Diwali Main Course Recipes

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Panchratan Dal | Stuffed Parathas | Tariwale Alu Matar | Panner Simla Mirch Ke Saath | Matar Chawal | Sookhe Matar | Tamatar Alu | Kadhi | Rajmah | Alu Tikka or Potato Cutlets |
Khatte Meethe Bainga

Diwali Main Course Recipes

Panchratan Dal - A mixture of 5 pulses

panchratan dal

This mixed pulses dish has remained my favorite and is fairly easy to prepare.

First, Take a heaped tablespoon of a dal each, of any five types of dal you wish. I generally use moong, arhar, chana, masur and sabut.

Mix them up in a bowl and leave then soaking in 4 large cups of water for atleast an hour, if not overnight.

Other ingredients you will need are:

1.5 table spoons of fragrant bengali ghee prepared from cow milk.

½ teaspoons of coriander powder (dhania), green chillies (or chilli powder) to taste, a large chopped onion, 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, salt to taste, a bit if garam masala, ½ teaspoon of lemon juice (optional) and chopped fresh coriander leaves

Method of preparations:

Wash the soaked dals and keep them ready, with the water drained. Store the drained water in a bowl. Heat up the water to the point of boiling and keep it like that.

Heat the bengali ghee on a pressure pan or pressure cooker.

As soon as the ghee is hot, fry the onions until it is brown.

Now add all other ingrediants except fresh coriander leaves and the dals.

Saute for a couple of minutes.

Now add the dals. Fry until they start to stick at the bottom. Add a little bit more of ghee.

Now add the warm water of the soaked dal. Close the pressure lid. Let it whistle for once and then turn the flame to minimum, and cook it for 12 to 15 minutes, so that the dal is tenderized. Check for the same by opening the cooker lid. Once you are satisfied, add the coriander leaves, close the lid, and put off the gas.

Just before serving, add the garam masala and lime juice.

It should serve 3 to 4 persons.


Stuffed Parathas

You will need:
stuffed parathas Dough made of 1 cup of wheat flour (atta or maida according to preference)
Oil or butter or ghee for frying
Some dry flour
Stuffing of your choice made beforehand. (it may be boiled and smashed potatoes, cooked and minced meat, boiled and slices egges, etc).


Out the tawa or heating pan on the stove.

Take a piece of dough, roll it into a small ball (roughtly the size of a table tennis ball), flatten it slightly between your palms, dust on it both sides with dry flour, and roll it evenly with a chakki and belni, to about 4 inch in diameter.

Hold the piece in your palm so that it forms a trough, and put a tablespoon of stuffings in it's center. With your free hand, close the edges over the stuffings.

Now again press slightly and apply some dry flour to coat it. Now roll it out gently again with the chakki and belni, with a light hand. Avoid tearing of the parathas so that the stuffing doesn't come out. If it does, then seal it with dry flour, and continue to make reasonable size and as thin as possible with the stuffing in it.

Heat up the oil or butter or ghee ina frying pan.

Use a flat spoon to pick up the parathas from the chakki, and place on the hot frying pan.

Turn after sometime,so that both sides are brown.

Serve with pickles, meat, egg or vegetables.

Note that any stuffing you give, should be finely chopped or grated, and should be boiled with salt or cooked.


Tariwale Matar-Alu

You will need:

Tariwale matar alu

3 cloves of garlic
1 onion
A tablespoon of grated ginger
2 cloves
a little stick of cinnamon
2 table spoon of oil and
2 tomatoes

You will also need

1 cup of shelled peas, fresh or frozen
A large potato, sliced into small cubes
chpooed green chillies, to taste
two pinches of turmeric powder
half tablespoon of coriander powder
half teaspoon of garam masala (mixed spices)
Salt to taste (1 tablespoon as max)


Put 3 cloves of garlic, 1 onion, A tablespoon of grated ginger, 2 cloves and a little stick of cinnamon in a electric grinder and grind throughly. Store the mixture.

Puree the tomato, or grate them in the electric grinder. Also keep the potato cubes ready.

Put oil on a frying pan and heat it up.

