The festival of lights (and over-eating) is officially over for another year. And my foray into Mum’s kitchen was pretty successful, I must say. I ended up making shev and chivada, two of my favourite Diwali snacks or ‘faral’ – I even took step by step shev-making photos, if any one else wants to give it a go and follow along. I’ve posted the recipe down the bottom.
Step 1: Mixing all the flours, spices, hot oil and water together to form one helluva sticky dough
(Mum politely informed me that I really ought to only use one hand. Trust me to make a mess of it.)
Step 2: Fill the dough into Mum’s Indian Piping Machine (I do not know where you can buy this outside of India, sorry) and squeeze the noodley-shev directly into a wok of hot, hot oil. Break it off with your fingers to form separate ball-like shapes.
Step 3: Once those oil bubbles begin to subside you know that shev is cooked.
(Ain’t she a beauty?)
Step 4: Using a slotted spoon, slide that baby out of the oil and onto some newspaper to drain away the excess oil.
Here’s my picture of before and after – ideally you need to try to make a little ball of them, it took me a while to get the hang of the shaping. The trick, as far as I could work out, was to keep the piping machine close to the oil while squeezing, then using your fingers to cut off the noodles and fold them over, to make the ball-type shape. It’s a bit of trial and error.
And last but not least: the all important secret ingredient: a cooking partner you love!
Thanks mum, you made it so much fun. I’m looking forward to smashing out karanjis and chaklis with you next year! (That will be all my favourites covered.)
I can’t believe mum’s been doing this on her own all these years. It’s hard work, and I just did the easy stuff this year. She also made an assortment of other amazingness.
Here’s the full spread:
And now to the gym, to try work off all that deep-fried magic…
Besan flour* (fine) – 4 cups
Baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Aajwa** – 1 tsp (ground in mortar/pestle)
Rice flour (fine) – ½ cup
Turmeric – ½ teaspoon
Salt – 3 tbsp / to taste … be generous
Chilli powder – 1.5 teaspoons
Hinga (Asafoteida) – ½ teaspoon
Canola oil – ¼ cup oil – heated
+ Plenty of canola oil for deep frying
*(Besan = Indian split pea)
** Find it at Indian food shops, looks like a fat cumin seed
Mix all ingredients, adding the hot oil last.
Then add water slowly till you get a very-sticky dough-like consistency.
Fill the dough into the piping machine* (oil up your hands and roll the dough into a cylindrical shape, to fit into the piping machine).
Squeeze out into a ball-like shape directly into the hot deep-frying oil.
When oil bubbles subside you know it’s cooked, but it doesn’t take too long.
Drain the excess oil on newspaper or paper towel.
Try not to eat too many while you’re frying. This is not as easy as it sounds.
* I have no idea where to get one of these outside of India. Any ideas anyone? I’m wondering if you could DIY via piping bag / spaghetti machine?