October 24th will be the Hindu festival Diwali, or the festival of lights. In India, it is one of the most anticipated and beautiful of all holidays. It is a five-day, candle-lit, religious festival to give thanks to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and Ganesha, the god of wealth and remover of obstacles. Many people celebrate by giving loved ones gifts as well as having delicious Indian sweets and snacks.
While many Indian recipes use ghee, or clarified butter, it is very easy to make traditional recipes plant-based. Check out 15 Traditional Indian Foods Made Vegan to see some examples of how easy it is.
The food served during Diwali is typically light bites, snacks, and some sweets.
For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App – with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy!
Here are the best treats and snacks that will help you bring the spirit of Diwali into your home this week. Check them out!
1. Onion Pakoras With Avocado Dipping Sauce
Source: Onion Pakoras
Pakora is an Indian snack that’s essentially a vegetable dipped in chickpea flour, so they’re naturally gluten-free, and then deep-fried until crispy. These savory Onion Pakoras from the Cruelty Free Family are spiced with garlic, cumin, and curry powder and served with a cool, spicy, and creamy Avocado Dipping Sauce. These are perfect as an appetizer or snack at any party.
2. Baked Vada
Source: Baked Vada
No South Indian celebration doesn’t feature Vada and now you can enjoy them baked, not fried, for a lighter option. These Baked Vada by Tina Dawson are crispy, crunchy, and delicious. Plus, baking your vada makes the cleanup much easier and the dish much healthier.
3. Mushroom Paniyaram: Indian Steamed Savory Cakes
Source: Mushroom Paniyaram
Paniyaram is an Indian dish made from a lentil and rice batter that is steamed in a pan with circular molds. You can use the mushroom masala that goes in this paniyaram by Srividhya Manikandan as a side for roti or rice. Also, you can use any of your favorite veggies instead of mushrooms.
4. Air Fryer Indian Potato Bread Rolls
Source: Indian Potato Bread Rolls
These Indian Potato Bread Rolls by Freda Dias stuffed with a spicy potato mixture are a scrumptious Indian snack and are made healthier since they are baked (in the air fryer) rather than deep-frying. Enjoy these without any guilt!
5. Baked Potato Samosa Cups
Source: Baked Potato Samosa Cups
6. Tukdi: Spicy Indian Biscuits
Crispy, crunchy, and surprisingly good for you, these Tukdi by Kushi are a must-have! While these crackers are traditionally fried, here they are baked for a healthier alternative. They’re flavorful as is, but would taste delicious dipped in hummus as well!
7. Baked Chakuli: Indian Rice Fritters
Source: Baked Chakuli
Traditionally chakuli is a deep-fried Indian snack prepared using rice, lentils, and different spices. This “instant” version uses rice flour and is baked instead of fried, making them a delicious snack that satisfies your craving for something crunchy. These Baked Chakuli by Kushi are spicy, crunchy, savory, and irresistible.
8. Murukku: Crispy Indian Rice and Lentil Flour Snack
These crunchy noodles are traditional Indian snack food. Janthikalu goes perfectly with coffee and is almost impossible to stop eating. This Murukku recipe by Pavani Nandula makes a lot of these savory treats so it’s great if you are having people over.
9. Tofu Paratha Pocket Bites
Source: Tofu Paratha Pocket Bites
These spicy and delicious Tofu Paratha Pocket Bites by Anupama Paliwal are wholesome meals or snacks that pair perfectly with the chilled dairy-free raita. A mixture of Indian-spiced, crumbled tofu, and mashed kidney beans are stuffed into homemade paratha or Indian whole wheat flatbread. It’s warm and spicy, yet not too hot, and so delicious.
10. Mint Chickpea Cornmeal Tart
Source: Minty Chickpea Tarts
These Minty Chickpea Tarts by Anupama Paliwal are an entire Indian meal in tart form. They are light, crispy, sweet, spicy, aromatic, and curry-filled bite-size tarts. This filling is super refreshing, and mouth-watering because of the presence of spices and mint. A dollop of herbed vegan yogurt is the replacement for raita, which you add at the end. This addition makes this entire dish so bright and delectable.