Put the mixture in the pan and fry it, till it is light brown. Stir continuously, as it will have a tendency to stick at the bottom. Reduce the flame. Add water with a spoon to scrape of the parts that have stuck, to carry on.

When the masala 9mixture) in the pan is brownish, add the tomato puree. Stir till the tomatoes mix properly. Now add the chillies, turmeric and coriander powder and the garam masala. Stir for another minute.

Now add the peas and the potatoes and salt to taste.

Add 2 cups of warm water, increase the flame and bring to boil. When the water boils, reduce the flame to mimimum, cover the pan, ans simmer for 20 minutes. Check it between, if the wtaer evaporates fully, then add more warm water. However, the curry should be thick.

Add some coriander leaves, put off the gas, and keep it covered. Serve hot.


Panner Simla Mirch Ke Saath

Capsicum with cottage cheese (paneer) for two

You will need:

Capsicum with Cattage cheese

About 150 gms of fresh panner or cottage cheese, washed and cubed.
2 small onions, chopped
½ tablespoon of black pepper
some green chillies
2 spoons of cooking oil
3 spoons of tomato ketchup or sauce
½ half spoon of tablesalt
½ spoon of cumin seeds
2 medium sized capsicums


First, perpare the camsicums. Cut off the ends, then slice it, and remove the inner ribs and seeds, with a spoon or your finger. Now, slice the capsicums into rings.

Heat up the oil on a frying pan. Should take a few minutes. Then add the cumin seeds and see them turning a shade darker. Add the onions and stir. Care is to be taken that the onions do not turn brown, but just soften, before you add the other ingredients.

Add the rest of the ingredients as soon as the onions soften up, except the paneer or cottage cheese, and the capsicum. Which means, you will add the ketchup or sauce,salt, pepper and the chillies. Stir for some time.

Now add the cottage cheese. Stir so that the mixure becomes one. Cover the frying pan, and let it cook for a few minutes. This is because the paneer or cottage cheese will give out water, which needs to be evaporated.

Now add the capsicum, and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Let the capsicum remain a little crunchy.

If you donot want the capsicum to be crunchy, then add it with the paneer, or cook it longer.

Voila! Your dish is ready! Have it with Parathas or chappati.


Matar Chawal

Peas rice (Matar chawal)

You will need:
Matar Chwal 1 cup of long grained rice (preferably good basmati), washed and soaked in water for atleast 30 minutes
A small piece of ginger, properly grounded or grated
3 cloves of garlic, grounded
1 spoon of salt
1 spoon of cumin seeds
2 cloves
1 cup shelled peas fresh or frozen, soaked in 2 cups of water.
2 cloves
a little cinnamon stick
2 spoons of cooking oil
2 medium sized onions, sliced.


Heat up the oil in a large frying pan for about 5 minutes

Put the cloves and cinnamon and stir, when you get the aroma, add the cumin seeds.

Now add the onions, and fry them till golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic and fry some more.

Now add the peas after draining them. Stir and mix well. Cook for a few minutes.

Add the rice along with its water. Stir and mix properly

Half cover the pan, and keep the flame to high. Bring the mixture to boil.

When the entire mixture boils, lower the flame.

Place a tawa (a flat pan) on the flame, and put the frying pan on top of it, so that your food do not burn or stick up. You will need to cook for 15 minutes.

Before putting off the flame, fluff up the mixture and your Peas rice is ready.


Sookhe Matar

Dry Peas (cooked) or Sookha Matar

You will need:
Sookhe Matar 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
½ tablespoon of cumin seeds
1 large onion, chopped.
½ tablespoon coriander powder
green chillies to taste, sliced
500 gms of peas, fresh or frozen
a pinch of turmeric powder
a small piece of ginger, finely grated, or cut into sticks
about a level spoon of salt
fresh, chopped coriander leaves.
You would also need a heavy bottomed kadai or frying pan with lid.


Shell the peas if they are fresh. Wash, drain, and keep aside.

Heat up the cooking oil in the pan for 3 to 4 minutes.

Drop in the cumin seeds, then the turmeric and the coriander powder.

Stir properly, then add the green chillies and the onions. Fry till the onions are beginning to brown.

