Diwali Special Recipes from Kolkata Food Bloggers

Diwali, the most cherished and joyous time of the year is around the corner and after a week long festivities of Dura puja again we are gearing up and looking forward to celebrate it with much vigour. 
Diwali or Deepavali is the celebration of Good over Bad, light over dark and New over old. At the same time it's a celebration of togetherness...A time when we celebrate everything good with our families and loved ones. And in that category Food can not be left behind.
Here is a small effort from Kolkata Food blogger's team to share few of our favourite recipes to celebrate the festival of lights. We have tried to come up with recipes that will fit everyone's requirement. For a  enthusiast cook to a busy working Mom. Hope we have something to offer to every body.

To refresh your guests serve some chilled drinks.

Gandhoraj Flavoured Lemonade
Welcome your guests with this wonderfully aromatic Gandhoraj flavoured Lemonade by Sayantani Mahapatra.

Gandhoraj Lemon
Ice cubes

To make a glass of this refreshing drink mix 3 tbsp (increase or decrease depending on your preference) sugar in a tall glass of water. Stir with a spoon to dissolve the sugar. Cut a big wedge of gandhoraj lebu and squeeze the juice in the sugar water (approx. 1 tsp). Squeeze real hard as the gandho lebu has a very thick and hard skin. Soak that squeezed piece in the sharbot for a few minutes. Strain and serve with ice cubes. 
Diwali is never complete without some lights, laughters and  finger foods. 

Dahi Ke Kebab
For an evening get together try this Dahi ke kebab by Archita Chanda Ray

Hung curd - 1 cup

Paneer /cottage cheese - 1 cup - grated

Gram flour /besan - 1 tbsp

Coriander leaves - a handful - finely chopped

Green chilli - 2 nos - finely chopped

Roasted cumin powder /bhuna jeera powder - 1 tbsp

Salt - to taste

Sugar - 1 tsp

Breadcrumbs - for coating the kababs

Oil - for frying  

In a bowl combine all the ingredients except the breadcrumbs and the oil. Mix well in to a smooth mixture. Check seasoning. Cover and let it rest in the fridge for half an hour.

In a plate spread out the breadcrumbs. Make little balls of the curd -paneer mixture and flatten them on your palms into tikkis. Make sure your palms are greased with a little oil. Roll the tikkis/pate into the breadcrumbs. Roll all the tikkis and refrigerate again for 15 mins.

Heat oil in a non stick frying pan - about two tbsp. Gently tip in the kababs in the hot oil and shallow fry till golden brown on each side.

Serve with sauce of your choice - they are delicious - melt in your mouth types.

Shotglass Kebab
A new take on Vegetarian Sheekh. Be the talk of your Diwali party, try this recipe from Amrita Gill.

(Makes 10  kebabs)
100 gm (1/3 cup): Rajma/Red kidney beans
50 gm (1/3 cup) Chana dal/Split Bengal gram
50 gm (a little less than 1/3 cup): Dhuli Moong dal/Split Green gram

Salt to taste

1 tbsp ginger-garlic-green chilly paste

1 medium sized onion, chopped

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves

1 tsp red chilli powder

½ tsp black pepper powder

½ tsp amchoor powder/dried mango powder

1 tbsp refined flour

1/2 cup Breadcrumbs

1/2 cup sooji/semolina

Soak rajma overnight and soak chana dal for atleast 2 hours. Put Rajma in a pressure cooker with 1 1/2 cup of water and salt to taste. Cook on  high flame till the first whistle blows, then reduce flame and cook for 20-25 mins. Strain and keep aside to cool. Now put chana dal and moong dal in the pressure cooker with salt and 2 cups of water. Cook till 3 whistles blow. Remove from heat and strain to cool.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add ginger garlic green chilly paste. As it begins to brown add chopped onions and sauté till they become transparent. Mix cumin powder, kasuri methi, amchoor powder, red chilly powder and pepper powder. Mix the boiled pulses and cook till they are mashed well (If required mash with a masher). Cook till the mixture dries. Remove from heat and let it cool.

