Deepavali falls on the 14th of November this year, 2020

DEEPAVALI is the ‘Festival of Light’ celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains across the world.  Deepavali is celebrated with great enthusiasm as it symbolises the victory of good over evil. 

In my hometown in South India, people wear new clothes, make a variety of sweets and savory dishes, share with their neighbors and friends and enjoy  the day with fireworks. 

So I am sharing two of my favorite sweet and savory dish that can be easily made for Deepavali. 

SAVORY DONUT ( Called as Medu Vadai in Tamil) (East Indian)

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1 Cup white whole urad (black gram without skin) soaked 

1 small red onion minced finely1 serrano pepper or a few green chili sliced finely

1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger minced finely1/2 teaspoon

Cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon whole black pepper 

1 tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro/ coriander leaves

1 tablespoon of rice powder

salt to taste

oil to fry


1. Soak the Ura (black gram with skin removed) for more than an hour or even overnight is good.

2. Wash the soaked urad gram and finely grind it to a smooth dough with 3/4 cup of water.

3. Add the dough in a deep bowl and add the finely chopped ginger, chili, onion, cilantro  and the cumin seed and whole black pepper seeds, rice powder and salt mix well.

4.  Heat a frying pan with oil on medium high.  5. When the oil is hot beat the dough by hand gently in a circular motion and take a ball of dough, pat the ball lightly and make a small hole in the center and drop it gently into the hot oil. ( see picture) Everytime you have to beat the dough by hand in a circular motion in the bowl before making the balls so that you incorporate air into the dough and it will make your savory donuts soft and light.

 6. Fry the flattened balls or doughnuts/ vadai till they are golden brown on both sides.  

7. Remove them from the oil, drain on a paper towel and serve them with chutney or ketchup or sambar.  Enjoy!

PARUPPU PAYASAM (East Indian) ( Sweet dish made with green gram dhal and coconut milk)


1/2 cup of green gram dhal ( pasi paruppu/moong dhal)
1 tin thick coconut milk1 tablespoon of ghee
1/2 cup sweetener of your preference ( I used xylitol )
A pinch of salt to taste
2 tablespoons of ghee or clarified butter1 tablespoon of golden raisins
1 tablespoon of cashewnuts
A pinch of saffron1 teaspoon of cardamom powder


1. Fry the 1/2 cup of moong dhal in medium heat in a pan without any oil. Fry till it becomes golden brown and gives out a good smell.  
2. Now wash it and add 1 cup of water and cook it in the pressure cooker or open pan if you like. Do not cook it mushy, cook it soft and at the same time the dhal stays its shape. 
3. Now in a deep pan add the ghee and fry the raisins till they swell up, remove them and keep them in a bowl, then fry the cashews to golden brown, remove them to the bowl with the raisins. 
4. Now add the thick coconut milk and allow it to boil and then add the saffron and cardamom powder to it. Add the sugar now and stir till it is well mixed in the milk.  
5. Now add the cooked dhal and stir it well with the milk, add a pinch of salt to taste. 
6. When the mixture is hot remove from heat and add the raisins and cashews to it. 
7. Enjoy hot or cold.  If it becomes thick when it is cold, you can add 1/4 cup of light coconut milk to it.

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