Now add the ginger, and fry till its gets a tad bit darker.

Now add the peas and the salt. Stir well. After some time, add 1/4th cup of warm water, mix throughly, and cover the lid when it begins to boil. Lower the gas flame and leave it for 15 to 18 minutes.

The water should be evaporated,but the mixture shouldnot be sticking to the pan. Peas should be tender. It might take less time, so stay by the over and check back often. Frozen peas will only take 10 minutes or so.

Spinkle the coriander leaves and serve. You can also add fresh, finely chpooed tomatoes if you desire, and sprinkle chaat masala too.


Tamatar Alu

Serves two

You will need:

2 large tomatoes
Aloo Tamatar 3 large potatoes
green chillies (to taste)
¾ spoon cumin seeds
¼ spoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
salt to taste (½ spoon should do)
finely chopped, fresh coriander leaves


Wash the tomatoes, cut them into 4 parts each, and blend them in a an electric mixer with the chillies. Pour out the puree and store it.

Wash and boil the potatoes, cool them and then peel them. Cut into cubes. You can also peel them, cube them, and then boil them.

Heat up the oil in a frying pan, add the cumin and then the turmeric and coriander powder after a minute.

Now add the tomato puree and salt. Stir well, and cook on medium flame till the fat seperates.

Now add the potato cubes, and stir well to coat them well with the mixture. Add a little warm water, to make the gravy a bit thinner. Stir well.

Now add the coriander leaves, cover up the pan, and cook in low flame for 5 to 6 minutes.

You dish is ready to serve.



Serves 4

To make the Kadhi, you will need:
kadhi 1 cup of gramflour
green chillies to taste,finely chopped
2 cups of curd
6 cups pf water
8 to 10 curry leaves, cut into pieces
salt to taste ( 2 spoons should do)

To make the dumplings, you will need:
1.5 cups of gramflour
Some oil for frying
a finely chopped small onion
a cup of curd
¼ spoon of baking soda
half spoon of salt

For the tempering, you will need:

A pinch of asafoetida
2 whole red chillies
½ spoon of dried fenugreek
¼ spoon of fenugreek seeds
½ spoon of cumin seeds
red chilli powder to taste
½ spoon od aniseed
½ spoon of musturd seeds
a a spoon of sugar
2 spoons of oil


Keep atleast 3 frying pans, or utensils that you can use as frying pans handy.

Beat the curd with a egg beater or spoon. Mix the water and the curd.

Put the gramflour in a large bowl. Pour the curd water mixture in it, stirring it all the time. You should have a smooth batter and not a lumpy one.

Now add the turmeric, curry leaves, chillies and the salt. Mix well. Put the bowl on flame to bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer the flame once it stars to boil. Bring the mixture to a thick, cremy liquid. Stir occasionally. The process will take about 40 minutes.

While the Kadi is getting prepared, you can prepare the dumplings.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. In a bowl, mix all ingredients for the dumplings. Mix the curd and gramflour as in he previous process,so that you donot have lumps.

When the oil is fully heated up, drop the batter by spoonfuls on to the pan. Each spoon dropping should be lying separately in the pan. Make as many dumplings as the pan can comfortably hold.

Use a flat spoon to turn and fry the dumplings as they fry, so that you get an even, brown fry, all over the dumpling ball. To test whether they are properly fried, take one from the batch, and break it open to see even the inside is properly cooked.

Repeat the process till your batter bowl is finished.

Tip: The frying should be in low or medium heat/flame, else you will have burned exteriors and raw kachha interiors.

Store the dumplings side by side on a paper. You will need to add them only ten minutes before serving. The paper will soak up the extra oil.

For the tempering:

Take another small frying pan and heat up some oil in it.

Add the asafoetida and the chillies, cook for a few seconds, then add all other seeds. They will start to flutter.

Wait for the fluttering to stop, and then add the dried fenugreek.

Now empty the contents of the pan in the cooked kadhi.

Before serving, heat up the kadhi (add water if it has thickened), drop in the dumplings, and simmer in low flame for 10 minutes.

Serve hot

Have it with rice, salads and roti.



