My favourite Indian recipes

Anita’s Indian Inspired Pudding Spice

Christmas time is all about warming, comforting foods that revive our bodies and spirits. Spices are at the heart of our shared memories at this time of year.

Allspice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger (collectively known as ‘Mixed Spice’ or ‘English Pudding Spice’) are a blend of Christmas spices traditionally used in fruitcake, gingerbread and Christmas pudding.

As these warming Christmas spices share much in common with Indian Gharam masala blends, I have come up with the perfect Indian-inspired Mixed Spice to add the aromatic wow factor to your Christmas puds, fruitcakes and biscuits. If you’re feeling adventurous you could even add some cheeky chilli flakes with some cranberries !

Enjoy experimenting with spice this Christmas. Festive Cheer to everyone.


1 teaspoon allspice (whole or ground)
2 (2.5 cm) cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon cloves
1 whole nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger (or whole 2cm piece of dried ginger root)
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
2 black cardamoms
A small pinch of chilli flakes (optional)

Preparation: Grind the whole spices in a hand or electric spice mill until finely powdered and mix well with appropriate quantities of any ground spices.

Use at once or store in an airtight jar away from light.

Anita’s Dahi Wada

These savoury lentil dumplings in yoghurt are made on special occasions and are a favourite on Diwali days. Diwali or ‘Deepawali’ is one of the great festivals of India, celebrated by many faiths including Hindus and Sikhs. It marks the start of the Hindu New Year. It is sometimes known as ‘The Festival of Lights,’ as people often light several earthenware oil lamps in every room, symbolic of the victory of light over darkness.

100g urid dhal (lentils without husk)
50g mung dhal (lentils without husk)
2.5cm cube of fresh ginger root (grated)
2 finely chopped chillies (less according to taste)
400ml natural yoghurt
1 tsp of dry roasted cumin seeds
A handful of fresh chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Sunflower oil for deep frying

Wash the dhal and leave to soak in pan overnight or for at least 3 hrs.

Blend the drained urid and mung dhal with a little cold water to make a thick paste.

Turn out the lentil paste into a mixing bowl. add the grated fresh ginger, chopped chillies and salt. Mix thoroughly and then use using your hands roll a tablespoon of mixture at a time into a small ball and flatten slightly.

Heat the oil in a wide heavy bottomed pan to a temperature of about 180oC. Carefully deep fry the wada until golden brown and cooked throughout. This should take about 5 mins on a medium heat. Set aside to cool.
When cool, soak the fried wads in a bowl of warm water for about 3 mins. Gently
squeeze out all the excess water from each wads and place in a serving dish.

Meanwhile, gently roast the cumin seeds until they darken. Add the seeds to the yoghurt in a small bowl and mix well, season to taste with a little salt. Pour the yoghurt over the lentil dumplings and garnish with a few coriander leaves, a sprinkle of gharam masala or paprika.