Oldies but goodies. With Diwali just around the corner, GAURAV MASAND is inspired to go back to some all-time favourites
Nutty Chocolate Bites
Who doesn’t love a good chocolate bite? These delights presented here are easy to make and store well for a few days too.
1 ½ cup cooking chocolate
½ cup cooking cream
¼ cup chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts) and raisins
¼ cup milk
1 tbsp cake sprinkles (optional)
Dry roast almonds and walnuts in a pan for a few minutes. Add raisins and roast for a couple of minutes. Keep aside.
Add the chocolate and cream to a double boiler. Stir continuously until they melt to a smooth consistency. (Alternatively, you may cook the cream and chocolate in the microwave for 10 seconds. Mix it with a spatula and then again cook for 10 seconds. Repeat this process until the chocolate has melted.)
In a silicon mini muffin tray, pour the melted chocolate until it fills half the mould.
Add a spoonful of roasted nuts.
Pour some more melted chocolate over this to the top of the mould.
Set in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
Once it sets, you can remove it easily from the tray.
Add the remaining cream and milk to leftover chocolate to a pouring consistency.
Spread the chocolate bites on a grill, pour the melted chocolate on top. This makes it decadent and extra yum.
You may decorate with some cake sprinkles and let cool for few hours in the refrigerator.
Baked Namak Para
Traditionally, these savoury delights are deep fried; here’s a healthier baked version.
1 cup maida/plain flour
½ cup atta/whole wheat flour
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
Water to knead
¼ cup oil + 2 tbsp oil for tossing
Mix all ingredients and knead to a tight dough.
Divide in two equal parts and roll out flat like a roti on baking paper.
Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut into desired shapes.
Place the pieces evenly on baking paper.
Preheat the oven for 5 minutes at 160 degree centigrade.
Bake in a 160-degree fan forced for 20 minutess.
Toss the crackers in 2 tbsp oil and bake again for 15 minutes.
Store in an air-tight container once it comes to room temperature.
This pomegranate candy is a wonderful pachak or churan, ie, digestive. It is a must, post that heavy Diwali dinner or brunch! This candy aids digestion and also gives relief during motion sickness. Add as much or as little sugar as you wish.
½ cup anardana/dried pomegranate seeds
1/8 cup amchur/dried mango powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp kala namak/black salt
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp cardamom powder
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
Coarsely grind all dry ingredients, add lemon juice and mix.
Roll spoonfuls of mixture into balls.
Optionally, coat the candies in some powdered sugar.
Store in a dry jar.