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A Student’s Essential Guide to London

A Student’s Essential Guide to London

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Traveling through London? Don’t miss these spots!

When students come to London, laying out cash for food is usually not the priority. Although the $1,000 plane ticket into Heathrow may be accompanied by the desire to try the delights that the English have to offer, the value of the British pound and the myth that English food is not very appetizing can cause some travelers to overlook the enormous variety of enjoyable food.

Contrary to popular belief, though, you could spend years trying all of the different cuisines and treats available in London and never get close to tasting everything. However, if you are studying in London or visiting the city for a limited time, there are a few stops that can't be missed, like a trip to the Golden Hind for fish and chips and afternoon tea at one of London’s most notable hotels.

Even if you don’t get around to trying any of these dishes, there is one more thing you absolutely must do: resist the urge to hit up chains like McDonalds or Chipotle! London has too much amazing and unique food for you to eat chicken nuggets and burrito bowls that you can get back home…

Check out our slideshow for proof!

17+ idiot proof recipes all students should learn

Student cooking needn’t be hard and these super easy recipes prove it.

From quick snacks to homely meals, all of these super easy student recipes are (almost) impossible to get wrong.

Pasta bakes

Cheap, simple to make and (almost) impossible to mess up, pasta bake is a student staple – 15+ Pasta Bake Student Recipes That Are Easy To Make.

Homemade toad in the hole

It has just five ingredients and can't go wrong. Get the full recipe here: > Homemade toad in the hole


Quick and easy, from breakfast burritos to lunch time snacks, here’s some 25+ varying wrap recipes and ideas that are super easy to put together.

Stir fry

Stir-fry recipes are super quick, easy to make and need just the one pan – see all our stir fry student recipes


You need to be something rather odd to cook a quesadillas wrong.


Toasties are simple to make and you can shove pretty much anything between two slices of fried bread, even a cheese burger. > 9 yummy toastie ideas

Easy chicken korma

Make this homemade, one pan chicken korma curry and save money by avoiding the takeaways. Get the full recipe here: > Easy chicken korma

Fruit crumbles

Mix flour, butter and sugar to make a simple crumble can be sprinkled on chop up fruit for a crispy crumble pudding. Try a classic apple crumble recipe or this super strawberry crumble.

Pizza nachos

Pizza nachos: For when you just can't decide which of the two tasty staples you want to eat. Get the full recipe here: > Pizza nachos

Beans on toast nine ways

It can't get any simpler than beans on toast, here are some ideas to make them more interesting! Get the full recipe here: > Beans on toast nine ways

Tuna melt

Tuck into this yummy (and super cheap) ultimate tuna melt toastie in just minutes Get the full recipe here: > Tuna melt

Pizza bagels

This 3 ingredient pizza bagel recipe is a must for students requiring just a toaster and a microwave. Get the full recipe here: > Pizza bagels


Egg omelettes are trivial and take only minutes – try this basic omelette recipe, one packed with veggies or with a melting cheese and onion. filling.

Oven chicken fajitas

This super simple, one dish chicken fajitas recipe makes for a great meal that you can easily scale up or down. Get the full recipe here: > Oven chicken fajitas


An easy student bolognese recipe that is fool proof to cook Get the full recipe here: > Bolognese

Easy Peasy Mince

An idiot proof mince recipe with plenty of vegetables. Get the full recipe here: > Easy Peasy Mince

Ultimate Christmas dinner

Budget Christmas dinner: This budget busting Xmas roast chicken recipe costs less than a tenner and can serve up to six people. Get the full recipe here: > Ultimate Christmas dinner

Eggs all sorts of ways

Fried, poaches, scrambled or boiled, on their own, in salads or in pies, there’s so many ways to use eggs the list is endless – see all of our recipes with eggs here.

Plant-Based Culinary Arts Diploma Details

This Level 4 diploma focuses on crafting excellent dishes solely from plants, providing a creative repertoire of product knowledge, skills and recipes.

As a guide, a typical weekly class schedule is composed of the following sessions:

4 demonstrations, 4 practical classes – 24 hours

Demonstrations and practical classes are scheduled Monday to Saturday at any of the following times: 8:00am, 11:30am, 3:00pm and 6:30pm.

