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Curated Diwali Menu: Healthy and Quick Festive Recipe Ideas for Diwali Day

Nandita Iyer

Nandita Iyer
22 October 2020

This article is authored by Nandita Iyer. Nandita is the author of the book The Everyday Healthy Vegetarian and blogs at The Saffron Trail. She has studied medicine and nutrition.

Besan

While Indian cuisine seems like the default choice while celebrating Diwali, which is one of the popular Indian festivals, you can give the usual menu a break and try a fusion between Indian and a cuisine from any other part of the world. Having the traditional fare for all meals and parties can get a bit tiresome and boring for all. Also prepping for a complete, traditional meal for a large number of people can be quite a task. This Diwali, try a mix of tradition and fusion to dish out a spread fit for celebration. Indian d ishes (Diwali sweets and Diwali snacks) can be mixed and matched to make a whole mezze table, where family and friends can help themselves to bite-sized portions of the whole menu.

Let us guide you around a curated mezze-like menu full of vibrant and inspired Indian dishes.

Beverages

1. Tomato and date shorba – Dates add a touch of sweetness to a traditional tomato shorba that can be served in shot glasses.

2. Iced Lemongrass green tea – Boil lemongrass in water and use this water to brew green tea (or regular tea). Proceed to make iced tea with this.

Breads

These can be had with the dips or as a scoop for the salads.

1. Roasted beet and hung yogurt dip – Roasted beets pureed along with garlic and mixed into hung yogurt, topped with some sliced and fried garlic

Dips And Condiments

These add colour and flavour to any meal, and more, so very important in a mezze menu.

1. Roasted beet and hung yogurt dip – Roasted beets pureed along with garlic and mixed into hung yogurt, topped with some sliced and fried garlic

2. Moong dal hummus – Soak and cook moong dal. Grind to a purée along with tahini, garlic, lime juice and olive oil. Top with sliced chillies and some crispy moong dal.

3. Baingan chokha – Roasted eggplant is made in different ways in many Indian cuisines. This one made using mustard oil and chillies, is a great dip to scoop up using a piece of bread.

4. Tomato chutney –Chopped tomatoes cooked until jammy in some gingelly oil along with fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, red chillies and mustard seeds.

5. Roasted guava chutney – Fire roasted ripe guava ground with cumin, ginger, chillies, sugar and salt.

Salads

Adding a dose of freshness to your mezze table, and a healthy serving of vegetables.

1. Kachumbar – Make your regular onion-cucumber-tomato salad fancier by adding a luscious lemon-olive oil dressing, a topping of toasted seeds and edible flowers.

2. Rice coriander lime cashew salad – Cooked brown rice tossed along with roasted cashew nuts, lime juice, coriander and a tempering of cumin seeds, curry leaves, pepper and chillies.

3. Kosumbari salad / whole masoor dal salad – Use soaked and drained dal or whole moong or sprouted moong to make a salad along with pomegranate, grated carrot and fresh coconut.

Bite-Sized

A couple of pieces of each of these dishes add extra elements to your menu and make the plate more filling.

1. Paneer marinated with spices in oil – Fresh paneer cubes marinated in a strong flavoured oil like coconut, mustard or gingelly oil. In hot oil, add spices and herbs like black pepper, curry leaves, red chillies, cumin seeds, garlic. Add salt. Allow the oil to cool and pour over paneer cubes in a jar. Let this marinate for a few hours. Any leftover oil can be used in a salad dressing.

2. Bite-sized dal vadas - Made using soaked and ground chana dal or black eyed peas, along with fennel seeds, mint, chillies, black pepper which are full of flavour and texture. These can be had with one of the condiments.

3. Stuffed bhavnagari chillies / bajji chillies - With peanuts, besan, tamarind and spices.

3. Baingan chokha – Roasted eggplant is made in different ways in many Indian cuisines. This one made using mustard oil and chillies, is a great dip to scoop up using a piece of bread.

4. Spinach and cheese kebabs – With an outer casing of boiled potatoes, spinach and spices and a centre filled with grated cheese that melts once shallow fried.

Desserts

1. Bite-sized dessert plate – cut burfis and cakes into tiny pieces and serve a mix of 4-5 different sweets in a plate or get mini sized motichoor laddoos

2. Tiny squares of shortbread topped with kesar shrikhand


DISCLAIMER

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