A Delicious Journey Through India

Diwali is a time for celebration! During this time, friends and family visit each other and relish specially prepared traditional festive dishes. While sev, chakli, ladoo and karanji are made in many households, this Diwali MAYURA SIDHARTH introduces you to regional festive delicacies from across India.

Maharashtra is known for its besan barfi, which is also called kadlai maavu in Tamil Nadu. Bihar is famous for its delectable makhana chaat. In Odisha and other eastern Indian states like West Bengal, you can savour the delightful malpua. And from western India, there’s the delicious dal pakwan. Make these treats for Diwali and add some sparkle to your dining table.



For the malpua: 

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (maida) 
  • 1 tablespoon suji 
  • 3 tablespoons grated khoya (mawa) 
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf) 
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder 
  • 1 tablespoon curd 
  • Water as needed 
  • Ghee for frying 

For the sugar syrup: 

  • ½ cup sugar 
  • ¼ cup water 
  • 6 saffron strands (optional) 


  • In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the malpua (except the ghee). Add water as needed to get a flowing consistency (not too thin and not too thick). 
  • Rest it for half an hour. 
  • In a thick-bottomed pan, add the sugar and water to make the sugar syrup. Boil it till you get 1-string consistency. 
  • Take a large and wide-bottomed pan with lukewarm water and keep the sugar syrup pan in it to keep your syrup from crystallising. 
  • In another pan, add the ghee to fry the malpuas. 
  • Pour a ladleful of batter into the ghee and let it fry well on both sides. 
  • Once the malpuas are done, add the hot malpuas to the sugar syrup. Keep them in the syrup for a minute or so and take them out. 
  • Garnish with some pistachios or dry fruits of choice and serve hot. 
  • Malpuas can also be served with rabri. 



  • 1 cup besan (chickpea flour) 
  • ⅓ cup ghee 
  • ½ cup powdered sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder 
  • Sliced dry fruits (almonds, pistachios) 


  • In a thick-bottomed kadhai, add the besan and start roasting it on a low to medium flame. 
  • Add the ghee and continue roasting it till the ghee separates and the besan changes colour (this usually takes 8 to 10 minutes). 
  • Once the besan is well-roasted, take it off the flame and add the powdered sugar and cardamom powder and mix well. 
  • Take a cake tin or plate with high edges and grease it with ghee. 
  • Pour the besan into the tin and spread it evenly. 
  • Add the sliced dry fruits and gently press them down with a spatula. 
  • Let the mixture cool and cut it into square- or diamond-shaped barfis. 



For the pakwan: 

  • 1 cup wheat flour 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera) 
  • 1 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain) 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • Water as needed 
  • 1 tablespoon oil + for deep frying 

For the dal: 

  • 1 cup chana dal 
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 
  • 1 teaspoon asafoetida (hing) 
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger 
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped 
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder 
  • 1 teaspoon amchur powder 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 2 tablespoons ghee for tempering 

For the garnish: 

  • Chopped onions 
  • Chopped tomatoes 
  • Chopped coriander 
  • Sweet and sour tamarind chutney 
  • Spicy green mint chutney 
  • Chaat masala 


  • In a bowl, take all the ingredients for the pakwan and knead a firm dough. Set the dough aside for half an hour. 
  • To make the pakwan, take a small ball from the dough and roll it into a thin roti. Poke the roti with a fork so that it doesn’t puff up while frying. 
  • In a kadhai, heat the oil and add the pakwans one by one, frying on a low to medium flame on both sides till the pakwans are crispy. 
  • Soak the chana dal for 2 to 3 hours. 
  • After the dal is soaked, put it in a pressure cooker with some water, turmeric powder and salt and pressure cook it. 
  • Once cooked, mash the dal, add some water and let it boil. 
  • Take a small kadhai to prepare the tempering. Add ghee followed by cumin seeds and asafoetida. 
  • Add the grated ginger and chopped chillies and turn the gas off. Now add the red chilli powder. 
  • Add the hot tempering to the mashed dal and let it boil further for a few minutes. 
  • Just before turning the heat off, add some amchur powder and adjust the salt to taste. 
  • While serving, place the dal in a bowl, add all the garnishing ingredients one after another and serve with the pakwan.



  • 1 big cup makhana 
  • 1 small cup bhujiya sev 
  • 1 small cup roasted peanuts 
  • 1 small onion, chopped 
  • 1 small tomato, chopped 
  • Mint chutney and imli chutney to taste 
  • Chilli powder, chaat masala  and kala namak to taste 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons oil 


  • Dry roast the makhanas for 10 to 12 minutes on a low flame. 
  • In a bowl, take some oil and add chilli powder and chaat masala. Mix well. 
  • Now add the roasted makhanas and make sure they are coated well with the oil. 
  • Add all the other ingredients to the bowl. 
  • Adjust the salt and chaat masala. 
  • Mix it really well and serve immediately 

Warning: Ask a parent or adult to help with these recipes. 

Mayura Sidharth is a nutritionist, health coach and founder of The Tiny Tiffins. The Tiny Tiffins is a venture that aims to inculcate healthy eating habits in kids. You can reach her on Instagram and Facebook @thetinytiffins
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