Roasted Chickpeas

5 #10 cans of chickpeas

5 cups ghee

Salt, pepper, kalonji

Drain chickpeas and let dry thoroughly. Toss with ghee, salt and pepper. Roast at 450 until crunchy. Let cool in the oven to maintain crunchiness. Do not refrigerate!

Cucumber Raita

4 64-oz tubs whole yogurt

25 cucumbers

5 bunches cilantro, chopped

3-4 tbl garlic paste

Salt and pepper

Drain yogurt for a few hours. Seed cucumbers and chop. Mix all together, taste for seasoning, Chill overnight.

10 oz per table

Stuffed eggs- makes 8

1 lb ground chicken

2 tbl grated ginger

4 cardamom pods

4 cloves

½ tsp rosewater

Pinch saffron

2 tsp salt

2 bunches of green onions, chopped

Ghee for basting

8 egg shells, insides blown out and top chipped away to a 1″ hole

Grind saffron, cloves and cardamom pods in grinder, with salt if necessary. Chop green onions finely. Mix with meat and knead until thoroughly mixed. Spoon into Ziploc bags.

Pipe chicken filling into eggs. Put in pan with a little water. Bake at 350 30 minutes or until done. Eggs stay hot for a long time.

Ganvari (Fish) kabob

1 lb tilapia= 4 skewers= 8 people

1 c buttermilk

Plenty of salt and pepper


Juice from 2 limes

Cut tilapia fillets in half lengthwise. Soak in buttermilk for at least 1 hour. Lift out and thread onto skewers. Salt and pepper heavily. Broil, basting every few minutes with lime juice, until done.

Lamb kabob

1.5 lb ground lamb= 10 people

Plenty of salt and pepper

¼ c dry bread crumbs


¼ c palm vinegar

¼ c palm sugar

Mix lamb, salt, pepper and bread crumbs. Form into long sausage-shapes around the skewers. Brush with marinade. Broil, basting every five minutes with marinade, until done.

Khichri= serves 12 feast portion

½ c mung beans, parboiled for 20 minutes and well-drained

1 ½ c rice, soaked in clean water for an hour and well-drained

2 tsp whole cumin seeds

3 cloves fresh garlic

2 tbl ghee

Plenty of salt and pepper

Saute garlic and whole cumin seeds until fragrant. Add rice and lentils and sauté until dry and sizzling. Add 2 cups water, bring to a boil, and cook on low until done.

Eggplants with Tamarind Ginger sauce (Burani)

serves 12 feast portions

Stir together:

1 c water

1 tbl tamarind paste

1 tbl vinegar

2 tbl sugar

Set aside:

1 tsp mustard seeds

Grind together:

1/2 onion, chopped

2 clove garlic, smashed

2” chunk ginger, sliced

Heat oil. Add mustard seeds, heat until they pop and splatter. Add onion paste and stir until onion paste starts to turn darker color, most of the water is gone and the oil starts to come out. Add tamarind and vinegar mixture, boil until it thickens slightly. Taste for sugar/salt/pepper balance. Should be spicy.

1 lb baby eggplants

Oil, salt, pepper

Cut eggplant crossways but not through the stem. Toss eggplant and tinda with oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 350 until soft and well-browned. Serve on top of sauce. (Did not use tinda at feast, only eggplants)


10 lb good rice

1 tin of saffron

2 cups ghee

10 cups whole milk


Whole peppercorns

1 lb slivered almonds

Yam Bara- makes 50 tbl-sized fritters

1 lb grated frozen ube/purple yam

¾ c white flour

1/3 c milk

2 tbl yogurt

2 tsp salt

2 tbl sugar

Honey for drizzling

Oil for deep frying

Thaw grated yam. Mix yam through sugar in batches in food processor, adding more milk if necessary, to make thick fritter mixture. Spoon mixture out on sheet trays lined with paper. Freeze until hard. Deep fry directly from frozen state until lightly browned. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with salt. Delicious and bright purple.

Lamb Stuffed Bread

¾ lb ground lamb

½ white onion

2 slices fresh ginger, minced

2 tbl ghee

¼ tsp asafetida

¾ tsp ground whole cardamom pods

¼ tsp ground whole cloves

2 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground pepper

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp salt

Pinch camphor

Juice of ½ lime

½ box of spinach, cooked and well drained.

Saute spices in a small amount of ghee. Add meat and chop up until cooked through. Add camphor and grind until very smooth. Add spinach. Each recipe makes 12.

Roll out and fill. Cook on a well-greased griddle until cooked. Each stuffed bread is 2 servings, cut into 4 pieces.

