6 Diwali recipes with a modern twist

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6 Diwali recipes with a modern twist

Food and travel journalist Ishay Govender says her recollections of the Festival of Lights go back to her childhood home in Pietermaritzburg. She shares treasured recipes, some with modern twists.

1. Spicy lanterns

These crisp, savoury bites are punctuated with Nigella seeds and green chilli. This recipe is based on the Chinese lanterns by Zuleikha Mayat in Indian Delights.

Spicy lanterns

Find the recipe for spicy lanterns here.

2. Poli with fresh coconut

Poli are deep-fried crescent pockets containing a sweet, nutty filling fragrant with cardamom. Fresh coconut makes all the difference, if you can get it.

poli with fresh coconut

Find the recipe for poli with fresh coconut here.

Fan of coconut? Find more coconut recipes here.

3. Burfi panna cotta

This is a light, modern way to serve the flavours of burfi, the sweetmeat which is undoubtedly the star of the Diwali table after your celebratory meal. You can use gelatine if you can’t find agar agar, usually available at Indian and Asian grocers.

burfi panna cotta

Find the recipe for burfi panna cotta here. 

ALSO READ: 5 foodies share their favourite Diwali memories

4. Chevra

This moreish snack was a favourite in our house, especially as exam season tended to start soon after Deepavali and it was a late-night saviour we enjoyed with mugs of tea or Milo. This version uses fried samoosa pastry shards or phyllo pastry and poppadums instead of the classic corn flakes and puffed rice.

Find the recipe for Chevra here.

5. Jumbo loaf cake

Goolab jamun, known as jumbo in the community I grew up in, is a moist and syrup-drenched sweetmeat. It reminds me of koeksisters and koesusters. This loaf emulates some of those beloved qualities and is easy to make. For the most intense flavour, it’s best to grind the cardamom pods in a mortar and pestle just before using, removing husks until a fine powder forms.

Jumbo loaf cake

Find the recipe for jumbo loaf cake here.

ALSO READ: jalebi ice-cream sandwiches

6. Chana magaj 

Known as besan burfi in India and “Indian fudge” in the West, this is my favourite Diwali treat. Getting the nutty texture is a bit laboursome but use a processor to help with the labour. Besan or gram flour is a brown chickpea flour available at Indian grocers.

chana magaj

Find the recipe for Chana magaj here.

Follow Ishay Govender on Instagram (@ishaygovender) and Twitter (@IshayGovender). Read more of her work at ishaygovender.com

Ishay Govender Article by: Ishay Govender

Ishay Govender is award-winning freelance food and travel journalist and author. She has written two cookbooks titled Curry: Stories & Recipes Across South Africa and Bright Rock Love Change Cookbook.

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