10 Sweet Indian Snacks:
1. Pearl Millet Flour Cake
Source: Pearl Millet Flour Cakes
In this recipe, a mixture of pearl millet flour and whole wheat flour is combined with pumpkin purée and sugarcane to make moist and delicate little cakes. These Pearl Millet Flour Cakes by Preeti Tamilarasan are an unusual combination of things, but they are a dessert worthy of home gatherings.
2. Three-Ingredient Sweet Potato Coconut Balls
Even if you’re not a big fan of sweet potatoes, these sweet treats will win you over. Made from Asian sweet potato, coconut, and sugar, these three-ingredient bites are made by combining mashed sweet potato and flaked coconut — it’s that easy! The coconut and sugar coating gives a gorgeous contrast in texture to the creamy, smooth sweet potato! Serve these Three-Ingredient Sweet Potato Coconut Balls by Tina Dawson and fall in love with coconut all over again!
3. Beet Thinai Paniyaram: Indian Sweet Dumplings
Source: Thinai Paniyaram
Thinai Paniyaram is a South Indian dumpling that can be made sweet or savory, depending on the ingredients. This version by Preeti Tamilarasan introduces beets for a slightly sweet, earthy flavor and a gorgeous dark pink color. They’re spongy when served hot, with a slightly crispy outer layer. These dumplings are the perfect thing to take to school or work as a snack, or they can be enjoyed with a warm cup of tea.
4. Sooji Halwa: Indian Semolina Dessert
Source: Sooji Halwa
Sooji Halwa by Yana Chistyakova is a popular dessert across India, where it is also called Rava Sheera or Rava Kesari. It is made by combining sooji, or semolina, with clarified butter, sugar, nuts, and cardamom. Here, clarified butter is replaced with melted vegan butter and it’s topped with a mixture of raisins, almonds, and walnuts. While it is often made for special occasions like Diwali, sooji halwa needs no reason to be made — it’s great for whenever you’re craving a quick, sweet treat.
5. Date and Peanut Laddu: Indian Date and Peanut Balls
Laddus are small balls that are mildly sweet, buttery, and addictive. These particular laddus by Namita Tiwari are made with roasted peanuts, soft dates, and a splash of vegetable oil. They are a great, healthy(er) option to satiate hunger pangs and sweet cravings.
6. Karachi Fruit Biscuits
Source: Karachi Fruit Biscuits
Karachi Fruit Biscuits, also known as tutti fritti cookies, are popular Indian tea-time cookies that get their name from the popular Karachi Bakery in Hyderabad, India. These biscuits by Freda Dias are sweet, crumbly, and melt in your mouth. The dough is studded with candied fruit and is flavored with cardamom and rose.
7. Microwave Mango Kesari/Sheera: Coarse Semolina Pudding
This is the easiest dessert you will ever make – and it’s delicious too! Sheera (or Kesari) are dense, sweet, pudding-like cakes that are popular in India. This particular sheera is infused with mango and you can make it in a few minutes – so what are you waiting for? Get cooking this simple Microwave Mango Kesari/Sheera: Coarse Semolina Pudding by Srividhya Manikandan!
8. Kheer: Indian Rice Pudding
Source: Kheer: Indian Rice Pudding
This healthier version of Kheer: Indian Rice Pudding by Helyn Dunn uses brown rice, coconut milk, and date syrup. Top with lots of cinnamon and a bit of extra coconut milk for a creamy, dreamy dessert.
9. Doodh Pedha: Indian Milk Fudge
Source: Doodh Pedha
Doodh Pedha (milk fudge) is a very popular Indian dessert. This recipe by Akshata Sheelvant is not only the vegan version, but it also comes together in less than 10 minutes. It’s the perfect sweet treat!
10. Pumpkin Halwa Puff Pastry Tarts
Source: Pumpkin Halwa
Pumpkin Halwa is a traditional Indian dessert that is essentially mashed pumpkin spiced with saffron and sugar. This recipe by Tina Dawson takes this tasty pumpkin dessert and nestles it into a tiny puff pastry. These little tartlets are perfect party treats.
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