Heat oil in a pan to shallow fry the kebabs. In a bowl, make a thick batter with refined flour and water. Mix semolina and breadcrumbs in a plate and keep aside. Make cylindrical shaped kebabs with the pulse mixture. Dip each first in the flour batter and then in the breadcrumb semolina mixture. Coat well on all sides.

Shallow fry each kebab till they get a nice golden colour. Drain on absorbent paper.

For Tomato chutney
3 ripe tomatoes, chopped

3 tbsp sugar

Salt to taste

½ tsp red chilly powder

½ tsp panchphoron (fenugreek seed/methidananigella seed/kalonjicumin seed/jeera, mustard seed/rai and fennel seed/saunf in equal parts)

Take oil in a pan and add panchphoron. As it splutters add the chopped tomatoes. When the tomatoes gets mashed and the juice reduces, add salt ,red chilly powder and sugar. Let it cook till it thickens. Check the chutney for sweetness and if required add some more sugar.

To Serve
Add a tbsp of tomato chutney in a shot glass. Prick each kebab with a toothpick and place in the glass over the chutney.
Tangy Prawn:
If you are catering to hardcore non Vegetarians then Try this tangy prawn recipe by Kamalika Chakravarty.
Prawns- 9-10
Tomato Puree- 1/2 pack (of the 200gm)
Coconut Milk- 1/2 pack (of the 200gm)
Chopped Garlic- handful
Onion - 1 medium (Sliced)
Salt & Sugar- as per taste.
Oil- 2 tbspoon

Heat the oil. Shallow fry the prawns with a pinch of salt and reserve.
Add chopped garlic. Let them turn brown then add sliced onion. Fry them till they turn brown. Add the tomato puree and boil for couple of minutes. Add the Prawns, salt and sugar.
Add the coconut milk and keep cooking unless the consistency of the gravy gets thickened.
Serve hot with some toothpicks on the sides.
This festival is never complete without some Sinful desserts. Here are our picks.
Aam Almond Sondesh
Sarani Tarafdar's easy yet elegant recipe will fit your bill perfectly if you are pressed for time.
Home made cottage Cheese (Chhana) - 1/2 Cup 
Mango - grated - Pulp and Juice from 2 small
Sugar - 4 tsp
Almond - 12  grated and few slivers for garnishing
For the Homemade Cottage Cheese (Chhana):1 litre milk (I used Amul Taaza)
Juice of a small lemon squeezed.

Heat the milk in a pan and once it starts to boil add the juice of the lemon, while stirring continuously. At this point the milk solids will start separating from the whey. Once the milk curdles completely take the pan off heat and using a strainer drain the liquid (you can use a cheese cloth or a muslin cloth as well). Once the 'chhana' cools down, press down a little to ensure that all the excess water has drained.

Then heat a pan and add the chhana, sugar, grated almond and the grated mango to it. If your mango is fibrous then strain and just use the juice of about 3 or 4 small mangoes. This mixture needs to be cooked on low heat till it becomes a crumbly mixture. The key is to stir and scrape constantly. 

Once the mixture cools down knead it like you knead flour dough till it becomes smooth and stick it in the fridge for about 2 hours. Then take it out, make small balls and garnish it with slivers of almond and serve.
Diwali is all about Tradition and to keep that alive prepare this easy traditional recipe from Indrani Dhar.
Milk: 1 liter
Lemon Juice: 2 tbsp
Sugar : 1 cup
Water : 3 cups
Saffron strands : few
Rose water : 1 tsp.
Prepare the cottage cheese following the abve recipe and knead with the heal of your palm for at least 8-10 minutes till its very smooth. To make the Rasgulla, Divide the dough into equal size and roll them between your palm To make the  smooth balls without any cracks.

Mix sugar and water in a pressure cooker on medium high heat and bring to a boil. Add the chhena balls, saffron strands and rose water in it, then close the pressure cooker. After the pressure cooker starts steaming, turn the heat to medium and cook for about 7-10 minutes. Note: Make sure the pressure cooker is large enough to accommodate all Rasgullas, as they will expand to about double the size while cooking in the syrup. Otherwise, do it in batches.

Remove from heat and pour into a big bowl with sugar syrup. Bring them into room temperature before making malai with them.You can serve rasgullas as it is. Serve them chilled or in room temperature.You can keep them fresh in refrigerator for 7-10 days.

