Easy Diwali Dishes

Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights is nearly here and Hindus everywhere like to gather with family and friends and eat plentifully. Here are some easy Diwali dishes for you to try.

Coconut and Vegetable Dal

This Diwali recipe can be made as a main course or as a side dish to a chicken or meat curry for non-vegetarians.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 tbsp hot curry paste
  • 225g sweet potatoes, cut in 2cm cubes
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 200g broccoli and/or cauliflower, divided into florets
  • 1 can green lentils
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 50g block creamed coconut
  • , crumbled
  • 125g fresh spinach leaves
  • 200g natural yogurt

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan and fry the onions until golden then add the curry paste (you can use more or less of this if you don’t want the dal too hot) and fry for one more minute.
  2. Add the sweet potato, broccoli and/or cauliflower and vegetable stock. Bring up to a boil then reduce the heat and cook gently until the sweet potato is just about cooked (about 20 minutes).
  3. Drain and rinse the can of lentils and add to the pan with the red pepper and the crumbled coconut cream. Continue simmering until the sweet potato is completely cooked (about 15 minutes).
  4. Stir in the yogurt and spinach and cook until the spinach wilts and the dish is hot.

Coconut Okra (Ladies Fingers)

This is one of the many recipes for Diwali which come from Gujerat in north west India.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp fresh coconut, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil
  • 500g okra
  • pinch asafoetida (optional)

Method

  1. Mix the coconut, fresh coriander
  2. Mix the coconut, fresh coriander, the dried spices and salt. Add about 2 tsp of the oil to moisten and hand knead the mixture.
  3. Cut the top off each okra and slit along the length to make a pouch. Spoon coconut mixture into each pouch.
  4. Heat the rest of the oil in a large pan and heat slowly. Add the asafoetida if using then the okra. Fry, stirring for a couple of minutes until the okra is just cooked.

Both the above Diwali dishes are great served with Indian bread, you can choose from naan, roti or chapatti. Here’s an easy recipe for chapattis.

Chapattis

Ingredients

  • 250g strong plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 140ml water
  • 3 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil, for frying

Method

  1. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl, pour in the oil and very slowly add enough of the water to make a soft dough which should not be sticky.
  2. Knead by hand or in a food processor until the dough is smooth then make it into a ball.
  3. Break off pieces the size of walnuts and roll each into a ball. Flour your worktop then roll out each ball into a 15cm diameter circle. This should make about ten chapattis.
  4. Fry the chapattis individually in about a tablespoon of the sunflower or groundnut oil until each one is golden on both sides. Keep the fried chapattis warm in foil until they are all ready to serve.

I hope you enjoy these easy Diwali dishes and carry on cooking Indian food long after Diwali is gone.

About 

Liz has always loved Asian food but after several visits to India, has decided Indian food is definitely her favourite, followed by Thai and Chinese.

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