Thursday, October 31, 2013

Diwali Dinner Menu | Diwali Party Menu Ideas

Diwali is nearing by and many of you would be planning to host a mega dinner party for Diwali. Planning a dinner menu is always exciting for me and I had helped in fixing the menus for many of my friends and family. Though the planning is fun , it is bit painful to execute it. I usually plan my menu 2-3 days ahead and finish off the preparation work and desserts the previous day so that I can finish off the cooking easily on the day of party. I am sharing a few menu plans with various themes - North Indian, South Indian and Continental Menu options which are suitable for Diwali party so that it would be helpful to you in easy planning!!
As Diwali is just few days away, Check out for a wide variety of options for Diwali here:

Menu 1: Theme

Appetizers/Extras: (select atleast one from each category)
snacks/chaats: Onion Pakora | Corn Dhokla | Dahi Bhalla | Canape Sev Puri
salad: Tomato-Onion salad | Assorted cut Vegetables
soup: Creamy Cauliflower Soup | Babycorn - Capsicum Soup | Palak Soup
others: deep fried spicy papads,fryums

Mains: (select atleast one from each category)
dry/semi dry curry: Aloo JeeraAloo gobi | Kadai Paneer  | Paneer Jalfrezi
pulav/rice: Jeera rice | Peas Pulav | Veg Biryani | Baby Potato Biryani
flat breads: Roti | Chapati | Naan | Poori |
Methi Poori | Batura
paneer specials: Matar Paneer | Palak paneer | Paneer Makhani | Paneer Butter Masala 
dal/kadhi: Dal fry | Dal MakhaniChole | Kadai Cholay
raita: Onion Tomato Raita  | Anardana raita | Boondi raita                                                             

(select at least one from each category)
dessert 1: Basundi | Carrot Phirni | Lauki Halwa | Shahi Tukda | Carrot-Beet Halwa 
dessert 2: Fruit Trifle | Fruit Salad with Custard | Mango Kulfi  or ready made I
ce cream


Appetizers/Extras: (select one from each category)
pickle/powders:  Gongura | Avakaya | Amla Pickle | Andhra Gun  Powder
beverages:  Masala Butter milk | Tender Coconut special drink
sundal:  Kabuli Chana SundalChana Dal Sundal  | Sweet Corn Sundal

salad:  Moong dal Kosambari | Koshimbir
snack:  Masala VadaMaddur Vada | Dahi Vada | Sago Bonda | Raw Banana Bajji

others:  deep fried fryums,chips,papads and curd chillies

Mains: (pick one from each category)
stir fry/palya:  Alu fry | special Raw Banana fry | Spicy Potato Roast
curry:  Okra CurryDrumstick masala | Vankaya Kothimeera Karam
flat bread:  Poori | Chapati

curry for Poori/Chapati:  Mixed Veg Sagu | Mixed Veg Kurma | Cauliflower Kurma
variety rice:  Methi Pulav | Bisi Bele Bath | Vangi Bath
dal:  Andhra style Mango Dal | Tomato Dal | Methi dal
Pumpkin Sambar | Radish Sambar
stew/rasam:  Toor dal dumplings in Majjige Huli | Tomato Rasam | Toor dal Rasam

Steamed rice
Curd & Raitha and/or Curd Rice

Desserts: (pick one from each category)
special sweet 1: Boorelu | Bele Holige | Karikadubu | Garugu Holige                            
special sweet 2: Basundi | Gulab Jamun | Elaneer Pudding 
kheer/payasam: Moong dal KheerSemiya Kheer | Rice & Milk Pudding | Sago Kheer


Appetizers: (select at least 1-2 varieties from each category)
chinese appetizer: Chili Tofu | Chili Paneer | Stuffed Peppers | Spring rolls
soups:  Minestrone soup |Babycorn - Capsicum Soup |  Pumpkin soup
beverages:  Aerated drinks | Mocktails | Fresh fruit juices

Mains: (select atleast 3-4 varieties using all options)

Desserts: (select atleast one from each category)

As Diwali is just few days away, Check out for a wide variety of options for Diwali here:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

7 Easy Ladoo recipes for Diwali | Laddu Varieties

'Ladoos' or 'Laddus' are the most easiest sweets recipes one can prepare as one does not need to bother about the sugar or jaggery consistency while preparing ladoo varieties , though few ladoos like Boondi Ladoo are an exception. There are various varieties of ladoos and the most popular ones are Rava Ladoo, Besan Ladoo, Boondi Ladoo, Motichoor Ladoo, Coconut Ladoo, Dry fruits Ladoo etc. I have compiled this post with the most easy ladoo recipes and would love to post more ladoo recipes in future.