For the Malai:
Milk : 1 ltr.(full cream milk preferably)

Sugar : 1/2 cup(as per your taste)

Cardamom powder : 1 tblsp.

Almonds/Pistachios : for garnishing

Saffron Stands : for garnishing(optional) 


In a pan, boil 1 litre of full cream milk till reduced and thickened to half of its original volume. In between, add sugar according to your taste. Don't add altogether, add little at a time. Keep scraping off the milk skin from the side of the pan and add to the boiled milk. It gives extra taste and texture to the malai.

When milk has thickened some more, add the syrup soaked Paneer balls/rasgullas (after squeezing a little) slowly one by one to the milk mixture and and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the fire, add the cardamom powder.

Garnish with pistas and almonds and few saffron strands. 

Rasmalai is best enjoyed when chilled. 
Luchi'r Payesh
This decadent creamy rich Payesh by Sayantani Mahapatra will keep your guests praising your party for a long time.
Milk: 1 liter (preferably full fat)
Condensed milk: 1/3 cup
Luchi/ Puri: 8-9 (Make with flour/maida)
Sugar: 3-4 tbsp
Cashew nuts: handful
Ghee or butter: ½ tsp
Green cardamom: 2-3

Place the milk in a heavy bottom pan and start boiling it. be careful and keep stirring. Thicken the milk for 12-15 minutes.

While the milk is thickening tear the luchis in 4-5 big pieces. Grind the cardamom to a coarse powder and keep aside. Heat another small pan with the ghee and fry the cashew nuts till golden. Keep aside.

Once the milk thickens a little bit add the condensed milk. Stir and taste and then as per your liking add more sugar. Mix in the fried nuts and boil for another 3-4 minutes. Switch off the flame and immediately add the luchis and mix carefully. Sprinkle the cardamom powder and partially cover the dish for 5 minutes. Mix again and then let it cool down.

Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Edible Gifts
Diwali means sharing and make these easy edible arts to woo your friends and enemies. 

Homemade Chocolates
Involve your kids in making these really easy chocolates and share as gifts.Recipe by Kamalika Chakrabarty.
Baking Chocolate bar/chocolate morsels
(Use Morde or 
Chocolate mould
Note: Always remember that a single drop of water may scathe your chocolates. 

Chop the chocolate bar in to small pieces and melt it either in a double boiler or in microwave as mentioned below.
To use the double boiler method place one big mouth heatproof container on a smaller one. Pour water in the small container with a fixed measurement so that when you will put the other container on top it should not touch the water. Boil the water. Take off the stove. Put the chocolate slices on the top one and put the container on the big one. Use a spoon or a spatula to keep on stirring the chocolate. When the chocolate is totally melted take it down from the steam.
To do the same in Microwave place the chopped chocolate in a micro safe bowl and zap it for 30 seconds. Take out and stir. Check if its melted or repeat the same. Keep an watchful eye on it or it might burn.

Take some chocolate moulds easily available in the baking supply stores. Slowly pour the melted chocolate in the mould. When it’s done, tap the mould on a hard surface to get the bubbles out and to set properly. Keep in the refrigerator till they set for half an hour. To serve the chocolate, take a plate. Reverse the mould and with a slight tap let the chocolates come out of the mould.

Now to prepare the coloured candy or  candy lollypop, you can use coloured candy melts or you can use white baking chocolate or chocolate morsels and colours. For the Lollypops you need Lollypop moulds and Lollypop sticks. The process will be same. Only what you have to do is to divide the chocolates in to parts and add different colours in them. Give your Candies desired colours and enjoy the fun along with your family. You have to add the sticks just before putting the ready mould in the fridge.
Diya Tarts
Theamed gifts are always a winner. Make these tarts by Amrita Gill and watch the twinkles in the receiver's eyes.

Ingredients: For 12 tarts 
3/4 cup refined flour

30 gms unsalted cold butter cubes

cold water as required for making the dough

6 roasted almonds

6 roasted cashewnuts

1/4 cup dark chocolate, in pieces

2 tbsp cream

little cream, for decoration

few drops of orange food colour, for decoration

Take flour in a bowl and rub the butter cubes with the flour till the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add cold water 1 tbsp at a time and knead to get a smooth dough. Do not over knead. Wrap in a plastic sheet and let it rest in the fridge for 1/2 hour. 

