10 must try Snacks for Diwali

10 must try Snacks for Diwali

10 must try Snacks for Diwali

Snacking is habit almost of us have. Usual holidays are spent lazing around, on the couch, watching TV with a bowl of snacks for company. When it comes to holidays, especially for Diwali, it is a legit snacking time for everyone, anyway. In fact, for foodies and the calorie conscious alike, snacking on Diwali special snacks is Diwali, the festival of lights is the time to be carefree and feast.

For this Diwali, here are special 10 snacks that must be tried.

1) Sankarpali:

A popular snack in the northern parts of India, it is specially made for Diwali in Maharastra. A light and savoury, maida and semolina based nugget in diamond shape, Sankarpali is light on the stomach and a healthy way to snack. In fact, if eating Diwali sweets is making you go down that guilt trip in your conscience, these snacks can be baked too. The look and the texture may vary when the difference comes to frying and baking. However, the taste remains unchanged.

2) Kaju Katli :

Who can say no to Kaju Katli! A sweet made entirely of cashew nuts and sugar, it might not be that high in the health quotient equilibrium! Yet this is one of the sweets. which can double up as a snack as well as a dessert. Kaju Katli is the favoured sweet for guests, family as well as for distributing. A little intricate to make, Kaju Katli is a sweet which is special anyway.

3) Gajar Ka Halwa:

The taste and the colour of this sweet dish is for everyone to taste and see. Made from carrots, this healthy dish looks tempting. With grated carrots lending the dish its orange colour, Gagar ka halwa brings together the essence of clarified butter or ghee, milk and sugar make for the traditional recipe. The modern twist comes with spins on ingredients used in the halwa. For Diwali, kesar or saffron Gajar ka halwa is one of the popular dishes. Nutty and dry fruit saturated gajar ka halwa is another loved version of this dish.


One of the most loved Indian desserts, Shri Khand is the easiest of all to make. Though Shri Khand is actually a dessert, it is versatile in character and passes on a snack conveniently too. Yoghurt or curd based, this recipe can be customized and twisted to take on the flavour of any fruit that one may fancy. Plain Shrikhand is made with plain hung curd, mixed with sugar and flavoured with cardamom. To make it season fruit appropriate, mango puree or strawberries, banana pieces or orange zesta and juice, or even chocolate syrup can be added to the traditional shrikhand. Its best served chilled. If there is extra Shri Khand left, no one can resist tucking into a bowl full of it for snacking.

5) Karenji:

A stuffed and savoury snack filled with the goodness of grated and sweetened coconut or semolina, this special Diwali sweet is high on the snacks ranking. Made out of wheat flour or maida, and stuffed with flavoured and sweet coconut or dry fruits, karenjis are easy to make, deep fried snacks. Deep fried and sweet never goes wrong !!

6) Kachori:

Diwali is not just about sweets. Snacks comprise of the salted goodies too, in the menu. Kachoris are traditionally made out of wheat dough casing and filled in with flavour loaded and coarsely ground moong and urad dal, fried in ghee and mixed with all the spices. These are an all time irresistible snack. During Diwali, with family and friends binging on snacks together, kachoris are enjoyed best with sweet and spicy chutney over a lot of laughter.

7) Gathiya:

A gram flour based snack, these are light and crunchy and goes perfectly well with piping hot tea. The lazy afternoons of Diwali holidays are made tastier with these spaghetti shaped snacks made out of besan flour, salt, chilli powder and carrom seeds. An honest verdict for these would be that no one can stop at 1 or 10.

8) Chivda:

Diwali without Chivada is unheard of in the Maharashtrian households. Made out of flattened rice called poha, and mixed with peanuts, dry coconut, curry leaves, turmeric powder and spices, this light snack is a delight. Made in bulk during Diwali, it is one of the most distributed snacks.

9) Dahi Bhalla :

Curd and yoghurt based, this dish is rich in flavours yet healthy. Snacking on dahi bhalla can never be wrong for anyone’s health for the very reason of the way they are made. The Bhallas or the pakoras made out of pulses (moong and urad dal), and served with tamarind chutney and green chilli chutney. They are also accompanied by boiled potatoes and peas. This makes this dish not just taste-bud-satiating but also soulful.

10) Gulab Jamun :

After a Diwali dinner feast, the unwritten rule of expectation in Diwali is a bowl of kheer and gulab Jamun. This moist dark brown sweet meat balls, soaked in sugar syrup, are categorized as sweets but are never denied if offered to snack on either.


