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Rediff News  All News  » Getahead » Diwali recipes: Barfi, cakes and more!

Diwali recipes: Barfi, cakes and more!

Last updated on: November 4, 2012 14:25 IST

Image: Puran Poli
Photographs: Courtesy

Whip up these delicious traditional preparations to celebrate the festive season.

We invited readers to share their festive recipes with us. Here is the first set of responses!

First up we have this one from Anita, who says, "I am offering a Puran Poli recipe which is featured on my blog I live in Sunnyvale, California, but was born and brought up in Mumbai, India. Puran Poli is a traditional Indian sweet flatbread made in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Goa. The stuffing is known as puran and the outer cover is known as poli. Puran Poli is considered a classic Marathi dish and is served on auspicious occasions and during important festivals like Holi, Padwa, Ganesh Utsav, Diwali in Maharashtra. Although it resembles a roti, a poli is actually very different. My mom made the prasad of Puran Poli and Katachi Amti for the Gauri Ganpati festival at our place."

Puran Poli


To make puran

  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 cup water
  • A pinch of salt

To make poli

  • 2 cups channa dal
  • 2 cups grated jaggery
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder


To make puran

  • Wash and boil channa dal till soft. Strain cooked channa dal. Grind in mixer or with the help of masher.
  • Heat the mashed channa dal and jaggery in a pan and let it cook slowly. Add cardamom and nutmeg powder.
  • Stir continuously till the mixture becomes thick. Stuffing for Puran Poli is ready. Keep aside.

To make poli

  • In a bowl mix wheat flour, all purpose flour, ghee, water and salt. Knead into soft dough.
  • Seal wrap it and keep it aside for 15 minutes.

To make Puran Poli

  • Take a medium sized ball out of dough and sprinkle with flour.
  • Roll the ball into a round puri. Place a small ball of puran in the center of the puri.
  • Gather all the edges and seal the puran into the center of the puri. Again dust flour over sealed puran and roll it into a poli.
  • Heat a pan. Place the Puran Poli over it. Once bubbles start emerging on the outer coat of the Puran Poli, flip it. Add ghee and flip to other side. Roast it well till brown spots appear on both sides.
  • Serve hot with ghee and milk.

Send us your favourite festive recipes. Write in to us at with your name, hometown and any interesting details about the origin of the recipe, along with a photograph if possible. We'll publish the best preparations right here on and in India Abroad.

Celebration cakes

Image: Celebration cakes
Photographs: Courtesy

Next we have this preparation from Dina Zain, who says: "I know this is not a conventional Diwali-Dussehra or Eid recipe. But I made these celebration cakes last year for Diwali. They were mean to be for Dusshera-Eid but instead became a Diwali sweet dish! I'm an interior designer- foodie who lives in Dubai. Festivities are important to us, as my husband is Muslim and I am a Hindu!"

"These are by far, my most favourite months of the year! I used a classic pound cake from Martha Stewart for the base."

More of Dina's recipes are available on her blog


  • 1 pound (3 and 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • 4 sticks softened unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla essence
  • 9 large, room-temperature eggs


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter two 5-by-9-inch loaf pans.
  • Combine all-purpose flour and salt in a bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy, for eight minutes.
  • Scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to medium, and add vanilla extract.
  • Lightly beat eggs, and add to mixer bowl in four additions, mixing thoroughly after each and scraping down sides. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture in four additions, mixing until just incorporated. Divide batter between pans.
  • Bake until a tester inserted into center of each cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack.
  • Apply any standard butter cream icing on the layers of the cake and lay them one over the other. Slice them into equal squares and cover in frosting.
  • Now mold store-bought fondant over them like covering a large square cake. Do mini ones. I made four different colours you could do more! Keep them in the refrigerator for a few hours.
  • Make a standard royal icing for decorating the cakes with 3 ounces pasteurized egg whites with1 teaspoon vanilla extract and four cups confectioners' sugar. First beat eggs till they form peaks and then add the vanilla and sugar.

Besan Kaju Barfi

Image: Besan Kaju Barfi
Photographs: Courtesy

Reader Pradnya Desai, runs her own blog -- -- that features many festive recipes. She chose to send in two. The first, for Besan Kaju Barfi is as follows:

Ingredients: (for 100 pieces)

  • 1 kg coarsely ground chickpea flour
  • 250 gm finely ground cashews
  • 450 gm powdered sugar
  • 500 gm clarified butter or ghee
  • 2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tbsp crushed nuts
  • 100 gm raisins
  • 5 silver leaves


  • In a large wok/ kadhai heat the butter until it is very hot. Reduce flame. Add the sieved chickpea flour and stir immediately. Keep roasting till the color changes and the raw smell vanishes. This would take about 45 min or so.
  • Be patient and stir constantly on low flame. Add the powdered cashews and quickly stir in. Keep roasting for another 5 minutes. Switch off the flame.
  • In a small spoon, heat some kesar until it is crispy. About 30 seconds. Add little milk to it and see the kesar bleed a beautiful colour. Let the mixture cool off completely.
  • Now add the powdered sugar (finely sieved). Mix the mixture well. Taste at this stage and check for more sugar.
  • In a deep dish, pour some ghee and and grease it well. Add the mixture and smoothen using the back of the spoon.
  • Apply the silver leaves to cover most of the surface.
  • Add the chopped nuts and let it sit until it sets -- about a couple of hours. Cut the pieces as per your preference. Watch it disappear gleefully!


Image: Champakali
Photographs: Courtesy

And here is Pradnya's recipe for Champakali:


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil or butter (salted)
  • 2 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • Salt
  • Food colour (optional)
  • Oil to fry


  • In a large bowl add the flour. Add vegetable oil or butter, salt, pepper (if using butter add salt carefully). Add warm milk and make a stiff dough.
  • Divide into three parts and add food colours of your choice. Make into small balls and roll out as elongated puris. Using a cutter, make thin strips in the center making sure that the ends are not separated.
  • Join the two ends using some milk. Hold the top of the Champakali and give it a twist , repeat at the other end.
  • Heat the oil in a deep frying pan, add one Champakali at a time and let it cook on low flame. Remove from heat when it turns golden in colour.
Tags: Pradnya