Each year, Halloween falls on 31 October – often very close to Diwali. But if you haven’t had your fill of sweet treats and parties, here are some ideas to bring a little of bit of India to your scary celebrations
Vegetable cutlets (bloody entrails!)
Want to serve an appetiser with all the sweets at Halloween? Here is a recipe for bloody entrails… actually an old Indian recipe for vegetable cutlets made with beetroot
Bloody entrails (not for the faint of heart…)
1 cup grated beetroots
½ cup grated carrots
½ cup peas
1 potato (boiled and mashed)
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chaat masala
½ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp chopped peanuts
¼ tsp raisins
3-4 green chilies (chopped)
1 sprig cilantro chopped
1 cup bread crumbs (seasoned)
1 tbsp chickpea flour (besan)
Mash the grated beets, carrots and peas with the boiled potatoes. Add salt, sugar, chaat and garam masala powders.
Heat 2 tsp oil in a sauté pan (keep the rest for deep frying). When the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and peanuts.
Add the mashed vegetables in the oil and sauté till the mixture is cooked through and dry. Add the raisins, chopped chilies and cilantro. Keep aside for cooling.
Make a paste with the chickpea flour and ½ cup milk. Pour the bread crumbs on a plate.
Now form 4 inch lumps with the vegetable mixture. Shape them like a thick sausage (you can also make them flat like patties).
Dip them once in the chickpea batter and then roll in bread crumbs. Repeat to form a double coating.
Bread all the cutlets and then deep fry them in hot oil.
For serving, make a cut in the middle of a cutlet. Splash tomato sauce (ketchup) to look as if it is oozing out of the cut.
Using coconut laddoos, a fun way to give a kick to this age-old Indian recipe is to make ‘Googly eyeballs’ for Halloween.
1 coconut (grated) or 1 pack frozen grated coconut (thawed)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tbsp dried milk powder
In a heavy bottom pan or wok add the grated coconut (fresh or frozen and thawed) along with the sugar.
Keep stirring over medium heat making sure the coconut doesn’t stick to the bottom and get charred. You have to continuously stir for at least 20 minutes.
When the mixture is sticky enough (you need to take a little bit between your fingers and see if it stays together) add the ground cardamom and dried milk powder. The milk powder makes the mixture even stickier and gives it a white color.
Remove from heat and make into balls while still hot.
Halloween Googly eyeballs
4 Cooled coconut balls
Ready made blue and red icing
Place the coconut laddos on a plate.
By squeezing out blue icing from the tube make a disk on the center of each laddoo to represent the cornea.
Insert a raisin to make the pupil.
Use a tooth prick to make squiggly lines over the eyeball using red icing.
Repeat with the rest of the laddoos.
Your two pairs of spooky eyes are ready.
Gokul pithe or Ghost blankets
Inspired by the simple Halloween costume of a white sheet to become a spooky ghost, these desserts are super easy to make. Use this Indian recipe for sweet dumplings, called “Gokul pithe” in Bengal, and make some ‘ghost blankets’! Sure to amuse both adults and kids alike.
½ lb dried milk solids or khoya
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 pinch of baking soda
2 1/2 cups sugar
7 cups water
2 tbsp cooking oil
½ tsp cardamom powder
Mash the dried milk solid or khoya in a plate with 1 tbsp sugar. Make them into balls and keep aside. I
n a flat bottom pan boil 6 cups of water and dissolve 2 cups sugar to form sugar syrup. The syrup does not have to be thickened; it should be of the consistency of thin soup.
Make a batter with the all purpose flour, salt, baking soda and 1 cup water.
Heat oil in a frying pan. Dip the milk solid balls in the batter and fry in the oil till slightly golden. F
ry each side for 1 minute and then turn them to fry the other side. Keep aside the fried milk balls and drain the excess oil on a paper towel.
When you have 10-15 fried balls ready, dip them in the hot syrup. Add the cardamom powder and cloves in the syrup for fragrance.
All recipes adapted from Sudipta Biswas