Puri dough

1 ½ c bread flour

1 ¼ c unbleached, unbromated all-purpose flour

¼ c whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 tbl ghee

About 1 cup of water

Mix bread dough in the bread machine. Let rest for ½ hour. Each recipe makes 8.

Lotus Seed Paste Puri= ½ bread per person serving

1 package white lotus seed paste

1 pinch Camphor

1 pinch ground Cloves

Beat white lotus seed paste with spices. Use 2-3 tbl per bread. 1 package makes about 12 breads.

Mongol Yakhni (for 160)

10 lb ground water buffalo

2 lb dry bread crumbs

35 lb water buffalo mixed roasts

5 lb onions

2 gallons beef broth

2 large spoons ground ginger each roaster

2 large cinnamon sticks each roaster

2 tbl whole black peppercorns each roaster

2 tbl whole cloves each roaster

Wine vinegar to taste

Combine water buffalo and bread crumbs. Salt and pepper heavily. Form into at least 170 small meatballs. Baste meatballs in ghee and bake until lightly done.

Chop and caramelize onions in ghee until DARK but not burned. Split roasts evenly between three roasters. Split all other ingredients between roasters. Turn on high for one hour, then down to 250 for five hours. Lift roasts out of broth and keep warm.  Skim broth and strain through fine mesh strainer. Boil until reduced, 20 minutes at fast boil at least.

Taste for salt and pepper. Chop/shred roasts into large chunks and put meat and meatballs back into broth to stay moist and hot.

Dig-i-Baghi- served 12

1 lb white-floured gourd, seeded, quartered lengthwise and sliced thinly

1 lb pumpkin, seeded, peeled and sliced thin


Fresh dill ¼ c

Lots of salt and pepper

Saute vegetables in ghee until lightly colored and still a little crisp. Toss with fresh dill, salt and pepper. Will hold for long periods, serve hot.

Laddu- makes 20

3.5 c besan for laddu

1.5 c coconut powder

1 c ghee

½ c toasted sesame seeds

½ c almonds

2 c sugar

½ tsp rosewater

A few grains of camphor

1 c coconut powder for rolling

Melt ghee is large pan, add besan and coconut. Cook until it toasts very lightly. Dump into a large bowl and mix in sesame seeds, almonds, and sugar. Let cool until warm. Add rosewater and camphor, salt if necessary. Stir really thoroughly. Lay out a wide bowl of coconut powder for rolling. Roll balls of besan mixture size of walnuts, roll in coconut powder. Let sit at room temperature.

Khir- 12 people

1/3 c basmati rice

Scant ¼ c dry white bread crumbs (this was not needed in large quantities)

6 c whole milk

½ c jaggery

2 tbl white poppyseeds

½ tsp dry ginger

½ tsp ground long pepper

1 tsp whole cloves

1 tsp whole cardamom pods

Garnish with:

6 mangoes, chopped

¼ c chopped pistachios

Toast rice until opaque. Lightly break up in a mortar. Add milk and cook for 2 hours, stirring often. Add jaggery through cardamom pods. Cook on lowest heat for another 30 minutes.

Gajjar Halwa

1 pound carrots, grated

4 cups Milk

1/2 cup Heavy cream

3/4th cup Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Cardamom powder

3 tablespoons Ghee

1 tsp rosewater

Put the grated carrots, milk and heavy cream into a deep, large, heavy saucepan. Bring it to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture has reduced to about half its original volume and is thick enough to coat a spoon heavily.

Stir in the sugar and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the ghee and stir for a few minutes more. The “halwa” is done when the mixture is thick enough to draw from the sides and bottom of the pan in a solid mass. Add cardamom and rosewater and let cool.

Cook’s Notes

The only reason this feast came off as well as it did was because we started the prep work Friday night and the feast was on Sunday.

The only way to make rice in large amounts: Fry rice and whatever else goes in the recipe in ghee or oil until the rice is opaque. Then pour in the requisite amount of water and bring to a full rolling boil. Immediately turn off the fire, cover the pot, cover the pot with towels, and set aside. Leave it alone for at least 45 minutes to an hour. The rice will be perfectly done every time.

The stuffed breads took three times longer than expected, even with six people rolling out the dough.

The stuffed eggs were easier than expected and turned out lovely.

Always buy more butter than you think you will need. I ran out halfway through the cooking and we had to stretch the ghee with vegetable oil. I don’t think anyone noticed eating the feast.

Portions for the dessert were way too big because people were stuffed full by then. A lot of the rice pudding went in the trash unfortunately. The laddu leftover were saved and freeze well. Make laddu very small, more like walnuts than golf balls. The texture is weird and not everyone liked them.

The halwa took most of the day to cook down, even though we split it into two batches.


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