As Diwali is just few days away, Check out for a wide variety of options for Diwali here:
1. Moong Dal Ladoo | Pesara Sunnundalu - This Ladoo is prepared with powdered roasted moong dal and sugar with a mix of ghee and fried nuts. This is a very simple yet delicious Ladoo. You can prepare the roasted moong dal flour ahead and store it in refrigerator and use it when required.
moong dal ladoo
Moong Dal Ladoo
2. Kobbari Louse | Coconut Ladoo | Nariyal Ladoo - This is the best way to use if you have lots of coconuts during festive season. It just needs 4 ingredients and can be prepared quickly under 30 mins.
3. Marmarala Laddu | Puffed Rice Ladoo -  This ladoo is definitely a treat for kids as well as adults. Crisp Puffed rice is mixed with jiggery syrup and is mildly flavoured with cardamom powder which adds a nice taste to it. This is definitely a Kid's favourite.
4. Dry Fruits Ladoo - A Sweet can't be more healthier or nutritious than this ladoo. It does not have any sweetener as the dates and figs acts as a sweetener and is loaded with lots of healthy dry fruits. It is definitely a better way to sneak dry fruits in your kid's diet.
5. Minapa Sunnunda | Roasted Urad dal Ladoo - This is a very famous Andhra sweet which is usually prepared with urad dal and jaggery or sugar. I have used whole black lentils which is more nutritious compared to the white urad dal and makes it more healthy. Do give a try this recipe, its delicious!!

6. Oats and Dry fruits Ladoo - This was an experiment I did which turned out delicious and is also the best way to sneak oats in your diet. This is again a low calorie healthy ladoo to try this Diwali.
7. Chocolate Coconut Ladoo - It is a simple twist which I gave to the regular Coconut Ladoo. The cocoa complemented the coconut very well in the recipe. If you are looking to try something different, try this one!!

Also Check out for a wide variety of options for Diwali here:

Karthigai Pori Urundai | Maramarala Laddu | Puffed Rice Ladoo | Kathigai Deepam Recipes

borugula laddu
Marmarala Ladoo is one among those few sweets I used to enjoy as a kid and we used to call it as 'Borugula Undalu'. I used to like mildly sweetened sweets like Rasgollas, Puffed rice ladoo etc. I used to even squeeze out most of the syrup from the rasagollas and used to prefer to eat it that way.But now I am not the same person any more what ever I used to hate before I would not mind eating them, might be our preferences change according to the times.
marmarala laddu
Coming back to today's recipe Puffed rice ladoo is prepared by mixing the puffed rice in jaggery syrup and rolled into big ladoos out of it. Puffed rice is known as maramaralu or borugulu in Telugu and pori in Tamil. It is usually prepared for Karthika(Karthigai) deepam but I do not mind preparing it any time of the year as it is one of the easiest and low fat sweets which tastes great. It is usually a kid's favorite, do give them a try for your kids if you have not prepared them before and I am sure that they will love it. You can try this fat free low calorie Puffed Rice Ladoo for Diwali too it simple, easy and healthy.
Also check out other storable sweet varieties in my blog:
marmarala ladoo

Marmarala Laddu | Karthigai Pori Urundai Recipe:
Yields: 12-15 ladoos | Shelf life: 2-3 weeks
Prep time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 15 mins | Total time: 30 mins
Cuisine: Indian | Category: Sweets

4 1/2 cups Puffed Rice(Maramaralu, Murmur, Pori)
1/2 cup grated good quality Jaggery (preferably chikki variety)
1-2 Cardamom pods, powdered
Water as required(roughly 1/3 cup)
Ghee, to grease your hands