Diwali is the time for feasting. Food is always a lavish layout. However the most awaited items on the menu are the snacks. Though binging on these snacks does tip the weighing scales a little towards the higher side, they are still as irresistible.

Disclaimer – “Views expressed in the blogs, are exclusive thoughts of the author and are not necessarily
aligned to Vilina Refined Oil’s policies”.

The Essence of Celebrating Festivals in India

The Essence of Celebrating Festivals in India

The Essence of Celebrating Festivals in India

Indian has more the 200 ethnic groups living here. Each with their individual and diverse culture and unique set of beliefs, there is a celebration around the corner, at regular intervals. This is what makes India diverse, culturally rich and an experience in itself. With festivals, the country becomes a wonderful riot of rituals, dances, songs, cuisines and traditional attires.From East to West, North to South, each corner of the country is steeped in rich and ancient history about why is a particular festival celebrated.


Towards the East, among many of the Festivals celebrated, perhaps Durga Puja takes precedence takes over most. It is a day when Kolkata turns out its most artistic pandals in full display. This 10-day celebration witnesses women and men, dressed in the best of the attires. Pandal hopping and eating Bhoj, which is either deep fried and fluffy luchis and ghuguni (puris and pea curry) and Bengali Khichari is the thing to do during Durga Puja. Art and culture are out for everyone to see in full force. Durga Puja is the celebration of Ma Durga, as she kills Mahisasur. This is celebrated in Punjab, Gujrat and Maharashtra as Navratri too. The essence of this puja is to assert the power of a woman in the form of Goddess Durga, as she rides her lion as her stead.

Further down towards the extreme east lies the Garo hill surrounded scenic Northeastern regions. Inhabited by people of Sino-Tibetan origin, the Northeastern culture is tribal with Assam as the only plain. Bihu is synonymous with this region, which is dominantly an agrarian society. It is the celebration of a good year of paddy crop. The celebrations here is in reverence to Mother Earth and nature for a good year.


Towards the western parts of India, lies the major state of Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Known for its artistic architecture and royal bearing, one of the major festivals of Rajasthan is the Gangaur festival. A woman-centric festival, the essence of this festival is to worship Lord Shiva and Parvati. The womenfolk of Rajasthan bring in Gauri, Lord Shiva’s wife, into their homes. Close on the heels of Ganguar, comes the Mewar festival, during which Rajasthan turns into a hue of colours. The colours are representative of the fact that this is a festival to welcome spring.

Further down west is Gujrat, where the celebration of Navratri is a fare to the eyes. Another festival from here is the unique Kite festival. Colourful bits of papers, flutter like birds in the sky and compete with hundreds of other kites, of various artistic creation. The soaring kites signify the progress of the state along with its unity amid differences, just like the colours.


Up North, Diwali and Lohri are festivals that are most popularly known. Diwali is the celebration of good over evil. Beginning with Lakshmi puja and seeking the blessings of the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, the celebrations it flows into the festival with try snacks for Diwali. Lohri, another well-known festival of Punjab, is celebrated during the harvest season. This festival coincidently is celebrated simultaneously with Bihu. At the crux of celebrating Lohri lies a gratitude for a good year of farming.


Towards the South, the main festivals are Onam, Pongal and Ugadi. Each of these festivals has their own significance. Onam, celebrated in Kerela, is a feast for the eyes. Beautiful and elaborate flower rangolis are created on this day to show King Mahabali, who is believed to come up to Earth on this day from his dwelling in Patal lok. He is believed to come to witness the well being of his subjects. It is also a tribute to the agricultural success of that year.

Pongal is celebrated in Tamil Nadu. Pongal literally means that to “boil over”. It is considered auspicious if the boiling milk spills over. Ugadi from Andhra Pradesh is the celebration of new year.

Celebrations are a way of life in India. Uniting the country as one, in its expanse of diversity, Indian festivals pay homage to nature, the sustaining force of survival. The belief of the Indian system is, that God takes human forms to live amidst us to teach us valuable lessons is not yet lost.

Disclaimer – “Views expressed in the blogs, are exclusive thoughts of the author and are not necessarily
aligned to Vilina Refined Oil’s policies”.

Benefits and Bright side of Soya Bean Oil

Benefits and Bright side of Soya Bean Oil

Benefits and Bright side of Soya Bean Oil

Soya beans are classified as a vegan food. The interesting fact about soybean is its versatility. It can pass as a vegetable or a dessert when made into a sweet dish or can be used for extracting oil as well. For processing the oil, the cobs of the soya beans are cracked to squeeze out its oil. As an oil, Soybean Refined Oil finds its usage in cooking for health as well as in skin care products.

