Muthiya with Mango Chutney

Diwali, a popular Indian celebration, is also referred to as the “festival of lights.” Sweets and other delicacies are at the heart of every celebration, with Muthiya served as a common savoury appetizer. Typically made with leftover rice, chickpea flour and delicious spices, Muthiya is simple to prepare, and often quick to be devoured.

1 egg
1/3 cup (75 mL) plain Balkan-style yogurt
2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) garam masala or Jeera-dhaniya powder
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) grated fresh ginger
1 tsp (5 mL) chili paste
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each turmeric and salt
1 cup (250 mL) cooked U.S. long-grain white rice
1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup (175 mL) besan or bengal gram (chickpea flour)
Vegetable oil, for frying
Mango chutney

In bowl, whisk egg, yogurt, 2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil, sugar, garam masala, baking powder, ginger, chili paste, turmeric and salt. Stir in rice and cilantro; stir in besan until a thick batter forms. Let stand 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in deep heavy-bottomed skillet or wok, add enough oil to come at least 1-inch (2.5 cm) up side of pan. Heat oil to 350°F (180°C) (or use deep-fryer). Scoop mixture by tablespoonfuls (15 mL) and form each into ovals or balls. Fry, a few at a time and turn once, until deep golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined tray to drain.

Serve warm with mango chutney for dipping.

Makes about 30 pieces or 10 servings.

TIP: These gluten-free snacks are similar to pakoras. To make ahead, refrigerate for up to 3 days, then reheat on baking sheet in 350°F (180°C) oven until heated through, about 10 minutes.

If batter seems a bit thin when frying, add a couple more tablespoons (25 mL) of besan. If you can’t find besan, these can be made with all-purpose flour, though the flavour will be noticeably different. Or if you have a grinder, make your own besan with dried chickpeas.

PER SERVING (3 pieces): 200 calories, 16 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 19 mg cholesterol, 227 mg sodium,
11 g carbohydrates, 1 g fibre, 3 g protein. % RDI: 2% calcium, 4% iron, 2% vitamin A.

Recipe and image courtesy of the USA Rice Federation. For more recipe ideas, visit