The Indian Festival of Lights – Diwali

During the new moon of Kartika (eighth month of the Hindu Calendar year), which usually falls in the months of October or November, Indians living in India and all over the globe celebrate DiwaliDiwali, a 4-5 day Indian holiday is celebrated with lights, fireworks, sweets and gifts.  It’s like rolling Christmas and Fourth of July festivities into one! 

Diwali is a wonderful time when everyone wants to get together! On the main day – Lakshmi Pujan – our festivities start in the evening with lighting candles or oil lamps throughout the house followed by puja (prayer) to Laksmi, the goddess of wealth. We wear new clothes and reconnect with family, friends and relatives and often have Diwali parties at our home or at one of our friends’. In India, my mom devotes several hours to making the amazingly aromatic foods called faral

My Diwali Spread

My Diwali spread does not include the typical deep-fried snacks and Indian mithais. Instead, I focus on creating easy, fun and festive dishes for entertaining my family and friends, like this dazzling Diwali hors d’oeuvre – SPDP Sev Potato Dahi Phyllo Cups. It’s the same old popular Indian chaat dish, Sev Batata/Potato Dahi Puri, getting a little makeover for Diwali! Instead of flat or puffed puris/pooris that are typically used to make the dish, I like to use frozen phyllo cups that are readily available in the grocery stores. This was one of the first Diwali special recipes I had shared on my blog in the initial years and is on repeat for Diwali every year since. 

SPDP - Sev Potato Dahi Phyllo Cups

Stress Free Entertaining for Diwali

I love hosting and entertaining, but most of all, I love to party! Whether it’s with family on a Friday night or during festive occasions like Diwali, when I throw a soiree, delectable party food takes center stage. When I’m hosting and entertaining, I plan a menu that’s quick and easy for me to make (preferably prepped ahead of time), is semi-homemade with store-bought shortcuts, and is creative and fun to go with the theme of the occasion. So, when it comes to entertaining for a major holiday like Diwali, I strongly believe that it shouldn’t be stressful for the host, and they should also get a chance to have fun with their guests.

SPDP - Sev Potato Dahi Phyllo Cups

With that in mind, I created the Sev Potato Dahi Phyllo cups. They check all the boxes for fun, festive, easy, and stress-free entertaining. You can prepare all the toppings ahead of time and then assemble it at the last minute. It comes together fairly quickly, and you can even ask for volunteers from your guests to come help you!

SPDP - Sev Potato Dahi Phyllo Cups

SPDP – Sev Potato Dahi Puri

Dahi Puri, Sev Batata Dahi Puri, or SPDP (Sev Potato Dahi Puri), as it is more commonly known in my hometown Pune, is a popular chaat and street food dish that originated in Mumbai. The classic recipe is made with boiled potatoes that are diced and stuffed into small, deep-fried chickpea dough balls called puris/pooris or discs called papdi. The stuffed puris are topped with spiced whisked yogurt, sweet ‘n sour tamarind-date chutney, chopped red onion, minced cilantro/coriander leaves, along with a sprinkling of ground cumin and hot red chili powder, and then finished off with crispy, deep-fried chickpea flour vermicelli noodles called sev.

SPDP - Sev Potato Dahi Phyllo Cups

SPDP – Sev Potato Dahi Phyllo Cups

For Diwali, I thought it would be fun to give the traditional dish a festive makeover by using little phyllo cups that are readily available in the frozen section of grocery stores instead of the usual puris. The cubes of boiled potatoes are spooned into the phyllo cups and then topped with all the fixings. They look delectable and absolutely adorable, just like Diwali diyas (tealights)!

SPDP - Sev Potato Dahi Phyllo Cups

Additionally, in my recipe, I also like to dress the potatoes with mint-cilantro chutney, which is not typical. I believe it adds a refreshing touch to the potatoes and elevates the overall taste and flavor of the dish. Pop one in your mouth—I guarantee, you won’t be able to stop at just one! I’ve linked a short video below that I put together for you that you can follow and easily whip up this signature concoction in your own kitchen.

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SPDP – Sev Potato Dahi Phyllo Cups


  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: Serves 2

Description

A fun and easy idea for Diwali entertaining serving the popular Indian chaat in store-bought, ready-to-use phyllo cups instead of chaat puris or papdis, making them look like Diyas.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pack of Athens Mini Fillo Shells (contains 15 shells), thawed at room temperature or slightly warmed up in the oven as per the directions on the box (see Notes)
  • 1 baking (Russet or Idaho) potato, baked, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade mint-cilantro chutney
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp regular Indian red chili powder
  • salt, to taste
  • store-bought or homemade tamarind sauce or chutney
  • 810 sprigs of fresh cilantro/coriander, leaves and tender parts of stems roughly chopped, for garnishing
  • sev, for garnishing

Instructions

  • Mix the mint-cilantro chutney with potatoes and set aside.
  • Prepare the spicy yogurt by whipping it with sugar, red chili powder and salt.
  • Fill each phyllo cup with the minty potatoes, top with onion and then spoon over the yogurt generously.
  • Drizzle the tamarind sauce or chutney.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and sev.
  • Serve at room temperature.

Keywords: Store-bought Shortcuts, Diwali Special

Step-by-Step Details

Recipe FAQ’s and Notes

No Phyllo cups?

If you can’t find phyllo cups, you can make the original SPDP by using chaat puris or papdis that are readily available in the Indian stores.

Or Try Puff Pastry

Substitute phyllo cups with ready-to-bake frozen puff pastry shells or Ritz crackers.

Recipe Variations

Mix in some canned or cooked chickpeas along with potatoes for a protein boost.

Use a mixture of roasted butternut squash and goat cheese instead of the traditional potato filling in the phyllo cups.

Happy cooking
Vasanti

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.



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SPDP - Sev Potato Dahi Phyllo Cups

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