Kidney Beans Curry (Rajma)

You will need:
Rajmah 3 cloves
a small stick of cinnamon
5 cloves of garlic
a black cardamom
2 midium sized ripe tomatoes
green chillies, chopped
a small piece of ginger, finely grated
4 tablespoons of cooking oil
1 or 2 tablespoons of fresh, finely chopped coriander leaves
a little less than a spoonful of coriander powder
a cup of kidney beans or rajmah
4 tablespoons of cooking oil
a spoon of cumin powder
a pinch of turmeric powder
a spoon of salt


Wash the rajmah throughly, and leave it to soak overnight

Peel the onions, slice them into quarters. Put them into an electric grinder, along with the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. Add a couple of spoonful of water. Grind to a fine paste. Take out the mixture, and put in the ginger and garlic and grind to paste. Remember to peel and chop the ginger and peel the garlic. Also add a few spoonful of water.

Puree the tomatoes, by putting them in the grinder.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot, put in the onion paste, fry till it is a shade of brown. Now add the ginger garlic,and fry till the mixture is golden brown. Take care that the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, if it tends to, then add some water.

Now add the tomato puree, fry till the fat separates.

Time to add the spices, add the coriander powder, cumin, turmeric and salt. Fry for sometime.

Drain the kidney beans (rajmah), and drop them into the pan. Fry for sometime. Now add the water where they were soaked, and some more if required, to help them from not sticking to the bottom. Add 1.5 cups of more water, cover the lid, and bring to boil. Cook for 35 minutes. Open the lid, add the coriander leaves, and close the lid and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Your dish is ready.


Alu Tikka or Potato Cutlets

You will need:
Aloo Tikka 2 large potatoes or 3 medium poratoes
A pinch of salt, to taste
green chillies to taste, finely chopped.
Some fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
cooking oil
Two slices of brown or white bread
Optional: aamchur or mango powder, chaat masala if you cannot find aamchur


Boil the potatoes soft in a bowl, or better still, in a pressure cooker.

Drain and peel them after they are boiled.

Soak the bread pieces in water, with just enough water to cover them.

Pick up a bread piece, squeeze hard to let out the water, and drop on to the potatoes. Same with the second piece. Add the rest of the ingredients too (except cooking oil). Smash and mix throughly.

Make 6 to 7 balls of the mixture. Press balls slightly to flatten them. Neaten the edges to cover up cracks.

Pour oil into the frying pan, the depth of oil should be 1.5 inches, so choose a small, flat frying pan. Heat up the oil throughly.

Now drop in the flatten balls into the heated oil. Drop as many as the frying pan can hold comfortably, with enough space in between, as you will need to turn them with flat spoons. Fry golden brown on each side. Drain them on a piece of brown paper.


Khatte Meethe Bainga

Khatte Mithe Baigon – Brinjal or egg plant fruit with sweet and sour topping

You will need:
Khatte Mithe Baigon0 A small lemon, soaked in water
jaggery , soaked in the same water
½ spoon of garam masala or spices
green chillies to taste
some tamarind, soaked in water
a piece of cinnamon
cooking oil
3 to 4 large onions, well sliced
500 gms of brinjal


Slice the brinjal in thin rings, you should get about a dozen rings. Sprinkle salt on either sides, and leave for 20 minutes. Now wash them throughly, and pat them dry with a piece of clean cloth.

Strain the pulp of the tamarind, and get rid of the seeds. Put the strained liquid of tamarind in a cup.

Heat up the oil. Depth of oil should be about 1.5 inch. Choose a flat, small pan. When the oil is fully heated up, slid in the brinjal rings. Put in only as many as the pan can hold comfortably. Fry golden on both sides. Drain them on a brown paper.

Empty the oil of the pan, and pour in fresh oil. Now add the cinnamon, sizzle for the few seconds, and then add the onions, and fry golden brown.

Add the garam masala and the chillies, and fry some more.

Add the strained tamarind liquid.

As soon as the fat seperates, take off the frying pan from the heat.

Before serving, heat this mixture up, and with a spoon, put an equal quantity of it on all brinjal slices, after laying them on a large dish. Serve immediately.


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