Every year around Diwali, I plan an Indian dinner for just a couple of my closest friends. I experiment with different Indian recipes and just have a good time celebrating the Hindu festival. I can’t deny that it always takes a lot of effort. (I was in the kitchen all day yesterday!) It’s only once a year, so I don’t mind and actually look forward to it. I put on an Indian kurti or whatever I’ve got and have a good ol’ time.
This was my menu last night:
This was just a little snack on the side. It’s fairly easy to make. I made a batter with the gram flour and water with a pinch of salt, chilli powder, and baking soda (kind of like the thickness of pancake batter), it should be thick enough to coat the slices of potato. I coated sliced potatoes in the batter and deep fried them and they were simple yet oh-so-good.
This is definitely a favourite of mine and my friends! Samosa is another little side-snack while having the main course. Instead of buying these in a packet, I decided to give it a go and make them (relatively) from scratch. I started off with boiling a couple of potatoes. I peeled and mashed them. I cooked them in a pan along with some peas. I added some cumin powder, coriander powder, chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt and mixed that well.
Next, I got some spring roll sheets (from the freezer section at the supermarket) and split those in about 3-inch sections. I rolled up the potato mix in the sheets and ended up with a triangular shape. (Explaining how I made the shape is extremely difficult, but you can roll it up however you like. It’s the taste that matters!). When that was all done, I deep fried them and they were ready to be devoured!
These were seriously gone so quickly it’s not even funny! There’s never enough of pakora or samosa. My mom’s samosa beat mine, though but these were pretty good for an amateur like me!
- Mung daal, yellow lentils
- chilli powder
- turmeric powder
- coriander powder
- mustard seeds
- fresh coriander
Soak the mung daal in water for about half hour to one hour before hand.
Mince the garlic, ginger, and onion in a food processor.
Add 2 tbsp oil in a metal pot on the stove. Add the minced garlic, ginger, and onion to the pot along with half tsp coriander powder and half tsp turmeric powder. When the onion is translucent, add the soaked mung daal.
Mince 1 carrot in the food processor and add it to the pot. Let it start boiling but be careful! Keep an eye on it because it tends to overflow. Once it starts boiling, lower the gas and let it boil on a lower temperature for about 15-20 minutes.
Get a small pan or pot and add 1 tbsp oil to it. Once the oil is hot, add 2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp coriander and turmeric powder. The mustard seeds will start popping, once they start popping add this mix to the pot with the already boiled daal. Mix all this well and add some chopped up fresh coriander. And voila! Your delicious mung daal is done!
This dish can be served with hot rice (like I did because I was too lazy and ran out of time,tbh) or chappati, which is made from aatta. Daal can also be consumed on its own so if there’s no rice or chappati, no worries! It’s basically like a soup, so no problem there.
For this dish I used:
- tomato puree
- cashew paste
- coriander powder
- cumin powder
- turmeric powder
- chili powder
- fresh coriander
Add minced garlic, ginger, and onion to a pan with 1 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp butter. After about a minute, add the tomato puree and let that cook for a bit until the oil sort of leaks out at the ends. Add the cashew paste to the pan. Mix that up well until it’s all one sauce. Add the powders and salt and mix well. You want to make sure you’ve mixed it all well because once the paneer is added, it won’t be as easy to mix.
As for the paneer, you can saute it in a little oil in a different pan until its a little brown before adding to the sauce but it’s not absolutely necessary.
So, add the paneer to the sauce and make sure it’s all coated in sauce. I also added some mushrooms because I thought the dish needed a vegetable, but that’s just me! haha
Let that cook for a couple of minutes and it should be done! Add some chopped up coriander right at the end and mix. Garnish with fresh coriander.
Indian dishes are known for the curries and gravies and not so much the vegetable or meat. I’ve had the experience of dining with people who only eat the vegetable or meat in the dish and leave all the gravy for the trash. But guys! The magic is in the gravy! As you could read above in the recipe, I put the most effort in the sauce rather than the paneer. The gravy is meant to be eaten with rice or chappati or whatever floats your boat. It can even be consumed on its own! So next time you’re having Indian food, appreciate the gravy too!
I couldn’t celebrate Diwali without a dessert, could I? I mean this festival is an excuse to devour as much sugar as you can! (haha okay that’s not true, but a lot of sweets are consumed around this time of year in India). Actually, whenever it’s a special and happy occasion, it’s an Hindu custom to have something sweet and Diwali is definitely a happy occasion (Lord Rama coming back, celebrating a new year…)
So, the sweet I made wasn’t much but it’s definitely one of my favourites! It’s main ingredients are gram flour, lots of butter, and powdered sugar! I kept these in the fridge, which is why they were quite hard when I took them out for dessert time. But once they were soft enough to get off the plate, they were almost gone in an instant! They have a faint taste of peanut butter and some people even say it tastes like dulce de leche, however, as shocking as it may sound to those people neither of those ingredients were put in these amazing laddoos!
Thanks for reading!
Smile on because it’s Diwali!