Vegetarian Snacks for Diwali and Beyond

Sweets, extra-crispy samosas, nachos layered with chutney and more recipes.

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By Tejal Rao

The best Diwalis I can remember involved days of epic, back-to-back parties: endless sweets in my aunties’ living rooms; dancing in hot, scratchy new outfits; and cousins racing down the squeaky floors of community-center halls with paper plates stacked high with snacks.

These days, it’s less of a production: I light some candles around the house and buy sweets like kaju katli to share. The tender confection of ghee and finely powdered cashews can be incredibly delicate, almost melting away in your mouth. It’s one of an endless variety of sweets that you can find in South Asian mithai shops this time of year.

My colleague Priya Krishna wrote a wonderful article about how shops are working extra-long days to fuel our momentarily boundless appetites! If you want to try making your own sweets for Diwali, Ashvin Patel shared his recipe for the caramel badam burfi he sells at his shop, Surati Farsan (and the adaptation uses store-bought caramels as a shortcut!). Samantha Seneviratne’s new peanut-butter fudge would also be a great homemade sweet to have on hand if people are dropping by for Diwali — it keeps in the fridge for a whole week.

If you’re looking for some savory snacks, I highly recommend Zainab Shah’s thin, crisp aloo samosas made with store-bought spring roll wrappers, with a side of homemade mint chutney, and a big tray of sheet-pan paneer tikka. And, speaking from experience, Priya’s nachos with Cheddar, black beans and chutney are just as good for celebrating as they are for crashing in front of an episode of “The Good Fight” alone at the end of the workday.

To drink with all of this, I’d prep a batch of nimbu pani in advance (don’t skip the salts!), but wait to blend the mixture with ice until the very last minute, when you want to pour the drinks. And, since I’m not celebrating with my extended family this year, I might consider a glug of gin in that mix, too.

Peanut-Butter Fudge

Go to the recipe.

Sheet-Pan Paneer Tikka

Go to the recipe.

Indian-ish Nachos With Cheddar, Black Beans and Chutney

Go to the recipe.

One More Thing

When cooking feels overwhelming — and it really, really does sometimes — I need a gentle recipe to bring me back to the stove. Yewande Komolafe’s new butternut squash soup is exactly that: roasted squash puréed with vegetable stock and onion and garlic that have softened in a little olive oil, plus a bit of ground ginger, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Yewande uses a touch of rice vinegar and honey to tweak it to taste, either sharpening the soup or sweetening it. It doesn’t need anything more, though some garlicky, wilted greens on buttered toast would be great on the side, if you want to turn it into a bigger meal. In any case, it’s the kind of recipe you can follow just once, and it instantly becomes part of your repertoire. A gift!

Thanks for reading The Veggie, and see you next week.

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