Roll the dough with a rolling pin on a floured surface to 1/8 " thickness.
Gently press the rolled dough to the bottom and sides of the tart tin. Trim excess and make few holes on the dough with a fork. Refrigerate for another 1/2 hour to set.

Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius and bake the tarts for 10-15 mins or till they get a nice brown colour. With the leftover dough, roll out thin and cut rough flame shape with a stick(a leaf shape) with a knife. Bake for 5 mins at 180 degree Celsius or till they get a brown colour.

For the filling:
Chop the roasted nuts (you can use any nuts and dry roast them on a heated pan). Put them in the prepared tart shells. Melt the dark chocolate on a double boiler or microwave for 1 min. Add 2 tbsp cream and mix well. Pour this in the tart shells over the nuts. 

Mix few drops of the orange food colour in some cream and coat the prepared flames. Fix the flames on the chocolate at the pointed end and refrigerate to set.
Main Course
Bring this fun evening to an end with a lavish spread for Dinner.

Yakhni Pulao
This fragrant rice dish from Jayati Saha is every Vegetarian's Delight

Gobinda bhog/Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Bay leaves - 4
Ghee - 2 tbsp
White Oil - 3 tbsp

Kismis - 1 handful(raisins)

Kaju - 1 handful(cashews)

Turmeric powder - 1 pinch

Salt and Sugar - As required

For Yakhni

Coriander Seeds: 1 tbsp

cumin seeds: 1 tsp

Black cardamom: 2

Green cardamom: 5

Bay leaves: 3

Cloves: 5

Cinnamon: 1 inch

Black Pepper: 1 tsp

Wash the rice thoroughly and dry it by spreading it on a plate. Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp ghee and turmeric powder to dried rice and mix them.
Tie all the Aakhni ingredients in a soft cotton cloth( preferably white). Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan and put  the tied cloth into it to boil for some more time. The aroma of spices will be infused to the water and water will turn brownish-orange in color. 

Add oil together with the remaining ghee in a kadai. When it is sufficiently hot, add bay leaves and whole garam masalas(cloves,green cardamom,cinnamon) to it. When the masalas splutter, add the rice, kismis & kaju and fry well till all the grains are well coated with ghee and become translucent. Add aakhni water and boil. Rice should absorb the water very quickly. Add some more hot water to the rice. The amount of water used is very important here as it should be enough to be absorbed by the rice completely. If it is more than that, the rice will be over done and your pulao will become sticky, which you would not like. Cover the kadai with a heavy lid and boil for 10 minutes or till the rice is almost done.

Check the salt and adjust it if required. Add 1 tbsp sugar ( more if you like) to the rice and mix well with a fork. Be very gentle while doing this. Now cover the lid and reduce the temperature to very minimum. Keep it for 10 more minutes. Your aakhni pulao is ready.  

Serve it with your favorite side dish and some sweet aachaar.
Paneer Butter Masala
Classic recipes never go out of fashion and Indrani Dhar proves it again.

Paneer - 250 gm., cubed 

Onions : 2 (big)

Tomatoes : 3(big), 

pureedGinger-garlic paste : 1 tblsp.

Bay leaf : 1
Cloves : 2-3 nos.
Red chilli powder : 2 tsp.
Turmeric powder : 1/2 tsp.
Dhania powder (dry coriander powder)  : 2 tsp.
Kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) : 1 tblsp.
Tandoori masala (optional for color) : 1/2 tsp.
Garam masala powder : 1/2 tsp.
Cashewnut paste : 3tblsp.
Salt and lemon juice - to taste
Butter/Oil : 2 tblsp.
Ghee/clarified butter : 1 tblsp.(for frying the paneer)
Fresh cream : 3 tblsp.
Fresh coriander - chopped for garnish

Take the whole onions, take out the skin and blanch them in hot water for 3 mins, then puree them to form a paste. Do the same with tomatoes, unless you are using tomato puree directly.