  • Clean puffed rice to remove mud or stones in that if any. 
  • Pour just enough water to cover the jaggery and heat it in a kadai till it melts completely.
  • Strain though a fine sieve to remove dirt.
  • Rinse the kadai and pour back the jaggery solution and add cardamom powder and boil briskly until it reaches SOFT BALL consistency.You should keep a bowl of water handy to check the consistency, drop a small amount of syrup in cold water, if rolled with the fingers the syrup should form a small bowl and it should be soft in texture. It is very important to get this consistency otherwise you cannot make balls(ladoos) out of it. If you cross this stage your ladoos will become hard and if you switch it off before you would not be able to make ladoos with it.So it is important to achieve soft ball consistency as mentioned.
  • Once this consistency is reached you can reduce the flame and add the puffed rice and mix it quickly until the syrup holds the puffed rice. If you feel that the mixture can hold more puffed rice,please feel free to add another 1/4 cup -1 /2 cup of puffed rice.
  • Switch off the flame and leave it aside for 2-3 mins until you can handle to make ladoos with that mixture.
  • Grease your hands with ghee and take a big portion of mixture and make it into a large ladoo of an medium orange sized one.Usually you can not prepare the shape exactly in the first go. So I usually make the balls out of it in a rough shape and once everything is done I again press them tightly to get a perfect round shaped ladoo. The syrup might get hardened in the later stages which makes it difficult to make ladoos, you can put the kadai back on fire and warm it a bit and proceed with making ladoos again.
  • Let them cool and they will harden a bit and hold its shape.
Store them in an air tight container.
karthigai pori urundai
  1. The key point to prepare this ladoo is in the process of the syrup. It is very important to achieve SOFT BALL consistency in the recipe, so follow the process bit carefully to avoid nay mishaps.
  2. You can add 2-3 tbsp of fried gram(roasted gram/chutney dal) and also 2-3 tbsp of finely chopped dry coconut pieces along with puffed rice in the recipe. I usually do not add as I like them plain with puffed rice.
  3. You keep another 1/2-1 cup of puffed rice handy just in case if you need to add more while preparing it.
  4. I use chikki variety of jaggery to prepare this as it makes the syrup nicely and also tastes nice. You can use any good quality jaggery for the same.
pori urundai

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

10 Low Calorie Diwali Sweets and Snacks Recipes | Healthy Diwali Sweets and Savory Snacks

Diwali is nearing by and I am sure most of you would be busy preparing various sweets and snacks for the festival. While I had already posted my collection of Diwali Sweets and Diwali Savory Snacks recipes I thought I would post a separate collection of Low fat Diwali Sweets and Snack recipes which would be helpful for those weight watchers and also for those who are looking for healthy low fat sweets and snacks recipes.
For a wide range of Diwali Sweets, check my post here and various Payasam Varieties, check out here..
For a wide range of Diwali Snacks, check my post here.

     Oats-Nuts Ladoo             Coconut Choco Truffles          Dry Fruit Ladoo

                       Kobbari Louse                      Marmarala Ladoo

       Kara Pori                          Spicy Chickpeas                   Spicy Puffed Sago

                         Masala Peanuts                     Poha Chiwda

Monday, October 28, 2013

Low Fat Masala Peanuts in Microwave | Masala Groundnuts | Low fat Diwali Snacks Recipes

masala peanuts
Preparing low fat snacks is a weekly affair for me so that I can pack for DH's snack box and also for me to munch them along with my cuppa. Peanuts are high in protein and other nutrients and also helps to promote some good cholesterol in the body and hence I include them in moderate amounts in our regular diet. But I look for low fat options instead of high calories stuff and hence I prepare Congress Kadlekai (spicy peanuts) and these Masala Peanuts in Microwave. Masala Peanuts are usually deep fried but trust me if you try these low fat microwave peanuts you would not miss those deep fried peanuts any more.
microwave masala peanuts
This recipe is not very different from the deep fried version and I am following the same from many years. Usually I used to eye ball the ingredients for this and as I wanted to post the recipe in my space I did some search and landed on Tarla Dalal's site and tried to follow the measurements for better idea and the measurements were just perfect.
masala groundnuts
If you are in search of low fat snacks. Check out other low fat snack recipes here.
Also check out the wide collection of Diwali Sweets Recipes, Diwali snacks Recipes and Payasam/Kheer Varieties.