Your schedule will be given on a term to term basis.

This comprehensive culinary course is recommended for students with strong ambitions who have an interest in plant based cooking.

No prior culinary experience is required.

We welcome students from a variety of different educational and occupational backgrounds. This programme is suitable for students who wish to:

  • Qualified Chefs of all levels wishing to increase skills and knowledge in Plant – Based, vegetarian and vegan cuisine.
  • Chefs working in hotels spa facilities, health/ fitness/ retreat centres and hospitals or as personal chefs.
  • New product development Chefs wishing to expand their knowledge in developing New Food Products for the growing vegetarian and vegan markets.
  • Health professionals who give nutritional advice and wish to bridge their knowledge and skills to Culinary Arts.
  • Potential entrepreneurs, who may wish to open a food business in the future, particularly those which are aimed related to plant based cuisine.
  • Career changers and those wishing to explore the food industry from a health food perspective.
  • Food writers, food media, food stylists and bloggers.
  • You love cooking and always wanted to learn how to cook for a vegetarian or vegan household.

Successful graduates of the Diploma in Plant-Based Culinary Arts will earn a Le Cordon Bleu qualification celebrated in many countries across the world.

This diploma course has been accredited as a “Customised Qualification” by national awarding organisation NCFE, and the course measurable learning outcomes have been benchmarked at Level 4 using Ofqual’s Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) level descriptors.

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A Student’s Essential Guide to London - Recipes

Yes! This is an entry-level, in-depth class, open to all learners. No previous Aromatherapy training is required.

Can I enroll anytime?

Yes! All the online classes at Aromahead Institute are self-paced. You can complete them on your own time, from anywhere in the world that you can log on to the internet.

How long will it take me to complete the program?

It depends! Most students complete this course within a few days to a few weeks. However, the program is completely self-paced, which means you can slow it down or move through it more quickly, depending on your learning style and availability. You’ll have permanent unlimited access to your course materials – as well as any subsequent updates to the course content – even after you’ve completed the program.

Do I need specific supplies in order to participate?

There are no specific supplies needed for this online class. However, you may wish to purchase some supplies in order to try the blending exercises and recipes in this program. Aromatics International has designed a beautiful kit of essential oils, carrier oils, and bottles that would be fun to have while you complete the blending exercises in this course. This kit is completely optional and sold separately through Aromatics International. We recommend starting the class now – and then deciding what recipes + activities you’d like to try as you go through the program. The choice is yours!

How much support will I get?

Lots of it! The Aromahead Institute team is a dedicated community of educators that are ready to assist you and offer guidance when you need it. All of our teachers are Certified Aromatherapists, and have been in the profession for many years. You can email us anytime, and your emails will always be answered right away.

Can I enroll even if I don’t live in the U.S.?

Yes! Thousands of students from more than 170 countries have studied with Aromahead Institute, and we’d love to welcome you to our online community.

How much does university cost?

Don't get dazzled by big numbers! Tuition fees and living expenses run into £1,000s, but most of it is covered by Student Finance and isn't the same as how much you actually pay. We have a separate guide with more detail on how much university costs, but here's a quick summary.

Tuition fees in the UK

Here's the maximum that public universities can charge in undergraduate tuition fees, depending on where you live when you apply:

Studying in EnglandStudying in ScotlandStudying in WalesStudying in N Ireland
Northern Ireland£9,250£9,250£9,000£4,530
Republic of Ireland£9,250£9,250£9,000£4,530

Remember that this is the most they can charge – individual courses may vary. Fees are also likely to be very different for international students (which, as of the 2021/22 academic year, includes students from the EU, excluding Ireland), as there's no official maximum figure. Either way, check the university's website or prospectus for details or see the UCAS course catalogue.

Thinking about a year abroad? You might pay different fees while you're away – we've got the lowdown on that here.

What do tuition fees pay for?

Tuition fees pay for a lot more than just teaching. They also help cover buildings, services, staff, and hardship funds for struggling students.

While you don't get any say in how much universities charge, it's still worth checking that they spend fees in the ways that most benefit you. That could be through more teaching time, a well-stocked library, cutting-edge facilities, career mentoring, or anything else that helps you get a degree or a job after graduating.

Is it worth shopping around for cheaper fees?

