Looking to cook up a storm this Diwali? Here are 4 easy and tasty recipes to impress your guests with!
Apart from being the vibrant festival of lights, Diwali is about togetherness, appreciation, and glorious food! No Diwali celebration is complete without a table filled with a wide variety of well-loved vegetarian dishes and sweets.
If you’re planning to put on your chef hat this Diwali to feed your loved ones, you’re at the right place. To help you get started, we speak to Bosch’s in-house kitchen maestro, Chef Joseph Yeo, to get his expert tips on how to perfectly cook these mains and desserts.
Plus! We’ve also added in healthier alternatives so you can adjust the recipes according to your preference. Let’s get started!
1. Dhal Curry
If you enjoy one-pot dishes as much as we do, then this hearty dish is right up your alley. A staple in almost every Indian household, dhal curry is made from lentils and a mix of spices. The perfect companion to rice (plain, briyani, pulao, etc) and breads (naan, romali roti, chappati), jazz it up by adding different types of lentils – just be sure to keep them to the same size so it cooks at the same time!
Chef Tip: For maximum flavour, use vegetable stock instead of water. Make your own stock at home with onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Also, do not overcook the lentils; try to keep it in its original shape as much as possible to avoid it from turning mushy with occasional stirring.
Healthier Swop: Instead of ghee, use vegetable oil.
2. Apple Basundi
An apple a day keeps the doctor away? You bet! In this recipe, we put a spin on this traditional Indian dessert made with milk, Saffron and nuts by adding apples for a crunchy touch and some acidity! Thanks to the versatility of this sweet, you can either serve it hot or chilled.
Chef Tip: Instead of apples, you can also make use of mango and pineapple. If time permits, make this dessert the night before and keep it overnight so that the flavours are better absorbed.
Healthier Swop: Substitute condensed milk with artificial sweetener or apple puree for added sweetness.
3. Creamed Spinach with Paneer Cheese
This classic vegetarian dish is Indian comfort food at its best - soft, thick and creamy spinach with cubes of golden-fried paneer cheese! What’s more, it uses pantry-friendly ingredients so you don’t need to splurge when grocery shopping. Just be sure to buy fresh spinach with green, crisp leaves instead of frozen ones as that will affect the overall taste and texture of the dish with its excess liquid. Recommended sides for this dish include chapati and briyani rice.
Chef Tip: Do not overcook the paneer cheese as it can become hard and rubbery. A trick to avoid them from overcooking or burning is to fry them in moderately hot oil.
Healthier Swop: Switch the fresh whipped cream with reduced full cream milk or skimmed milk instead.
4. Mango & Cardamom with Fresh Whipped Cream
Besides being a fantastic last-minute dessert to make for guests, this light cardamom-scented pudding refreshes and soothes the palate after a heavy meal! What we love about this recipe is how the sweet and spicy cardamom adds a complex layer to the mango, heightening the flavour of this dessert. What’s more, the juicy fruit aids in digestion as well.
Chef Tip: The rum in this recipe is optional. So if you’d prefer to go alcohol-free, you can replace the rum with vanilla essence to give it more flavour.
Healthier Swop: Instead of using whipping cream for the topping, simply replace it with more mangoes.
Beginner’s Guide to Festive Cooking
New to the kitchen and want to try out these dishes for the festivity? Here are the 3 top tips from Chef Joseph to guide you!
1) Prepare Ahead
Plan out what you want to make earlier so that you can better manage your time!
2) Start Stocking Up
Get your produce early as they may go out of stock faster during the festive period and may cost more due to high demand.
3) Keep Calm and Enjoy Cooking
Don’t stress over how many dishes someone else is making compared to you or if you don’t have enough time to get all the dishes out. Enjoy the cooking process because that is what matters at the end of the day.