Here is a rundown on what soya bean oil, if consumed the right way can do for us.

1) Weight Gain:

You read it right! Being underweight is as much of a worry as being overweight. Soya beans are as protein-rich as they are fat rich. Moreover, Soya oil has more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acid, along with vegetable starch which aids healthy weight gain.

2) Women’s Bone Care Especially:

A medical fact is after a certain age, especially after childbirth, women need to take care of their bones. Women have an inbuilt mechanism to fight against bone decay. However, a deficiency of this element, called the estrogen causes the bones to weaken. Soya oil has isoflavones, a crystalline compound, which helps the estrogens to attach the free radical to the bones. This triggers a process of bone healing which consequently leads to bones from falling prey to Osteoporosis and Osteopenia.

3) Fights Alzheimer’s:

A dreaded term that makes old age extremely difficult us Alzheimer’s a progressive mental degenerative condition, where a person forgets, becomes totally cut off from his whereabouts and life, thinking and behaviour too. Soya bean oil, in its composition, has Vitamin K, Linolenic and linoleic fatty acids. The fatty acids, consequently, make Omega 3 and 6 acids which have qualities that protect the neurological system of the body. This is what makes soya bean a good oil for the health of our brain functions.

4) Skin Rejuvenator:

Ageing is a process which everyone wants to delay or hide or slow down. Whereas the progress of age cannot be reversed, the resulting old looks can surely be reversed organically. Soy oil has properties which help in this case hence making it an ingredient in many beauty products like moisturizers. The intake of soy oil strengthens nail cuticles, reverses crow’s feet and wrinkles lends skin its glow and helps reverse the ageing process in general.

5) Enhances Vision:

Soya oil is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. These acids act as a protective shield for cell membranes. Cell membranes are fragile and they need this protection especially the eyes and the skin cell membranes. Omega 3 fatty acids, in Soya oil, being antioxidant in nature, destroys the free radicals that cause muscular degeneration and cataract.

6) Balances Cholesterol levels:

Omega 3 is almost the start element in Soya oil. This fatty acid helps in regulating the cholesterol levels. Sterols belong to a subgroup of steroids, which grow naturally in plants and animals. The fatty acids and the sterols together form a formidable barrier, which prevents cholesterol from accumulating in the guts.

7) Anti Carcinogenic:

By now, it is well established that soya oil has good fatty acids in it and they help our body to not only keep healthy but also heal. However, soya oil is composed of other important elements too. For instance, glycetein, genistein and soflavones daidzen. Interestingly genistein has been used for treating breast and prostate cancer since long. Soya as a vegetable has anti-cancer properties. The aspect of the vegetable gets transmitted to the oil as well.

8) Absolute Hair Nourishment:

Soya bean is non greasy, which makes its excellent for absorption and retention of moisture and shine. Loaded with fatty acids, vitamins and manganese, along with the lipids, soya bean oil becomes the rejuvenation portion for dull and dry hair.

9) Post Menopause Reviver:

For a woman facing the post menstrual phase is like facing a riot of hormones. Everything in the body revolts. The estrogens take a beating, mood swings are difficult to handle, depression is a common trait and the body starts putting on weight. The drop in estrogen level plays havoc. However, soya oil contains phytoestrogen which is a replacement for estrogens


Soya oil is trans fat-free. However, it must be remembered that good health is not a by-product. It is not just about choosing the right oil. Right diet and an active lifestyle are as important too.

Disclaimer – “Views expressed in the blogs, are exclusive thoughts of the author and are not necessarily
aligned to Vilina Refined Oil’s policies”.

Is Rice Bran Oil Healthy? Benefits of Rice Bran Oil

Is Rice Bran Oil Healthy? Benefits of Rice Bran Oil

Is Rice Bran Oil Healthy? Benefits of Rice Bran Oil

Rice bran oil is extracted from the bran of the rice grain. Commonly called the husk, it is the brown outer covering that discarded during chaffing of rice, meant for consumption. The bran of rice is a storehouse of nutrients, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are essential for us. This is what makes rice bran oil, a healthy choice.

When it comes to healthy food, Japanese food is considered one of the best. Interestingly, in Japan they advocate, rice bran oil as a healthy oil. Here are some of the benefits of rice bran oil which makes it one of the best oils to be used in cooking.

