Dahi vada (Dumplings in spicy yogurt)
Dahi vada is a perfect summer snack. It can be made ahead of time and should be served cold, so makes it a great party dish. It is also a kid’s friendly snack.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
For Dahi vada (4 servings)
Urad dal (white) – 1cups
Moong dal (yellow) – 1/2cup
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Asafoetida powder- 2 pinches
Freshly grounded black pepper – 1 tsp
Green chilies – 2
Cooking oil to fry
Salt as per taste
Yogurt – 2 cups
Whole milk – 1/2 cup
Chaat masala – 1 tsp
Black salt – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1/2 tbsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Roasted cumin powder- 1 tbsp (grounded)
Tamarind Chutney – 1/2 cup
- Wash Urad dal and moong dal thoroughly and soak it in water for 6-7 hours.
- Grind soaked dal with green chilies in fine paste using very little water. Add asafoetida powder, cumin seeds, black pepper and salt to the paste. Mix the batter for few minutes. It will incorporate some air to the batter and make it light.
- Heat cooking oil for frying the vadas.
- Take small lemon size batter and fry it in the oil. Repeat till all the vadas are done. It should be golden and crispy.
- Keep some room temperature water in a big bowl. Put the fried vadas into the water submerged. After 5 minutes, take the vadas out of water and press each vada with your palm to take the water out.
- To prepare yoghurt, take yogurt in a bowl and add ½ cup whole milk and whisk evenly. Add salt, sugar and chaat masala and keep aside.
To serve, place 2-3 vadas in a shallow plate. Add yogurt on the top evenly. Garnish it with red chili powder, roasted cumin seeds, salt as per taste and tamarind chutney. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Thali means platter. This platter is special because it has all the dishes served on festivals. This particular is for Navmi (last day of Navratra). This food is offered to Goddess and then to nine little girls. The compulsory dishes for the offering are Halwa (Pudding), Puri (Fried Indian flat bread) and Kala chana (Black gram). Rest of the menu is optional.
I have already posted the recipes for Halwa(Pudding), Kala Chana, Khaman Dhokla and Shahi Kheer.
Link for Aata Halwa or Pudding recipe:
Link for Kala Chana recipe:
Note: But for this special festival navratri menu, avoid using onions and garlic in the food.
Link for Khaman-Dhokla recipe:
Link for Shahi Kheer recipe:
Shakarpara means sugar treats. These are small diamond shaped sweets usually made during Diwali or other festivals. These sweets can be stored in air tight containers for 3-4 weeks.
Approx. 12 servings
- Wheat flour – 1 cup
- All purpose flour (Maida) – 1/2 cup
- Ghee or butter – 1/2 cup
- Sugar – 1 cup
- Milk – 1/4 cup
- Cooking oil for frying
- In a large bowl, combine wheat flour, all purpose flour and ghee. Mix well.
- Ina sauce pan, combine milk sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring it to a boil till the sugar dissolves completely. Take it off the heat and let it cool.
- Now add sugar syrup little by little to the flour mixture and knead it into stiff dough.
- Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a pan for frying on medium heat.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Take each part and roll the dough into 1/4 inch thick sheet.
- Cut the sheet into small diamond shapes with the help of knife or the pizza cutter.
- Carefully fry these diamonds in the medium hot oil till it becomes golden on both sides.
- Drain them on the kitchen towel and cool them completely.
- Once these diamond shaped shakarparas are completely cool, you can store them in air tight containers for 3-4 weeks.
Enjoy these sweet treats with a cup of coffee or masala tea.
This is a quick and non-traditional recipe for Gajar halwa or Gajrela.
Approx. 6 servings
- Carrots – 2 lbs
- Condensed milk – 1/2 can
- Ghee (clarified butter) – 2 tbsp
- Cardamom powder (elaichi) – 1 tsp
- Almonds, pistachio, cashews – 1/2 cup chopped
- Lightly peel and grate carrots in food processor or with hand grater.
- Pressure cook the carrots for 5 minutes.
- In a heavy bottom pan, add the steamed carrots. Let the water dry out.
- Now add ghee to the carrots. Sauté for 5 minutes. Now add condensed milk to these carrots.
- Keep stirring. When it doesn’t stick to the pan anymore, it is done.
- Now add cardamom powder and nuts to it. Mix well.
Enjoy carrot pudding or gajar halwa for dessert anytime.
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!
Sweet Saffron Rice
Sweet saffron rice can be prepared as an offering for Lord Ganesh Puja. It needs few ingredients, usually available in your pantry. Enjoy this simple yet flavorful recipe to start the festivities.
