Happy Diwali to everyone..
Well.. this one's going to be a really long post.. Great celebrations, meeting relatives, painting diyas (one of my fav hobbies).. and tons of cooking.. - lots of snacks and sweets!!
To start with..
Some Rangoli I made..
Some Diyas I painted..
Here's all the snacks we made (recipes at the end)
Some Pedha I made..
This one was really simple.. I had 200 gms of sweetened condensed milk with me.. added to it one heaped cup milk powder.. 3/4 cup milk, 3-4 tsps sugar.. some cardamom powder and 1/4 cup butter.. put all of this in a microwaveable deep dish, and microwaved for 5 minutes, stirring after every minute. Allow it to cool and roll into pedhas.. really tasty.. and extremely easy.. Turned out like the malai pedhas you get..If you want firmer pedhas, you can perhaps skip the milk..
My mom in laws Diwali special snacks..
The rectangular ones are 'Cheesy Peas Puff Pastries'
For the stuffing.. Take heat some oil, add jeera, crushed green peas and seasonings of your choice.. like turmeric, red chilli powder, salt, garam masala and lots of chaat masala.. After cooking it, remove it from the gas, and add grated cheese. Keep aside.
For the covering.. Knead a crumbling dough of maida in oil.. Add salt..Knead with enough water to get a dough like for poori.. Now.. the secret to puff pastry.. Roll a large chapati, fold into half.. again fold into half, so you get a 1/4 looking chapati.. While you were folding, stick the chapati with a paste of ghee and cornflour. Now, roll up the 1/4 looking chapati, you'll get a cylinder.. Cut this cylinder into 4-5 pieces. Each piece is to be rolled into a poori, place the stuffing (similar to Karanji) and fold the poori into half.. stick the edges, and cut the edges into desired shape. Then deep fry in oil.. (Hope I've explained properly.. was too busy with Diwali preparations to take pics of the process...)
The other one is 'Tortillas'..
You need black gram dough, but we just used gram dough.. added seasonings.. like salt, chilli powder, and kneaded with some oil and enough water to get a poori type dough.. Roll into a chapati.. stick some coriander leaves and cumin seeds on the chapati and lighty roll it to stick them.. Then, cut into 8 pieces.. (1 lenghtwise cut, 1 horizontal cut, and 2 diagonal cuts.. ) and deep fry in oil..
Hubby made some 'Dahi Boondi' :)
Here are all the recipes for the variety in the snack tray..
Chakli (Bhajni chi)
Its in the centre of the snack tray..
This is Chakli pic taken while frying :)
500 gms Bhajni Chakli atta (got the ready atta.. no need to add salt too..)
600 ml water
Some oil for kneading
Kneed the chakli in around 1/2 cup oil. Then boil the water, and add the hot water to this chakli atta. Keep for 3 hours. Then, cook in boiling oil (at high flame), using a Chakli press. If you lower the flame.. the chakli bursts.. or absorbs too much oil and becomes soggy like jalebi :) (yes.. a handful turned that way..) But most of it turned out really nice, crispy and tasty..
Murukku pieces (Top right of snack tray)
We'll.. this one's simply from here.. Just that changed the shape, and made finger like pieces..
Mathri (Bottom right of snack tray)
You need to knead maida.. with enough ghee to have a crumbling mixture.. Then add enough water to knead a tight dough (similar to poori dough). To the maida.. add a spice of your choice and salt.. We put black pepper powder this time.. but have also tried out with jeera, kasuri methi.. in the previous years..Then, roll into small thick pooris, make 3-4 holes in each poori with a fork / toothpick..and deep fry in oil on medium heat.
Twisty crispy (Sweet - Bottom of snack tray & Chatpata - Red colored thing top left of snack tray)
This dough is exactly the same as for mathri.. But no spice or salt added at all.. Then, roll out the dough into a normal poori. Using a knife, made vertical parallel cuts on the poori, leaving the edges uncut.. Then roll up the poori, twist a bit and press the ends. It looks like a twisted up Diwali Kandil.
I was inspired by this recipe at Cooking 4 all seasons
Then I deep fried these in oil at medium heat. We'd made 2 doughs.. one normal, and to the other part, we added red food color. The red fried ones, I sprinkled generously with chaat masala, and the normal ones, I rolled in sugar powder.. really yummy and very easy!
Sweet Chakli (Bottom left of snack tray)
This one's made by my mom in law..
Same dough like the mathri.. but to the maida.. she added a little food color (yellow) and sugar powder.. as per the desired sweetness (we like it mild).. Then, used the same rolling technique as for the puff pastry thing.. Then deep fried in ghee.. Due to the stick and rolling, you get the layers thing..
Nachni Shankarpali (The blackish cubes at the top of the snack tray)
I saw this on a cookery show on television.. Take like 2/3rds nachni atta, and 1/3rds maida, and sugar powder to taste.. add enough ghee to make a crumbling mixture.. Add cardamom powder and knead with enough water to made a poori type dough. Then roll out into a large roti, thickness of 1/4 cm. Cut into cubes and deep fry in ghee on medium heat. It generally fluffs up llike pooris.. and is very nice and crispy.. biscuit like crunchiness.. Mine didnt turn out so well.. cos I used less ghee while kneading the dough.. Edible and tasty though.. just a bit hard..but good for a first timer I hope :)
All these go to Priya's Diwali 2009 contest & Purva's Dawaat