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Rediff News  All News  » Getahead » Diwali recipes: Coconut Barfi, Fara and more

Diwali recipes: Coconut Barfi, Fara and more

October 15, 2009 17:11 IST

With the festive season upon us, it's time to look forward to some lip-smacking dishes and desserts. So, we asked readers to share their Diwali recipes with us. As part of a continuing series, we present five delicious dessert recipes that we received:

First up is Sudha's mum's recipes for Coconut Barfi:

: South Indian

Type: Vegetarian
Preparation time: 30 minutes


  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1 cup sugar (or more depending on your taste)
  • 1 tsp ghee/ clarified butter
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder 


  • Take the sugar in a pan, add enough water to cover the sugar and bring to a boil till the sugar syrup reaches a string like consistency. This takes around 10-15 minutes.
  • Now add the grated coconut and cardamom powder and keep stirring.
  • You can add a couple of teaspoons of ghee for a good aroma and flavour.
  • The coconut will slowly start to come away from the vessel.
  • Keep stirring for a while and remove on a greased plate.
  • Let cool and cut it into pieces and the yummy coconut barfi is ready to eat.

Health quotient: This can be made with sugar substitute also to make it a healthy sweet.

Shweta sends in this recipe for Fara:

Cuisine: Uttar Pradesh snack

Type: Vegetarian

Preparation time: 30 minutes

For the cover:

  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup corn flour
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch soda bicarb (optional)
  • Few drops of oil

For the filling:

  • 1 cup chana dal (Bengal gram)
  • 1 tbsp urad dal (black gram)
  • 1 pinch hing (asafoetida)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • Ginger, a small piece
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste


  • For the cover make a nice and smooth dough (hard like puri dough) using the flours.
  • Take 1-2 drops of oil and apply it on the dough so that the surface is not dry.
  • Keep aside.
  • For the filling, soak the dals for two-three hours in water.
  • Grind all the ingredients of the filling together using very little water (preferably without water).
  • This filling should be like smooth paste without any pieces of dal left in it.
  • In a 5 litre vessel take 2 litres of water and boil.
  • Make eight equal size balls of the dough and make thick puris (6mm) from it.
  • Stuff 1 tbsp of filling and make it like gujiyas. Press the sides so that it becomes thin and cooks properly.
  • By the time you finish stuffing, the water will be boiling so put the faras in it one by one.
  • Pour 1 tsp of oil in it to avoid sticking and cover.
  • Cook for 10-15 min and check like you do for cakes. If the pricked toothpick comes out clean it's done, remove from water and allow to cool for some time. Alternatively you can steam them like inlis in a cooker but it might take a little more time.
  • Cut in small pieces and serve with green chutney.

Boiled faras are good for BP and diabetes pateints. If you are not among them then you can also fry them. For this take 1 tbsp oil in a pan add sliced onions and fry for 2 mins. Add a little ginger garlic paste (optional) and green chillies along with little turmeric, dhaniya (coriander seeds) powder, pinch of salt and garam masala. Cook for 1-2 mins then add the boiled and cut faras to it. Mix well, sprinkle some coriander leaves and cook it for 3-4 min. Your delicious low-cal snack is ready enjoy it with chutney.

Health quotient: Both my parents are diabetic so fara becomes a really healthy snack for them as it has almost no oil. You can avoid rice flour in the dough and it's even more healthy for diabetics and high BP pateints. Rich in Fibre (flours), protein (dal) and full of goodness of garlic which is good for arthritis and its also a blood thinner. So overall it's a full meal. If you want a low-cal dish then it's a superb option. Eat it boiled or fried with onions and spices. The fried faras are a great option for a nice evening snack. It tastes great with green chutney. You can even make a batch, use half and keep rest in fridge after boiling it and use as and when required. 

Sanjiv Srinivasan shares his wife's recipe for Kanchipuram Idly:

Cuisine: Indian

Type: Vegetarian
Preparation time: 30 minutes


  • Rice
  • Rrad dal (one fourth of the quantity of rice)
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Cashewnuts
  • Pepper
  • Ghee


  • Soak the rice and urad dal for six hours and the grind to a fine paste like normal dosa or idly batter.
  • Add salt and let ferment overnight.
  • In a pan, add little ghee and fry cashewnuts and pepper.
  • Add it to the batter and mix well.
  • Add a little oil on the idly plates and pour in the batter.
  • Steam in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes.
  • Let it cool for 15 minutes and then scoop out the idlys

Health quotient: Uses very little ghee/oil. Nuts are healthy. Steamed food is healthy as well.

Do you have any special Diwali recipes that you'd like to share with us and other readers? Simply fill in this quick form and we'll publish your recipes right here on