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.

Muthiya with Mango Chutney

Makes about 30 pieces or 10 servings.


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Serve warm with mango chutney for dipping.

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.