Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Let’s get cracking on Diwali delicacies


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In this season of lights let us start our gastronomical journey with this prayer, “Let the blessings of health and nutrition shower upon you and your loved ones.”
Known for the victory of knowledge over ignorance, let’s add an extra crunch of goodness into our Diwali delicacies to make it all the more nourishing and flavourful. Also a great gifting option, California walnuts offer a perfect blend of nutrition and sweetness every festive celebration deserves. Walnut is the only nut that provides an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acid (2.5 gm of ALA/28 gm). A handful of walnuts also offers 4 gm of protein along with 2 gm of fibre. They are delicious, convenient and scrumptious enough to kick up the flavour and nutrition of meals and snacks to promote optimal health.
So put on your aprons and entertain your guests to a nutty feast curated exclusively by celebrity Chef Sabyasachi Gorai.

California Walnut DaHi Vada


For the vadas
¾ cup of urad dal (split black
¼ teaspoon of asafetida (hing)
1 teaspoon of ginger-green
chilli paste
Salt to taste
2 cups finely chopped California

To be mixed into a curd mixture
1 cup of whisked curd (dahi)
2 tablespoon of sugar
A pinch of black salt
Salt to taste
Oil for deep-frying
Chilli powder for sprinkling
Roasted cumin seeds (jeera)
powder for sprinkling
2 tablespoon finely chopped


For the vadas, clean, wash and soak the urad dal in enough water in a deep bowl for 2 hours. Drain well and blend in a mixer to a coarse paste using ¼ cup of water. Transfer the mixture into a deep bowl, add the asafoetida, ginger-green chilli paste, salt, finely chopped California walnuts and 1½ tablespoons of water and mix well.
Wet a deep ladle with little water, pour 1 tablespoon of the batter in it and drop it in hot oil. Deep-fry on a medium flame till it turns golden brown from all the sides. Upto 2 to 3 such stuffed vadas can be deep-fried at a time in a batch. Soak the deep-fried vadas immediately in a bowlful of water for 20 minutes. Squeeze out and drain all the excess water by pressing the vadas gently between your palms. Keep aside and fry more vadas and repeat the steps. Just before serving, arrange twovadas in a serving dish and spread one portion of the curds mixture evenly over it. Finally sprinkle a little chilli powder and cumin seeds powder evenly over it. Serve immediately garnished with coriander.

California Walnut Cocktail Samosa With Chutney


½ cup of maida/all purpose flour
½ cup of wheat flour
Salt to taste
½ tablespoon oil
2 teaspoon of sugar
Water as required

For the stuffing
2 teaspoon of oil
½ teaspoon of coriander seeds
½ tablespoon of ginger garlic
1 green chilli
1 onion
¼ cup of peas
½ cup of chopped California
½ teaspoon of red chilli powder
Salt to taste
¼ teaspoon ofgaram masala
¼ cup of coriander
leaves chopped
½ teaspoon amchur/mango
2 boiled potatoes


For the stuffing, heat oil in a pan and add coriander seeds. To this add onion, ginger garlic paste, chilli and sauté well. Add peas and chopped California walnuts. Add boiled potatoes followed by all the spices. Mix and cook until well done.

Once cooked, keep aside in a bowl and let it cool. For the samosas , put flour, wheat flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. To this add oil and knead well with water. Take a small portion of the dough and roll into a thin circular sheet. Using a knife divide the circle into two halves. Fold the ends to form a perfect triangle shape and fill the stuffing into it. Close the ends to prevent the stuffing from coming out.
Heat oil in a pan and fry these until golden brown. Serve with tamarind and coriander chutney.

California Walnut Gujiya


For the dough
1 cup of maida/all purpose flour
1 tablespoon ofsooji (Semolina)
1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 cup of unsalted butter
1/4 cup of desiccated coconut
1 cup of khoya
2 cups of chopped
California walnuts
1/4 cup of superfine sugar
2 tablespoons of milk
2 teaspoons of green
cardamom powder
1 teaspoon of saffron strands

Sugar syrup optional
1/2 cup of sugar
4 tablespoon of water
1/4 -1/2 teaspoon of green
cardamom powder
1 teaspoon of rose water
Few pieces of saffron strands


In a big bowl combine all the ingredients listed under ‘For The Dough’. Take lukewarm water and knead soft pliable dough. Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes. For the filling, in a heavy bottom pan, add khoya, dry coconut and toast them on low heat for 15 minutes. When the mixture turns light brown in colour, add saffron strand. Mix and take it off the flame.
In a separate pan add California walnuts and toast them on a medium flame. Once they start omitting their aroma, take it off the flame and allow it to cool off completely. Grind them in a coffee grinder until it turns into a fine powder. Add this nutty mixture to the khoya mixture along with sugar and milk. Mix until everything is well- blended.

For the gujiya, take a small golf size ball of the dough and roll it into a thin circle. In one half, place some gujiya mixture and fold the other half to make it into a gujiya. Apply water along the edges and seal it tight using a fork to secure the edges by making imprints of the fork. Heat oil in a pan. When ready for frying, lower the flame and fry gujiyas until golden brown in colour. The key to crispy gujiya is patience! Gujiyas should be fried in medium hot oil for a crispy layer.
Remove from oil and drain it on the paper towel. For the sugar syrup, combine all the ingredients in a pan and bring it to a boil on a medium flame. Scum will start forming on top of the liquid. Using a spoon, collect and discard the scum and keep boiling until the liquid is reduced and it starts to thicken. Lower the heat, dip a spoon in the syrup and remove. Do not touch for the first few seconds, it will be very hot. Touch the syrup with your finger and if it coats your finger, it means that it is about to reach its first string consistency.
Dip each gujiya in this syrup for 2-3 minutes and set it on a clean plate. Garnish with chopped California walnuts and serve.

California Walnut Shahi Tukda

For rabri:
1 litre full cream milk
¼ cup of sugar
½ teaspoon of cardamom powder
2 tablespoons of saffron milk

For sugar syrup:
½ cup of sugar
½ cup of water
Few saffron threads
For serving:
6 slices bread white or brown
3 tablespoon of oil
1/2 cup of California walnut


Remove the sides of bread and cut them into a triangles. Fry the bread slices, both sides, in hot oil till the bread turns golden brown. For sugar syrup, put water in a pan and add sugar to it. Add few saffron threads, if desired. Bring it to a boil and then turn off the heat. Dip both sides of bread in sugar syrup and keep aside.

For rabri, heat milk and then add sugar, cardamom powder and saffron milk into it. In a plate, place fried bread slices and pour in ½ cup of prepared rabri on top to serve.

California Walnut Halwa


250 g California Walnut
80 g ghee
120 g milk powder
150 g milk
100 g sugar
100 g grated khoya/mawa
(milk solids)
0.5 teaspoon of green cardamom
California walnut kernels for


Crush California walnuts coarsely. Heat ghee in a non-stick pan. Add crushed walnuts and sauté till fragrant. Add khoya/mawa, mix and continue to sauté. Add milk powder and mix well.
Now add milk and mix again.
Add green cardamom powder and sugar. Cook on medium heat till the mixture thickens tohalwa (thick) consistency.
Serve warm or cold garnished with California walnut kernels.

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