cup of water and add baking soda into it. In a bowl mix both flours, add salt, oil, black pepper and carom seeds
  2. When water gets warm, add into flour and knead the dough (dough should be stiff ). Keep aside for 20 minutes
  3. If your dough is still dry, add some oil and pound with stone mortar and stretch to make it soft and smooth. do not add more water 
  4. Make small balls of dough and roll out each ball to very thin roti size (about 5 inches in diameter)
  5. Within each circle, make about 4 to 5 cuts in the middle only while avoiding cutting to the edges OR you can cut them all of the way into wide individual strips
  6. Deep fry in oil on medium flame until golden brown 
  7. Sprinkle red chili powder and black salt on top before serving
Notes:
Once cool, store in a airtight container. They will keep fresh for about fifteen days.


Khajoor Rolls

On to the Diwali sweets! This recipe is for Khajoor (dates) Rolls with nuts. Dates and nuts always make a great combination and provide tremendous amount of nutritious value. While considered a dessert, these rolls are not overly sweet and can also be eaten as a snack. During Diwali, I usually make a roll to add variety to the other snacks and sweets. I just love Diwali as it brings lots of happiness!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serving: 4 (32 pieces)

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates (khajoor)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped pistachios
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped almond
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnut
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cashew
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 tablespoon condensed milk (optional)
  • Approximately 3 tablespoons Almond, pistachio and coconut powder (to coat the roll)

Directions:
  1. Heat ghee in a pan, add dates, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Mash the dates a little bit using a potato masher
  2. Add chopped nuts, and continue to saute for 2 to 3 minutes over low to medium heat. 
  3. Add condensed milk (by adding it the texture of roll will be creamy and soft)
  4. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes and then turn off the stove. 
  5. Apply ghee on the palm of your hand and shape the mixture into a log. Make sure the log is tight and free of air bubbles
  6. Coat the roll with pistachios, almond and coconut powder mixture, 
  7. Cover the roll with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes
  8. Take this roll out of the refrigerator and cut it up into 1/4" thick pieces
  9. Khajoor rolls are ready to serve
Notes:
You can store it into air tight container up to 15 days. You can also mold this roll in any shape you like.

Ghughra / Gujia

Ghughra is a traditional Gujarati and popular Diwali sweet. It is also known as Gujia or Karanji. Ghughra is a fried dessert in a dumpling shape filled with coconut and dry fruits. You can also use mawa/ khoya to make the filling. This sweet is a "must have" in our family every Diwali as it is Anisha's, my daughter in-law, favorite. I dedicate this recipe to her.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serving: Make 35 to 40 pieces, depending on the shape

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup rava/ sooji/ cream of wheat
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut (dry)
  • 1/4 cup raisins (cut it in half)
  • 1/4 cup almonds (chopped in food processor)
  • 1/4 cup cashews (chopped in food processor)
  • 1/4 cup pistachios (chopped in food processor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder/ elaichi
  • Pinch of  nutmeg powder
  • 4 to 5 strands of saffron 
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoon ghee
  • Ghee for frying
Dough:
  • 2 cups maida flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ghee
Directions:
  1. Roast the rava in ghee in a pan at low heat, until it becomes light brown in color
  2. Add cardamom powder, almonds, cashews, pistachios, coconuts, raisins, saffron and sugar and mix it all well together. Keep it to a side once mixed.
  3. In a bowl add maida flour, add ghee and mix it well
  4. Knead the dough and divide into small balls (the dough should be stiff)
  5. Keep the dough covered, so it doesn't dry out
  6. Take one ball and roll out into a puri shaped circle. Add some stuffing on the dough and then close it to create a half moon shape.
  7. Keep twisting around the edges to make ghughra in various shapes (you can use ghughra mold to give shape. See picture below)
  8. After you make four to six ghughra, begin frying process. Ghee should be heated in a pan on low/medium heat. Fry thoroughly.
  9. Continue steps 6-8 for remaining dough balls.
  10. Ghughras are ready to serve
Traditional shape and different shapes of ghughra:



Ghughra stuffing:


Ghughra Mold:


Cereal Chevda

Being healthy and staying healthy is easy with this recipe for cereal chevda. It will take care of your munching needs without all the unhealthy calories and fat from fried snacks. This is relatively quick to make and the recipe is easy to follow. It is comprised of a mix of different cereals, some dry fruits and is mildly spiced. It makes quite an enjoyable snack.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serving: 4

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups Corn Flakes
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 cup potato sticks
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup roasted chana dal
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 3 green chillies chopped (adjust to taste)
  • 10 to 12 curry leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchoor powder (mango powder)
  • A pinch of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
                          Directions:

                          1. Heat oil in a wide saucepan or kadai over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds.
                          2. As the mustard seeds crack, add asafoetida, green chillies and curry leaves. Cover the pan for few seconds after you add curry leaves as the mixture will spray outwards.
                          3. Lower the heat to medium low and stir fry for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add raisins, cashews, almonds, peanuts and chana dal. Stir-fry for an additional minute or two.
                          4. Add fennel seeds, sesame seeds, turmeric powder, amachoor powder, garam masala, red chili powder and salt. Mix well for 30 seconds.
                          5. Add both cereals and potato sticks. Stir the mixture gently and mix it well for a minute.
                          6. Turn off the heat and add sugar. Mix it well. The chevda is now ready.
                          7. Let the chevda cool to room temperature before you transfer into a container.

                          Note:
                          Cereal chevda can be kept for several days in an airtight container.