Diwali–Time to Party

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October 15, 2009 by ritadate

Menus from the North and South
Here are a two menus that aim to impress but will not keep you in the kitchen for days or hours at a time.

1. Punjabi Diwali Party for a close group of friends:
Starters: vegetable cutlets, crackers and dip, baked mushrooms
Main course: Dahi vada, channa chaat, paneer tikka masala, rotis, green salad, baked vegetables, dal makhani, rice
Dessert: mithai and phirni
This menu is a traditional Punjabi menu with a few baked dishes. Vegetable cutlets, dip, dahi vada, channa, chaat, and green salad can be made entirely or partially by the help. Dal makhani, paneer tikka masala, baked mushrooms and baked vegetables may need your hands. The vadas are fried but the the other traditionally butter ladened dishes can be made with less fats.
Lower Fat Baked Vegetables
For the White Sauce:
2 tbsp – butter
5 tbsp – flour
6 cups – milk
salt and pepper as per taste
1 tsp sugar
1tbsp grated cheese
100 g – French beans, cut into small pieces
2 – carrots, cut into small pieces
2 – medium sized potatoes, cut into small pieces
100 g – green peas
5 cubes – grated cheese
2 tsp – pepper (or as per taste)
salt to taste
1 tsp – butter (for greasing the dish)
1. Prepare the white sauce.
2. Steam the vegetables in a steamer or double boiler with little salt until done but slightly crunchy.
3. Drain out the water if any. Cool completely.
4. Add the boiled vegetables to the white sauce and mix well. Cool.
5. Grease a baking dish. Pour the white sauce mixture into the baking dish.
6. Evenly grate cheese on top.
7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree C till the cheese turns golden.
8. Serve hot with cheese garlic bread.
For the White Sauce:
1. Lightly heat butter in a non-stick pan.
2. Add flour and sauté on a low flame till golden.
3. Gradually add milk and stir continuously to avoid lumps.
4. Add cheese to mixture and stir.
5. Cook the sauce on a medium flame, stirring all the time till you get a little thick consistency. Add a bit of water or more milk if necessary.
6. Add salt, pepper and sugar. Keep aside

2. South Indian Delight
Appetizers: Chana dal pakoras, vegetables and hummus
Main course: Lemon rice, pomegranate rasam, valibhaji curry, tendli(gherkin) fry, brinjal curry, papad, pickle, plenty of curds
Desserts: coconut rice payasam, chocolates and coffee

This menu is takes recipes from Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. A warning…these are not complicated recipes but a a novice to South Indian food may have to spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen. The good news is that once you have the hang of these dishes you can please many people for parties to come.
And there you have it…a great menu and lower in fat recipes for you and your guests. Happy Diwali!


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