As most universities charge the maximum for their country, the majority of students won't see much difference unless studying in Scotland or Northern Ireland is an option.

And, if you're from Scotland, NI or Wales and want to study in England, remember that Student Finance will stretch to help accommodate the higher course fees and living costs (don't worry – borrowing more won't affect how much you repay).

It's definitely in your interest to compare fees if you're not eligible for Student Finance and/or are paying your own way – international students have the most to gain from this.

For most students, comparing local costs like rent, food and transport is the best way to see what's affordable for you: here's how much students spend at each UK university.

Course costs

At up to £9,250 a pop, you'd think tuition fees would see you fully paid up but, unfortunately, they don't. You'll have to confirm extra course costs for yourself with the uni, but generally, you're looking at things like books, stationery, lab kit or art materials, field trips, printing and photocopying.

Allow for these when making your budget to avoid nasty surprises later on.

Living costs

Living costs can be a huge pain in the pocket: we're talking rented accommodation, energy bills, transport, socialising, laundry and food shops.

Some of these expenses can be covered by the Maintenance Loan or any bursaries and grants you're entitled to. Chances are, though, that you'll also need back-up from savings, your parents or a part-time job.

10 Easy Student Recipes

No matter how good you are at cooking, learning these simple recipes can make the most basic meals burst with flavour. Here are 10 of our recommended recipes anyone can make for a cheap price and without any fuss.

1. Homemade pizza

Buying pizzas can be costly in the long term so making your own is a cheap and easy way to have one of your favourite dishes. Making a pizza base doesn’t have to be a long and complicated process with this recipe!

Ingredients Serves: 1 Average cost: ਲ਼.10

1 tin of Chopped Tomatoes

Any Toppings you like! (Pepperoni, ham, peppers, onions, mushrooms, chicken, pineapple etc)


Preheat Oven to 200℃/ Fan 180℃/ Gas Mark 6.

Prepare your toppings (e.g. Cut up the ham, grate the cheese).

In a large bowl or mixing bowl, add the self raising flour, milk and oil. Mix with your hands to form the dough.

Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a circle. Roll to the thickness of roughly two pound coins. Place on a baking tray.

Spoon on your chopped tomatoes and spread near the edges of the dough. Sprinkle your mixed herbs on top.

Add your toppings and cheese.

Bake on top shelf for 20 minutes.

2. Roast Sausages and Vegetables

If you’re not a fan of chopping and frying for hours then this recipe is the one-tray wonder you’re looking for. This recipe can also use of lots of your leftover vegetables and herbs so feel free to experiment with timings when cooking those.

Ingredients Serves: 3-4 Average Cost: ਲ਼.99

500g Sweet Potatoes, chopped


Preheat oven to 200℃/ Fan 180℃/ Gas Mark 6.

Pour 1 tbsp of olive oil in a roasting or baking tray and place in oven for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the sweet potatoes and mixed peppers. Place the sausages, sweet potatoes and peppers in the baking tray. Toss in the oil and roast for 15 minutes.

Add the sliced red onions to the tray with a sprinkle of mixed herbs. Toss with the sausages and veg and roast for a further 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the broccoli in a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and serve with the sausages and veg.

3. Classic Lasagne

If you want something filling and tasty, then a classic lasagne is your cup of tea (or plate for tea, in this case). It’s a brilliant meal for using up leftovers, too!

Ingredients Serves: 4 Average Cost: ਵ.40

2 tins of Chopped Tomatoes


Fry the onions in 1 tbsp of olive oil in a hot frying pan until soft.

Add in mince and break up into small bits with a spatula or spoon that you’re using to stir.

Once the mince is brown all over, add in the chopped tomatoes and mixed herbs and stir thoroughly.

Boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally so the mince doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan melt the knob of butter. Add in the flour and half the milk. Stir constantly on a medium heat to prevent lumps. The mixture will look yellow and thicken as you keep stirring so keep adding milk until the white sauce becomes white and to the thickness you desire. Turn the heat off.

Place a lasagne sheet on the bottom of an ovenproof dish and then a large spoonful of the mince. Layer another lasagne sheet and add more mince. Repeat until all the mince is used up. Add a lasagne sheet on top and pour the white sauce on.

Cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

Serve with salad and cheese.

