Diwali delights: a taste of india [hindu festival]

Yield: 4 servings

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Imagine sitting down to a huge feast of more than 600 sweet and savory delights. Sound impossible? The Swaminarayan Hindu Mission congregation, more precisely the women's chapter, is hard at work preparing that many dishes for a Diwali feast Sunday afternoon.

Featured below are some of the more popular recipes. Spices, chiles and ghee can be obtained from East Indian grocery stores. DHOKLA ~~~~~~ This lentil-based snack packs a punch and looks great arranged on a plate with khandvi and spicey chutney (see below). Mustard seeds sprinkled on top add flavor. 2 c moong dal (lentils) 1 c gram daal (lentils) ½ ts tumeric powder x salt to taste 1½ ts ground chiles 1 ½ ts ground ginger ½ ts baking soda 1 tb oil ½ ts mustard seeds ¼ c unsweetened coconut ¼ c chopped fresh coriander 1 ea sweet red pepper; sliced COVER lentils with water and soak 8 hours. Drain and blend in food processor until smooth. Mix in tumeric, salt, chiles ginger and baking soda. GREASE inside of the top part of a double boiler. Pour in batter. Add water to to the bottom part of the boiler and cook, covered, over medium heat about 5 minutes or until it reaches a sponge-like consistency. It's ready when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool and then cut into diamonds. HEAT oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds and cook on amedium heat until they pop. Sprinkle seeds over the dhokla. GARNISH with coconut, coriander and sliced red peppers.

SERVES 6-8. KHANDVI ~~~~~~~ 1 c gram (lentil) flower 1 ½ c plain yogurt 1 c water x salt to taste MIX all ingredients. The batter will be quite liquidy. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens into a thin paste. SPREAD immediately in thin layers in several greased pans. Allow to cool. CUT into strips 1 ½-inches wide and roll up. GARNISH with coconut, coriander and red pepper as above. SERVES 6-8. CHUTNEY ~~~~~~~ 1 bn fresh coriander 6 ea green chile peppers (use rubber gloves when handling) ½ ts salt ¼ c water ½ ts lemon juice 1 ts sugar BLEND all ingredients. Serve with dhokla and khandvi. SERVES 6-8. MAGAJ ~~~~~ Most definitely for the sweet tooth, this easy recipe will be a hit on any dessert table. ½ c ghee (clarified butter) or oil 1 ½ c gram flour 1 tb milk ½ c sugar ¼ c ground almonds 1 ts cardamom powder 1 ts ground pistachios MELT the ghee on medium heat. Add flour and stir until golden brown. Remove from heat and add milk, sugar and half the almonds. Mix well. GREASE a cookie sheet and spread mixture evenly with a spatula. GARNISH with cardamom, pistachios and remaining almonds. Let cool and cut unto squares. SERVES 4. Article by Rashida Dhooma for the Toronto Sun 11/2/94 Posted by S. Lefkowitz Submitted By SAM LEFKOWITZ On 11-02-94

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