Breakfast, Curry & Daal, Dips & Sides, Drinks, Mains, Salads, Sweet Treats.


A sweet Diwali pudding from my book (with a few additions!)

It’s Diwali this week, the festival of lights, followed by our new year day the following day. It’s rather like Christmas – meeting family, eating delicious Indian food, especially sweet things, dressing up of course, and just lovely family (and friends) time! As Diwali approaches, everyone in the house knows there will be lots of chakris to crunch on, these round deep fried crunchy brown snacks which, once you start eating, it’s quite difficult to stop! My grandmother’s recipe is always extra crunchy which I love (they’re in the main pic above on the right!)

I can’t quite explain how they taste, but chakri is the one thing that I might indulge in – a few! It’s tricky to make these so I’m not going to attempt the recipe (I don’t actually know how to make them myself!) but I made something else from my book, a hearty creamy puran pudding with crunch (page 170) but added some peanut butter to make it nuttier and creamier, also added some coconut milk and fennel seeds. It’s made of lentils and therefore pure protein, it has two dates melted into it, with a little extra coconut sugar so that it’s more of a dessert, and so it makes for a far healthier dessert, rich and creamy too with all that peanut butteriness! You can also make it more liquidy, add a little more milk and make it more yellow with turmeric if you want – I’ve given that as an extra option. The crunch is from some honey cinnamon toasted walnuts. So this one’s a super quick and simple recipe, and it’s hearty and warming too!

I’ll be serving other delightful treats from my cookbook Saffron Soul at my Diwali Party this Thursday at the stunning Dalloway Terrace (read more and book here)

Serves 4

70g toor daal (pigeon pea or tuver dal)
300ml water boiling water
5 tablespoons coconut milk
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 dates, warmed and soft, chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon coconut sugar

Optional addition – if it becomes too thick, you can add some more milk, and also add turmeric for colour if you want to change the colour:
½ cup almond milk or any milk of choice
½ teaspoon turmeric

handful 5-8 walnuts
¼ teaspoon coconut oil or less
1 teaspoon honey
few pinches cinnamon

Run the toor daal lentils under water and wash a few times, then boil the daal in 300ml water for around 30-40 minutes until the lentils are cooked and very soft. Now add the rest of the ingredients, stir and let this cook for 10-15 minutes until all the liquid is soak up. Stir it vigorously so that the lentils become a little mashed (you can also use a fork for this if you like).

While the dessert is cooking away, make the walnuts. Melt the coconut oil in a small pan, stir the walnuts, honey and cinnamon together on low heat and let this become a little charred (around 3-5 minutes). Remove from heat and let this cool down.

Serve in small bowls, crush the walnuts on top.

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