4. Stir Fry Chicken, Rice and Peas

This recipe is very simple and super quick. Once you master this recipe then you’ll have no trouble cooking other stir fry recipes. For fluffy rice, cook the rice in advance, completely cool, and keep in the fridge. We recommend having a small bottle of light soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce at hand to serve with.

Ingredients Serves: 2-3 Average Cost: ਲ.70

3-4 Spring Onions, finely sliced


Cook the rice in a pan or rice cooker and cool completely.

In a wok, heat 1 tbsp of sunflower oil or sesame oil and fry the diced chicken.

Add in spring onions and peas to cook.

Add in rice and break up with the spoon or spatula you are using.

Stir until everything is hot and crack in eggs.

Mix thoroughly until the eggs are cooked.

Serve with light soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce.

5. Spaghetti Bolognese

This recipe is perfect for batch cooking. You’ll have lots of leftovers which means you don’t have to spend loads on meals because they’ll already have been made! To make chile con carne, follow this same recipe but replace spaghetti with rice and add in diced chorizo, a can of kidney beans and spices instead of herbs.

Ingredients Serves: 4 Average Cost: ਴.10

2 large Garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tins of Chopped Tomatoes

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)

Half a packet of Spaghetti


Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add in the beef mince and break up with the spatula or spoon you are using. Fry until brown.

Add in the onions and fry until soft. Add in the mushrooms. Fry until soft and add in the garlic.

Add in the chopped tomatoes and stir thoroughly. Stir in the herbs and (optional) worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Boil and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in lightly salted boiling water for 10 minutes.

Drain and serve with the bolognese. Sprinkle with cheese, pepper and salad.

6. Homemade Pot Noodle

Paying for your meals is quick and easy but it is also costs a lot in the long term. Instead of being tempted to buy a loads of salty pot noodles, why not make your own? That way, you can decide how much filling you will have instead of having a packet decide for you. Use up your leftovers in this recipe to ensure you get all of your money’s worth of grocery shopping and decrease the chance of food going off.

Ingredients Serves: 1 Average Cost: 90p

50g Frozen Peas and/or Veg

Half a Fresh Chilli, finely chopped or a pinch of chilli flakes

2 Tbsp Chicken or Vegetable Stock

Any finely chopped leftovers (Cooked chicken, mushrooms, cabbage)

Enough boiling water to cover the content


Put all the ingredients in a bowl and pour in the boiling water. Let rest for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

You can also put all the dry ingredients in a tall tupperware, take them to work or uni and add boiling water when it’s lunchtime!

7. Homemade Pasta Sauce

No need to buy any of those convenience bottled pasta sauces. You can make a batch full of pasta sauce which can store in your fridge for days, and can even be frozen for months. It’s quick, it’s simple, it’s healthy, and it’s very cheap!

Ingredients Serves: 2 Average Cost: 90p

1 tin of Chopped Tomatoes

2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped

1 tbsp of Vegetable Stock


In a small saucepan, heat the Olive Oil. Add in the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and add the vegetable stock and mixed herbs.

Stir until hot and add in cooked pasta.

Stir until all the pasta is covered and if you want, sprinkle with cheese.

8. Fajitas & Guacamole

Fajitas don’t require a lot of ingredients so they’re perfect for if you don’t want to buy too many things to cook. They also make lots of leftovers so you don’t have to cook every day to have tasty meals. You can have the fajitas on their own but having a homemade Guacamole will blow your tastebuds away!

Ingredients Serves: 2 Average Cost: ਲ਼.32 + ਱.54 for Guacamole

Pinch of Chilli flakes or 1sp Chilli Powder


For the Guacamole, use a fork to soften the avocados in a bowl or tupperware box until they become almost like a paste.

Mix in the onions. Use the same fork to help you squeeze the juice of one lime into the bowl or box. Mix and add in the salt and chilli to taste.

Store in the fridge for later use.

For the Fajitas, heat the oil in a large frying pan. Fry the chicken until nearly cooked all the way through. Add in the peppers and onions and fry until soft.

Add in garlic and fry for 30 seconds.

Add in chilli powder, cumin and paprika and stir thoroughly.

Serve in tortilla wraps and top with the guacamole.

