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Healthy Vegetarian Foods

Four Days To Diwali 2012

Countdown to Diwali 2012, FOUR DAYS to go, and yesterday started off with all of the best intentions in my mind-ingredients ready! I had planned to chop some almonds and pistachios – grind some cardamom and then go to my nephews swimming gala to watch him swim, and when that was done (I assumed it would be about an hour or hour and half), I would come straight home and start my cooking/baking, so in my mind I would start by no later than 12.30. One call from one of my sisters, and the plans and good intentions were all changed.  She called to say she would be at my house in about 15minutes and she needed to go to the “Chinese Market” to get gift bags and etc for her Diwali presents. Put all of my nuts, spices and etc into the cupboard and within minutes she was at my gate, so off we went to “China Mall” and we got the cutest little gift bags, boxes and ribbons, and now off to the swimming gala, where we met another sister (for clarity purposes-we are four sisters and between us we have 6kids, literally these 6 kids have 4 mothers at any given time). The smile on my nephews face when he saw 3 of his mothers in the stands was “Priceless”, and then again when in the 2 relay races that he participated in, and he brought his team home in first place, I realized this was where I needed to be and all else does not matter cooking and baking will get done. Well needless to say he wanted us to sit there through the gala which ended at 1. While we were sitting watching the swimming and chatting my youngest sister mentioned that my nephew has become so picky about the clothes he wears (we are convinced my 2 sons have taught him all of this). He only wants to wear a pair of shorts that my second sister got him form “Earth Child”, my sister (the one that made the call this morning) has no kids of her own, but she is “Father Christmas” that showers her love, affection and gifts 365 days a year. She just has to know that one of the kids like or need something and within 24 hours they have it. So off we went to Eastgate to buy him some shorts and t-shirts (got him 2 sets) as part of his Diwali Gifts, by now it was time for a cup of coffee and something to eat. Amongst all of this it is my little nieces birthday today and the party is on Saturday-so yes we have to get her and her sister (3) gifts to give them today and then again on Saturday. Eventually all shopping done a car full of toys, gifts and etc we got home at about 3.30. My sister left to go to, and I had a few emails to respond to, calls to make and supper to prepare.  Supper was done by about 7pm and then I started my cooking process-well instead of the planed 4 items for the day, I managed to complete only 2-the “KHARKHARIA” (sweet sesame seed flat breads-puri) and “KOPRA PAAK” (coconut ice)


250ml cake flour

75ml rice flour

3ml salt

3ml baking powder

75ml castor sugar

45ml ghee

75ml sesame seeds

125ml milk

45ml sugar

5ml cardamom powder

3ml nutmeg powder

2ml saffron threads

750ml oil for deep frying


  1. Sift flours, salt and baking powder, add the castor sugar and rub in the ghee and then mix in the sesame seeds
  2. Place the milk, sugar, cardamom, nutmeg and saffron in small pot and bring to a boil, remove from heat and allow to cool before pouring over the flour to make a stiff pliable dough
  3. Cover and allow to rest for about 30minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into 4-5 portions and roll each portion very thinly and cut into desired shapes
  5. Place these cut outs on a tray and allow to dry for 2-3 hours before deep frying on medium heat, ensuring that they crisp up, but at the same time do not allow it to turn brown
  6. Once all these little morsels are fried, place on a baking tray and allow to cool completely, before storing in an airtight container


Koproo Paak

100ml milk

45ml sugar

2-3ml food colour of your choice

200ml condense milk

35ml ghee

10ml cardamom powder

750ml desiccated coconut

75ml ground almonds

75ml ground pistachios


  1.  Place the milk and sugar in a large non stick pot and bring to the boil, add food colour and lower heat before adding the condense milk, ghee and cardamom powder
  2. Allow this mixture to cook for about 10minutes on very low heat, mix continuously to ensure that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot
  3. Now add the coconut and ground nuts and turn the heat of, but continue stirring the mixture till it forms a thick paste
  4. Line a baking tray with cling wrap and once the mixture is cool enough to handle, spread onto the cling wrap and using a spatula even out the top
  5. Garnish with more chopped almonds or edible glitter and allow to set overnight, you can also drizzle some melted chocolate on it before slices into desired shapes





Comments: 3

  • 08/11/2012

    It must be soooooo nice to have four mothers!!! Enjoy the preparations for Diwali!! xxx

  • Janice Tripepi


    Oh Usha – I just love these recipes! I can’t wait for the burfee and chana magaj (not sure of the spelling) … and all of the other heavenly goodies! Good luck with all that work! xxxx

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