- Basmati Rice – 1 cup
- Ghee (clarified butter) – 2 tbsp
- Sugar – 1/2 cup
- Saffron – 12 strands
- Cloves – 4
- Cinnamon stick – 1
- Black pepper corn – 4
- Cardamom Powder – 1 tsp
- Raisins –1/4 cup
- Almonds – ¼ cup (or any nuts of your choice)
- Wash and soak rice in water for an hour.
- Soak saffron strands in 2 tbsp milk in a bowl. Keep aside for 10 minutes.
- In a pan, heat ghee on medium low flame. Add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom powder, black pepper corns. Sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add raisins and almonds to it. Sauté for 2 more minutes. Keep aside.
- In a large vessel, boil rice in 3 cups of water till almost done. Add 1 tbsp ghee to prevent rice from sticking together. Drain off the excess water and spread the rice to cool down.
- Add the above spice mix to the cooked rice. Also add sugar and dissolved saffron. Mix gently.
- Cover it and cook on low flame for 10 minutes. Saffron rice is ready to be served.
Garnish sweet saffron rice with sliced almonds and saffron strands. Enjoy as dessert after a meal.
Happy Independence Day!
Image courtesy: http://perfecthdwallpapers.blogspot.com/2011/08/indian-flag-wallpapers.html
Mutter ki Kachori (Green peas stuffed snack)
Kachori is one of the most common western Indian snacks. This recipe has green peas as main ingredient for filling. It is great on its own with tea/coffee and even tastes better as assembled chaat.
For Kachori shell:
- All purpose flour [Maida] – 2 cups
- Melted butter or ghee – 2 tbsp
- Water (enough to make firm dough)
- Cooking oil to fry
- Salt as per taste
- Green peas – 3 cups (fresh or frozen)
- Ginger garlic paste – 2 tbsp
- Green chilies – 2
- Shredded coconut (fresh or dry) – 1/2 cup
- Cumin Seeds (Jira) – 2 tsp
- Garam masala – 1 tsp
- Amchur powder – 2 tsp
- Salt as per taste
- Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
To prepare filling:
- In the microwave, cook green peas with very little water for 6 minutes, keeping it covered.
- In the food processor, grind these green peas coarsely with green chilies.
- In a pan, heat cooking oil. Add cumin seeds. When it starts splattering add ginger garlic paste to it. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add green peas mixture and shredded coconut to it. Mix well. On medium low heat let it sit for 10-15 minutes. For fresh coconut it takes longer.
- Once the mixture is all dried up, add amchur powder, garam masala and salt. Mix well.
- Take it off the heat and let it cool completely before filling in the kachories.
To make Kachoris:
- Combine all purpose flour, butter or ghee and salt. Mix evenly. Now add little by little water to make flaky dough.
- Knead well to make it firm dough.
- Keep the dough aside for 5-10 minutes.
- Take small ball size dough. Roll it into small circles. Place 1 tbsp of prepared filling in the centre and bring the edges together. Make an even ball; flatten it a bit by pressing your thumb in the center gently.
- Heat cooking oil for frying the Kachoris. Oil should be medium hot.
- Deep fry kachoris very slowly till it is crisp and golden on both the sides.
- Drain it on paper towel and let it cool down. Store it in an air tight container.
Assemble Mutter ki kachori as chaat. Place 2 kachoris on a serving plate. Garnish it with sweet tamarind-date chutney, green chutney and spiced yogurt. Also add chopped red onion, namkeen sev and chopped cilantro.
Mutter ki kachori is ready to be served.
Festivities are in the air. Besan Ladoo is one of the most popular sweet in India. It needs few ingredients and is very simple to make. Enjoy these homemade ladoos this Diwali.
For Besan Ladoo (20 pieces approx.)
Ladu besan (gram flour) flour – 2.5 cups
Ghee – 1.5 cup
Powdered sugar – 1.5 cup
Cardamom powder – 2 tsp
Almonds – ½ cup
Cashews – ½ cup
- Crush almonds and cashews in the food processor and keep aside.
- In a heavy bottom pan heat ghee. Now add besan and mix well.
- Keep stirring the mixture for approx. 20 minutes till the mixture turns golden and gives roasted aroma.
- Pour the mixture in a thali. Now add cardamom powder, almonds, cashews and powdered sugar. Mix evenly.
- Let it cool a bit and then start making lemon size balls (Ladoos) of the above mixture.
- Garnish with halved cashews and enjoy.