Diwali Dishes: Rediscovering Forgotten Recipes

Diwali and food go hand in hand. After all, what is Diwali without good food? Family gatherings, exchanging gifts, decorating the house, having fun with friends, and eating lots of good homemade delicacies, this is the perfect Diwali.

As we are inching towards November the anticipation of Diwali is high. Houses are getting painted and cleaned, shopping has begun, and so has the preparation of delicious snacks and sweets.

Every Indian state has its own unique way of celebrating Diwali. In West Bengal, Diwali is marked by performing Kali Puja, in Madhya Pradesh it is Govardhan Puja, and in Gujarat, it is the beginning of the Gujarati New Year.  

Come let’s explore some forgotten Diwali recipes from all across India with Phool.

Namakpara -

the name translates to salty pieces, these are a very popular snack dish across North India. It’s easy to prepare and requires fewer ingredients. These crispy, flaky bites can be stored for a long time and make a delightful pairing with a cup of tea.

Ingredients for dough:

  1. Whole wheat flour 1 cup
  2. Refined flour 1 cup
  3. Ajwain or Carrom seeds 1 teaspoon
  4. Salt to taste
  5. Baking soda ¼ teaspoon
  6. Ghee or a neutral cooking oil 2 tablespoons
  7. Water ½ cup or as required to make a flaky, stiff dough


  • Mix all the ingredients mentioned above and knead into a firm dough, set aside for some time.
  • Next, take a small amount of the dough and make a ball, place it on a board, sprinkle some flour, and roll it out. Make sure that it is not too thin or thick.  
  • Cut diagonally using a knife creating a diamond shape, if you wish you can create squares or rectangles as well. 
  • Now fry these in any type of neutral oil in a deep wok or kadhai, and maintain medium to high flame. 
  • Keep turning to ensure they cook evenly and once they are crispy and golden, take them out on tissue paper to soak any excess oil. 
  • Remember not to burn the Namakpare and fry them in batches.

Shakarpare -

is a sweet variety of namakpare, it is another dish that is very common during Diwali. It is known by different names like murali, shankarpali or khurma.

Ingredients for dough

  1. Whole wheat flour 2 cups
  2. Ghee 2 tablespoons
  3. Water ½ cup


  • Mix the ingredients for the dough, add the water carefully in parts, and knead to form a soft dough. 
  • Roll out the dough thickly, and cut diagonally to make a diamond shape. 
  • Then, deep fry them in any neutral cooking oil using a deep wok or kadhai. 
  • Once golden brown and cooked all the way through take them out onto a tissue paper to soak excess oil. Before adding to the sugar syrup make sure they are not hot. 
  • To make the sugar syrup, dissolve 1 cup sugar in ½ cup water and simmer the mixture till it is sticky and bubbling. 
  • Add the Shakarpara all at once and coat them evenly. 
  • Take them out and let them cool. 
  • Once the sugar crystallizes and the Shakarpara has cooled down, transfer it to an airtight jar.

Suran ki sabzi -

in many North Indian places there is a tradition of preparing suran or yam on the day of Lakshmi Puja.


  1. Yam 500g
  2. Mustard oil for frying as required
  3. Black peppercorns 4-6
  4. Green cardamom 2
  5. Cloves 2-3
  6. Cumin seeds 1 tablespoon
  7. Green chillies 2
  8. Ginger( chopped) 1 inch
  9. Asafoetida a pinch
  10. Red chilli powder 1 tablespoon
  11. Turmeric powder ½ tablespoon
  12. Coriander powder 1 tablespoon
  13. Frozen or fresh green peas ½ cup
  14. Water as required
  15. Salt to taste
  16. Lemon juice of ½ lemon
  17. Coriander leaves to garnish


  • The first step is to cut the Yam into cubes and fry them in mustard oil.
  • Remove excess oil by keeping them on tissue paper
  • In the same pan, temper with cumin seeds and add all the whole masalas (peppercorns, cardamom, cloves.)
  • Then add in the green chillies and ginger, and saute for a few minutes
  • Next, add the remaining powder masalas, fry for a minute or so then add in the curd
  • Add in the fried yams, salt and water
  • Cover and let it cook for 10 minutes or so
  • Add the green peas, coriander leaves, and lemon juice
  • Serve hot

Anarsa -

A recipe made out of rice, jaggery, ghee, and poppy seeds. Around Diwali and in winter generally, a lot of dishes are made containing jaggery, and dry fruits, during Diwali rice-based sweets are found in every culture, as rice is considered holy and is part of many rituals and puja.


  1. Kolam rice 1 ½ cup
  2. Jaggery grated ½ cup
  3. Ghee 7 tablespoons
  4. Semolina 2 spoons
  5. Sugar 2 spoons


  • Soak the rice for 7-8 hours. Drain and let it dry
  • Grind into a smooth powder and sieve it
  • Add jaggery, and ghee and knead into a soft dough. Set aside for 5-6 hours.
  • Next, divide the dough into equal portions and make small round balls
  • Combine the semolina, and sugar on a plate and coat the balls evenly
  • Pour some ghee into a pan and fry the balls lightly
  • Drain excess oil by placing on absorbent paper or tissue

Farsi Puri -

This is a Gujarati snack perfect to have with evening tea or simply to munch on. 


  1. All-purpose flour 1 cup
  2. Semolina 2 tablespoons
  3. Crushed black peppercorns 1 tablespoon
  4. Ghee 2 tablespoons
  5. Oil for deep frying as required
  6. Salt to taste


  • Add in all the ingredients- maida, semolina, crushed black pepper, ghee, salt in a mixing bowl
  • Combine with your hands
  • You can add a little bit of water but make sure the dough is stiff
  • Divide into equal portions of 24
  • Roll out in a thin circle and prick the puris using a fork
  • Heat oil in a deep wok or kadhai, you can use any neutral cooking oil
  • Fry the puris one by one
  • Drain on absorbent paper or tissue to remove excess oil
  • Store in an airtight container

Diwali is the festival of returning home, it marks the return of Lord Rama from his exile, for those who are away from home, it’s an occasion to celebrate homecoming. A home decorated with colourful flowers and rangoli, filled with the smell of fried goodness, snacks, and sweets. Diwali foods are not just limited to barfis or gujjiyas, there are many dishes that are traditional or heritage dishes, and some of these are lost. The way of capturing these age-old traditions is by making them. So, this Diwali not only indulge in decadence but also get involved in traditional and forgotten Diwali dishes. 

November 08, 2023 by Ankit Agarwal