Traditional East Indian treats for Diwali
Preena Chauhan, Co-owner, Arvinda's Indian Spice Blends
Published Tuesday, November 10, 2015 6:30AM EST
In time for Diwali, a look at some traditional dishes to help you enjoy the holiday and learn more about Indian culture.
Spiced Black Tea with Milk & Sugar
In Indian culture it is customary to welcome guests with steamy cup of warm and sweet Masala Chai.
During Diwali, the festival time of year, family and friends drop by to exchange Indian sweets, known as mitai.
Bonding, catching up and chatting with guests over a spicy cup of Masala Chai is the perfect way to toast a Diwali celebration and is a fantastic accompaniment alongside savoury and sweet Diwali treats,
- 3 cups cold filtered water
- 1 cup 2% milk (preferably organic)
- 2 tsp strong black loose leaf tea OR 2 black tea bags
- 1 tsp Arvinda’s Chai Masala or ¼ tsp. cardamom seeds, crushed
- raw cane sugar, to taste (add any sweetener of choice)
- In a medium pot, bring cold filtered water to a boil.
- Add loose leaf tea (or tea bags) and Arvinda’s Chai Masala (or crushed cardamom seeds) and boil for a couple of minutes. Add milk and sweetener of your choice.
- Boil all the ingredients until tea becomes caramel in colour, approximately three to four minutes.
- Strain into a teapot or tea cups. Serve hot.
For Ginger, Mint or Lemongrass Masala Chai Variations: To make a special ‘Diwali cup’ of Masala Chai, add one of the following to the pot and boil: ½ tsp. grated ginger OR 4-6 mint leaves, chopped OR 1 inch piece lemongrass
Chai Spiced Indian-style shortbread with Saffron
- ½ cup ghee or butter, softened
- ½ cup icing sugar
- 1 tsp. Arvinda’s Chai Masala (Or ½ tsp. cardamom seeds, crushed)
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup semolina
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 6-8 saffron strands almonds, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl soak saffron in milk. Set aside.
- In a bowl add butter and sift in icing sugar.
- Mix in Arvinda’s Chai Masala and baking soda. Sift in flour. Mix in semolina. Mix in milk with saffron.
- Shape batter into balls and slightly flatten into discs.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until bottoms are golden in colour.
Chai spiced coconut laddoos
Laddoos or Laddus are Indian sweets shaped into balls
A laddoo is an Indian sweet, known as mitai made from flour (could be chick pea flour, semolina, coconut flour or almond flour) sweetened with sugar and made with ghee (clarified butter) and rolled into balls. If you would like a healthier and easier way to make a laddoo, try this recipe that has all flavour in a delicious bite!
The recipe makes about 36 pieces, depending on size.
- ¾ cup organic peanut butter, crunchy OR almond butter
- ¾ cup desiccated coconut, dried and unsweetened + extra ½ cup for dusting
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup almonds OR pistachios, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup raw honey OR jaggery OR icing sugar (add to taste)
- 2 tsp. ginger powder
- 1 tbsp. Arvinda’s Chai Masala (OR 1 tsp. cardamom seeds, crushed)
- In a medium bowl, add peanut or almond butter and mix well.
- If consistency is stiff, slightly warm up in a saucepan to soften. Mix in remaining ingredients and combine.
- Chill in refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Roll into balls (slightly smaller than walnut size). Place remaining coconut in a small bowl. Dust balls with coconut to garnish.
- Store in refrigerator.