Benefits of Rice Bran Oil:


Lightens skin: You might find this a little difficult to believe but the science behind this is a component called Oryzanol. This element acts as a natural Sunscreen for the skin. The element causing skin pigmentation or darkening is melanin. Rice bran oil does not lower the melanin content but rather forms a protective barrier in between our skin and the harmful sunlight.

Helps in avoiding the formation of Gall bladder stones. Being a derived oil from the husk of a rice grain, rice brain tends to rich in fibrous characteristics. This adds weight to the digested food and helps in expelling the same easily and effectively.

Is a heart-friendly oil: Recommended by WHO as one of the best oils for lowering cholesterol, hence becoming a heart-friendly oil. Rice bran oil contains antioxidants, which aid in cholesterol elimination while making the absorption of the same difficult.

Saves spoilage and rancidity: Following from the benefit above, antioxidants in the oil extends its shelf life. Additionally, nutritionists and health experts also recommend Rice bran oil for weight loss.

Aids in combating allergies and inflammation: Rice bran oil contains hypoallergenic components, which make this oil inflammatory in nature. Consumption of bran oil helps people with asthma, allergic skin reactions and itches. It helps calm the symptoms.

Revitalizes energy: Rice bran oil has the ability to cleanse the system and while its carbohydrate content (being derived from grains) helps in releasing an amount of energy. This is one of the reasons that rice bran oil can also be used as a salad dressing.

Neutral in taste: An oil as healthy as brand oil, has no taste of its own. From cuisines point of view, this qualifies bran oil for multiple dishes. In fact, the benefits of bran oil, now perceived by consumers as well, have made restaurants change their stand for this oil for healthier cooking.

Most balanced oil: Nutritional institutes and medical research centres have stated that any oil that has a balanced quantity of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and fatty acid in them, would be the best to be consumed. Of all the cooking oils, rice bran oil has come closest to this balance. Hence this is one of the best oils to be consumed.

Cholesterol reduction and Vitamin E: Compared to the most of the popular and edible oils in the world, Rice bran contains the maximum of Oryzanol and Tocotrienols. The former prevents cholesterol absorption. Tocotrieno on the other hand, is a group of vitamins, which can be converted into vitamin E. Vitamin E, is an antioxidant, which is known for its heart-friendly characteristics.

Diabetic solution: With cholesterol control, sugar control becomes inevitable. Moreover, rice bran oil helps in lowering insulin sensitivity. Consequently, it helps in controlling sugar.

High heating point: One of the most interesting features, of rice bran oil its high heating point. This is one of the reasons why rice bran features in most of the households for making fried, sweet and savoury delicacies. It is one of the best ways to ensure that food is enjoyed while keeping the health quotient, intact.

Excellent for skin texture and elasticity: One of the components of bran oil is Squalene. It is one of the known antioxidants and skin emollient. Used in a number of cosmetics, rice bran oil is excellent for skin care.

Disclaimer – “Views expressed in the blogs, are exclusive thoughts of the author and are not necessarily
aligned to Vilina Refined Oil’s policies”.

Chhole Masala

Chhole Masala

Chhole Masala

Chhole Masala is a popular North Indian punjabi dish that is usually paired with Bhaturas, Tandoori Rotis or Lachha Parathas.
Chhole Masala is a popular North Indian punjabi dish that is usually paired with Bhaturas, Tandoori Rotis or Lachha Parathas. Chickpeas are stewed in a spicy onion tomato based gravy and simmered till the gravy thickens up. Chhole Masala is also a popular street food item served with aloo tikkis for a spicy snack.

Prep Time:

10 minutes

Cook Time:

45 minutes


  • 1 cup Chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons Sunflower Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 inch piece Cinnamon
  • 3 Cardamom Pods
  • 3 Cloves
  • 2 slit Green or Red Chillies
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Paste
  • 3 large Onions, chopped finely
  • 4 large Tomatoes, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chili Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Raw Mango Powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Chopped Coriander


  • To prepare chickpeas, soak the chickpeas overnight in water, and then pressure cook with water till they can be easily mashed between two fingers. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and chillies.
  • Once the cumin seeds start spluttering add onions and ginger garlic pastes. Saute the mixture for 5-6 minutes till the onions turn translucent.
  • Add tomatoes, chili powder, coriander powder, raw mango powder, turmeric and salt. Mix well and cover and cook till the oil separates while stirring occasionally.
  • Add the cooked chickpeas along with a cup of water and bring this to a boil. Once the curry starts boiling, lower the heat and simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes till gravy reduces down and thickens up. Mix in garam masala and chopped coriander. After a minute or so, switch off the flame. Serve hot.