Diwali From Nani And Dadi's Kitchen: Try This Family Recipe

Diwali is an emotion, one that's shared by all Indians across the world. And at the centre of those festivities are three fundamental components: fun, family and food. Without any one of these, Diwali would lose much of its sparkle. For Shrishti Sugla, a brand strategist and writer from Mumbai, the festival has always been about 'full hearts and full tummies while celebrating new beginnings.'

Like many others, she grew up with rituals and traditions that were specific to her family which have embedded themselves in her memory and become synonymous with Diwali itself. In her household, there was a menu of 15 items that would appear every year and mark the occasion but there are some that have stayed with her more than others. "Food is my family’s love language," she says, "every year we cook up a storm to prepare an elaborate feast with heirloom recipes, particularly Mangode and Churma Ladoos, that have been passed down through generations by my Nani and Dadi." 

For Shrishti, this time was just as much a chance to connect with her loved ones as a time to learn and appreciate the magic happening in the kitchen. "This tradition means a lot to me as it takes me back to my fondest childhood memories of sitting on the kitchen counter breaking pieces of the puri during the prep for the Churma Ladoos. The sheer joy of prepping while endlessly snacking on gujiya and the smell of freshly fried mangode (moong dal pakode) filling the house meant it was officially Diwali season."

Everyone has their own memories, traditions and dishes that are extra meaningful at this time of year.

Dadi’s Churma Ladoo Recipe


  • 2 cups Punjabi Wheat Flour
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 - 4 cardamoms
  • Dry fruits (optional) of your choice
  • 2 cups Amul ghee


  • First sift the flour and make a dough for puris. The dough should be slightly hard. Keep the dough aside to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Roll medium-sized puris and fry them in hot ghee.
  • Make the puris and keep it aside to cool down.
  • Take sugar and churn it in the blender to make it powdered sugar, sift it once. 
  • Crush the cardamom into a powder with a mortar and pestle.
  • Now break away small pieces of puris in a plate and put them in a mixer grinder pot and blend it. On top of the puri pieces in the blender add the powdered sugar, and cardamom powder and blend it all together till it mixes well.
  • Take the freshly blended mixture into your palms and make them into medium-sized ladoos. Once the Ladoos are ready keep them in an air-tight container for freshness.

Shrishti's Tip: "While serving them you can garnish them with finely chopped almonds like my Dadi used to."


Nani’s Mangode ( Moong Dal Pakode)


  • 1 cup yellow moong dal
  • 2 - 3 medium potatoes
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • 1” ginger
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp pepper powder
  • 1 tsp amchur powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • Oil for frying
  • Fresh curry leaves


  • Soak the moong dal overnight.
  • Next day put the dal in a strainer and drain the water out.
  • Once you drain the water out completely put it in the blender and make a coarse paste ( without adding water).
  • Now we chop the potatoes and cut the green chillies finely, grate ginger. Next, we roast ‘akkha dhaniya’ on a nonstick pan for a few seconds and crush it.
  • Take the coarse dal mixture and add the finely chopped potatoes, green chillies, grated ginger, and crushed dhaniya, add garam masala, finely chopped coriander leaves, and curry leaves and mix it. 
  • Once you’ve mixed the paste completely keep it aside and set up a wok/ pan with oil on a medium flame for frying. 
  • Take the mixture and put small/ medium size portions in the pan to fry Mongode ( moon dal pakode) . 

Shrishti's Tip: Serve it with green and meethi chutney.