spicy masala peanuts

Microwave Low Fat Masala Peanuts Recipe:
Shelf life: 1-2 weeks
Prep time: 5 mins | Cooking time: 10 mins | Total time: 15 mins
Cuisine: Indian | Category: Snacks/Tea time Snacks

1 cup Groundnuts
1 cup Chickpea flour(Besan)
3/4 tsp Carom seeds(Ajwain)
a pinch of Asafoetida (optional)
1/4 cup Water,approximately
1 tsp Red chili powder
2-3 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

  • In a bowl add ground nuts, chickpea flour, salt, asafoetida, red chili powder and carom seeds and mix everything nicely.
  • Add oil and water and mix nicely.Do not add water at once, add water slowly so that the batter coats the groundnuts evenly.If needed add 1-2 tbsp more of water but you should not make the batter thin,the ground nuts should hold the batter.
  • Cut a wax paper(butter paper) to the size of the glass plate in Microwave.
  • Drop the peanuts into small clusters leaving some space in between them. You should not allow each cluster to have more than 3-4 peanuts otherwise the peanuts would not get cooked evenly and also do not clutter them and do it in small batches. The quantity I mentioned should be done in 2-3 batches based on the size of your microwave.
  • Microwave it on HIGH for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes and keep an eye after 1 1/2 mins so that they would not burn. Check by tasting 1 cluster(peanut), if you feel it is still raw microwave it again for a minute or two. It might take any time in between 2-4 mins based on the power of microwave.
  • Remove the wax paper from MW and remove the peanuts from it. Let the peanuts cool completely. Repeat the same process for the rest of the peanuts and microwave them and cool them completely.
Store the peanuts in an air tight container and serve them with a cup of tea/coffee.
masala peanuts
  • I suggest you to do it in small batches, if they are cluttered there might be chances that few peanuts would remain raw in the centre.
  • When you mix in the peanuts to the chickpea flour, you might feel that the chickpea flour quantity is more, but this quantity is good enough to coat the ground nuts. Once you mix if  you feel the batter is more add 2-3 tbsp peanuts and mix again.
  • As the power varies from microwave to microwave, the cooking time differs. So keep an eye on them and use your judgement and take care that they would not get burnt.
  • You can add garam masala for an extra flavor if you want.
  • You can add amchur powder to it if you like it slightly tangy.
microwave masala peanuts

Sunday, October 27, 2013

30 Diwali Sweets and Savory Snacks Recipes | Diwali Recipes 2013 | South Indian Deepavali Recipes

Diwali is just a week away and I am sure most of you would be busy preparing various Diwali Sweets and Snacks to distribute among family and friends. I am sharing the recipes which can be prepared much ahead so that it would be easy to prepare them and store them for 15-20 days. So book mark this page and try out few snacks and sweets recipes for this year Diwali 2013 and enjoy with your family and friends.

Check out a complete range of Diwali Sweets Recipes and Diwali Snacks Recipes here.
If you are looking for a wide range of Kheer/Payasam Varieties ,Check out this post and if you are looking instant snacks recipes check out various Vada/Pakora recipes here.
Also check out How to make Processed RICE FLOUR  at home to  make these Diwali savories and snacks.

         7 Cups Cake                       Ariselu(Adhirasam)              Kobbari Boorelu 

          Sunni Undalu                       Karanji                       Oats-Nuts Ladoo

                               Dry Fruit Ladoo                  Moong Dal Ladoo                     Kobbari Louse
         Paneer Peda                      Coconut Choco Truffles           Coconut Burfi

         Spicy Seedai                      Chakli                                   Thengolu 

              Manugu Poolu                 Ribbon Pakoda                       Sago Murukku
         Chekkalu/Thattai                    Poha Chiwda                    Avarekalu Mixture

        Plain Ribbon Murukku         Spicy(Khara) Sev             Ompodi/Plain Sev
        Garlic Kara Sev                 Karam Gavvalu                      Spicy Chickpeas

        Masala Peanuts                     Kara Pori                          Spicy Puffed Sago

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