Take 1 tbsp of ghee, heat in a pan for 2 mins, the saute the paneer cubes in it till golden brown; Now take 1 cup hot water, add a pinch of salt and turmeric powder to it and immerse the paneer cubes in it for 10-12 mins. Then remove the pieces, drain them on a tissue paper and keep aside. This process will keep the panner pieces soft as a cotton ball. 

Heat 2 tbsp of butter in a pan, add the bay leaf and the cloves, then add the onion paste and saute till light-brown. Add ginger-garlic paste. Saute for 3 minutes. Add chilli powder, followed by the cashew paste and fry for 5 mins.
Add tomato puree, crushed kasuri methi, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt. Stir and let it simmer for some time. Add the paneer cubes and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add a small cup of water and let it cook on medium heat till you get the desired curry consistency. Remove from fire, stir in remaining butter and fresh cream.

Serve Hot.
Chicken Sheekh Tawa Masala
Who says you cant whip up a gorgeous meal in no time??? Archita Chanda Ray shows how.

Chicken seekh kababs - 4-5 nos ( cut into small pieces) - can use mutton too
Onions - 1 medium - finely sliced
Tomato - 1 large - finely chopped
Tomato puree - 1 tbsp
Ginger paste - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 1 -2 finely chopped (adjust acc. to your taste)
Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Kashmiri red chillli powder - 1 tbsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Fresh cream - 2 tbsp
Refined oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp  

In a pan heat 1 tbsp oil  and fry the kababs and keep aside.

In the same pan add another tbsp of oil .Tip in the sliced onions, ginger - garlic paste. Fry till light brown in colour. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for another 2-3 mins. Next tip in the tomato puree , turmeric powder, red chilli powder , coriander powder , salt and sugar and roast the masala paste very well. Adding a little water if required.

Once the oil seperates from the masala mixture add the fried kababs. Cover and cook for 2 mins.
Finish with some chopped green chillies and fresh cream.

Remove from heat and serve hot.
Mutton Biriyani
Make this Crowd pleaser dish by Antara Ray and see your guests drool over the food.


1/2 kg mutton (cuts from the leg)

1/3rd kg basmati rice (usually people use equal amounts of rice and meat. I used less rice more meat)
2 large onions
1 inch ginger (grated)
5-6 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 medium or 1 large tomato
2 cups yoghurt
1 stick whole cinnamon
3 cloves
3 cardamom
1 bay leaf
Ghee (clarified butter)
Saffron strands (dissolved in warm milk)
Salt, sugar


Marinate the meat a day in advance in 1 cup yogurt, turmeric powder, grated ginger and crushed garlic. Soak the basmati rice in water (usually for 20 mins). 

Next chop the onions into slices, heat some ghee in a heavy bottom non-stick deep pan, add the whole spices and the chopped onions and fry them on low heat until they are soft and light brown, lightly caramelised. Take half the onions out of the pan and kept it aside.

Add some more ghee and the marinated meat, salt and sugar and sear it, continually stir on medium heat for about 15 mins (until the meat and the masala stops sticking to the pan). Add tomatoes and the remaining 1 cup yogurt, cover and leave to simmer on very low heat for about 1hour 15 mins, checking and stirring occasionally, adding a little water from time to time to prevent drying up. 15 mins before the meat is done, shove the basmati into the microwave with equal volume of water for 8-9 mins. Leave the rice covered for a standing time of 5 more minutes, strain it through a colander and wash it once under the tap to remove any additional surface starch (to avoid lumping).

Next, take the lid off the mutton which now looks like a thick curry, and add the rice until it covers the mutton entirely. Top the rice with the remaining fried onions, saffron strands, dollops of ghee, put the lid back and cook it on the lowest heat for another 20 mins. (Keep checking in between to see it doesn’t stick to the bottom or burn). You’ll know you have a good biryani if the rice grains are separate and not clumping together, and the meat has infused with the gravy and breaks into a sticky gooey consistency when pressed between the thumbs.

Serve hot with some sides of your choice or with plain raita and salad.


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Please do not copy.
Designed and Compiled by Sayantani Mahapatra.

1 comment:

  1. What a nice compilation of Diwali recipes! I love each one of them! Diwali 2015 is almost here and I think Im going to have to ask my wife to make some of these. Cheers!