Taste the twist
There is a never-ending list of festivals that are celebrated in India, but when it comes to Diwali, the excitement among people reaches zenith.
There are various reasons to be happy about – week-long parties, dazzling decorations, and most importantly the scrumptious delicacies; because food after all is the centre of attraction in every Indian party.
So, keeping in mind our love for food as well as grand parties organised in every house during the festive season, renowned chefs from various hotels/restaurants have suggested out-of-the-box recipes that can be a part of your menu.
Enough of jalebis, laddoos and barfis...choose one of the below mentioned dishes and treat your guests with something that they would appreciate throughout.
Motichoor Ladoo ice cream
Chef's note: Fusion desserts are totally my type of thing. Motichoor Laddoos are a childhood favourite and Diwali is incomplete without them. But you can't have a lot of them in one go, which is why the ice cream quickly balances the sweetness and makes this the perfect culmination to any meal. Not loaded with calories, this is a guiltfree indulgence. (Chef Sandeep Saini, The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa).
Besan / Chickpea Flour 125 grams
Orange Food Colour 1-2 drops
Ghee 1/4 tbsp
Sugar 180 grams
Water 90 ml
Cream of Tartar 1 Small pinch
Rose Water 1/2 tsp
Melon Seeds 1 ½ tbsp
Instructions to make Boondis
Start by mixing the besan, a pinch of orange food color, 1/4tbsp ghee in a bowl. Add water and make a batter. Let it rest for atleast 15-20 minutes.
Then heat ghee to fry the motichoorboondis, in a kadhai/pan. You'll be needing a Jhara for making the miniature boondis, the finest one. On the other side, keep a plate/tray to keep the fried boondis. Make sure to keep a strainer or a colander so that the excessive ghee can be removed.
As soon as the batter has been dropped into the hot ghee, take the boondis out – don't over fry.
Repeat the steps and make miniature boondis by smashing/hammering down the jhara's stem/long handle over the container while someone adds a ladle full of batter to it and the boondis fall into the super hot ghee.
After all the boondis are made, let them rest for 10-15 minutes.
Instructions to make syrup
To make the syrup, add the remaining 180 grams of sugar and 90 ml of water in a pan. Add a pinch of kesar food colour, a pinch of cream of Tartar and the rose water.
Heat it up and let the sugar dissolve, and switch over to a extremely low flame. Add the boondis in and start stirring it. Cooking these boondis is a tricky step – if you cook this less, it won't form into laddoos and even if you manage to do so, it may remain chewy and wet. If you cook it more, it'll be hard and won't melt in the mouth like a good motichoor laddoo should.
Cook at an extremely low flame, just until it starts leaving sides. Take the mixture out from the pan into a plate and spread it. Add the char magaz/melon seeds and let it cool down completely. Now get some delicious rabdi or vanilla flavoured ice cream out and bring it to a nice room temperature. Mix some of the boondi in that and serve with some more boondi garnished on top of it.
Mille Feuille of Rasmalai and Coconut Cream
Chef's note: Try this recipe if you are keen to add a new element to your Diwali celebrations as it's an interesting fusion of Indian and western dessert. The dish has a surprise factor in the form of Rasmalai because no one could guess the ingredients just by a look of it. (Executive Sous Chef Vineet Bahuguna, Hilton Garden Inn, New Delhi/Saket)
FOR RASMALAI PATTIES
Milk 400 ml
Lemon juice 20 gms
Grain sugar 60 gms
Water 250 ml
milk mixture (redused milk)
Saffron 0.25 gms
Almond (shredded) 10 gms
Pistachio (shredded) 10 gms
Grain sugar 40 gms
for mille feuille sheet
Refined flour 100 gms
Salt 10 gms
Butter unsalted 30 gms
Water 25 ml
for coconut cream
Milk 200 gms
Castor sugar 30 gms
Butter unsalted 10 gms
Cornflour 20 gms
Coconut milk powder 20 gms
Boil the milk and let it cool, add lemon juice to it.
Stir till the milk curdles remove aside and drain excess water by hanging in muslin cloth
Knead the mixture to a soft dough and make small patties of equal size out of it and keep aside.
Make a sugar syrup with water and grain sugar and drop the patties into the syrup.
Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes remove from sugar and squeeze excess sugar.
Soak few strands of saffron in a tablespoon of warm milk and set aside.
Make a reduced milk mixture with the above ingredients and soaked saffron and add the patties to the milk.
Let it rest in refrigerator.
For Mille Feuille
Make a dough using the Mille Feuille ingredients and half of butter.
Knead the dough properly & let it rest in freezer for 3-4 hrs.
Soften the butter & gently roll it into the dough.
Laminate the dough into the butter & seal the side.
Repeat the process three times.
Roll the dough and bake it at 200®c for 15-20 minutes.
For Coconut cream
Boil the milk and sugar.
Pour in coconut milk & corn flour.
Whisk the mixture to avoid any lumps.
Gently add in the butter.
Method for Mille Feuille of Rasmalai and coconut cream
Cut the Mille Feuille sheet into three equal sizes.
Squeeze excess milk from Rasmalai and place on top of the Mille Feuille sheet layer coconut cream on the sides.
Put another sheet on top of Rasmalai and layer coconut cream on the sides.
Cover with another sheet and your Mille Feuille is ready to be served.
Garnish with Cherries on top.
Alsi Til and Khajoor Ke Ladoo
Chef's note: Moving away from conventional desserts this festive season, Alsi Til and Khajoor Ke Ladoo – made from flax and sesame seeds, crushed peanuts, seedless dates and jaggery – offers a unique mix of flavours and textures and is a perfect recipe to try this Diwali. (Executive Sous Chef Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Shangri-La's - Eros Hotel, New Delhi)
Flax seeds 350 gms
Crushed peanut 150 gms
Sesame seeds 150 gms
Seedless dates 150 gms
Jaggery 200 gms
Desi Ghee 130 gms
Water 180 ml
Method of Preparation
Heat ghee in a pan. Add flax seeds, crushed peanuts and sesame seeds and roast it on a slow flame for 8-10 mins.
Keep it aside and let it cool down
Heat water in a separate pan, add jaggery and make a sweet syrup.
Add dates, cook until it gets soft. Take it off the flame
Add the roasted seeds and mix it nicely
Make the ladoos before the mixture gets cold
Keep it at room temperature and enjoy with a glass of hot milk.
Makhane aur Kheel ki Kheer
Chef's note: When I was a child, my mom used to cook Makhane aur Kheelki ki Kheer for everybody on the occasion of Diwali. I can still recall how she would garnish the Kheer with fried cashew nuts and pistachios. And this was loved by every guest who would come to our house. There have been innumerable memories attached to this specific dish, and it has been my favourite since forever. (Tenzin Losel, Executive Sous Chef at Eros Hotel Nehru Place)
Milk: 1 liter
Makhana (puffed lotus seeds): 100gm
Kheel (puffed rice): 70 gm
Sugar: 150 gm
Condensed milk: 50 gm
Pistachios, chopped: 2 tsp
Almonds, chopped: 2 tsp
Green cardamom powder: 1 tsp
Saffron: 1 pinch
Lotus leaves: 5 to 6 petals
Heat up the milk in a sauce pan. Once boiled, reduce the flame to simmer.
Add kheel and makhana (broken into smaller pieces) and let it simmer for about 45-50 min without covering, till the milk reduces down and the seeds are soft.
Pour in the condensed milk, saffron, sugar and stir for a few minutes.
Add the pistachios, almonds and cardamom powder, stir well again.
Garnish with fresh lotus leaves & pistachios.
Serve hot or cold.
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