9. Hamburgers, Chips & Salad

This classic recipe can bring a taste of home flooding back. Although it’s nice to have a burger and chips when you’re out, but you can bring this meal into your home and have it for half the price!

Ingredients Serves: 2 Average Cost: ਴.65

As many chips as you please

Mushrooms, sliced (optional)


Follow the packet instructions to bake your chips.

Half way through the cooking time, heat the oil in a large frying pan. Fry the burgers on a medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until brown all over.

Serve in the toasted burger buns with the sliced tomato, salad bag, any other optional toppings, chips and sauces.

10. Twice-Baked Potato

If you want something that’s filling and easy to make, this recipe is the one for you. Although it may take a little while to cook, there are no complicated steps involved. It’s tasty, punchy and oh so filling!

Ingredients Serves: 2 Average Cost: ਲ.58


Preheat the oven to 200℃/ Fan 180℃/ Gas Mark 6.

Pierce potatoes all over with a fork, then rub half of the oil, salt and pepper onto the potatoes.

Oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Fry the spring onion and bacon in the remaining olive oil. Once cooked, place on kitchen paper to slightly dry off.

Half the potatoes lengthways (Caution! They will be hot) and scoop out the potato and place in a bowl.

Mix the potato with the spring onions, bacon and butter.

Scoop the mixture back into the potato skins.

Top with cheese or butter and bake in the oven for a further 10-15 minutes.

Healthy College Grocery List & Recipe Ideas

The college student life is extremely demanding -- nevermind the actual studying and achieving good grades -- what about the brain food? Well, we're here to help you keep it basic, cheap, and. healthy? That's right: the key to a healthy mind and body is healthy food, so here's a grocery list for the college student that won't fail you. Whether you're going to the closest supermarket in between classes or shopping for your weekly grocery list, we have you covered. Regardless if you are hitting the gym after class or not, this list will keep it simple, cheap, and fast, so you're schedule is never interrupted. Use our grocery list template and recipe ideas to make your weekly grocery shopping count:

Lunch / Dinner

  • Cooked Chicken Breast + steamed (or raw) vegetables + lightly buttered rice
  • Vegetable Wrap: Wrap + steam (or raw) Vegetables (sliced)
  • Boiled Potatoes + Cooked Chicken Breast + steam or raw Asparagus
  • Greek Yogurt + Oats or Granola + Blueberries
  • Raisins + Nuts for on-the-go
  • DIY Salad: Spinach plus sliced vegetables (shredded chicken breast optional)

12 Essential South Indian Savory Snacks

Outside of India, Indian sweets tend to eclipse the country’s more savory offerings. Immensely popular the world over, these ghee-laden, sugar-filled morsels are a must-have at weddings and festivals, and for those sweet-tooth moments that could occur at any time. But there’s a whole world of crispy, fried savory snacks that most non-Indians are missing out on, and it goes well beyond the ever-popular samosa.

From flat, hand-patted thattai and intricate twists of murukku, to spiced, potato-filled bondas and piping-hot onion bhajis, India’s savory snacks, especially where I’m from in the south, are integral to our everyday eating. In fact, many of these snacks find a mention in food historian K. T. Achaya’s seminal book The Story of Our Food. In a chapter about the cooking of our early ancestors, Achaya notes that “murukku and boondi are carried on long journeys because rice and chappathi would be inedible in a day or two.” It’s a fascinating glimpse into the history of frying, and how the snacks we are now so used to making and eating came to be.

Indians love their savory treats, and almost every household has their own specialties that they prepare for festivals or special occasions. I love making cashew-studded pakoras—they have to be eaten as soon as they’re done, indecently hot with steam rising as you break them into bite-sized pieces. I also love my mother’s golden paniyarams, served with fresh coconut chutney or hot sambar for dunking. But for those who would rather eat than cook, sweet shops and restaurants all across South India consistently serve a variety of savory options. While some are hole-in-the-wall eateries that only locals frequent (along with the lucky tourist who has chanced to stumble across it), others are glitzy, well-known shops that lure people in with the promise of sweets and snacks to please even the fussiest palate. Either way, here are a few of the best Indian savory snacks to keep an eye out for.

Kara Sev

Kara sev is a crunchy teatime snack made from besan (chickpea flour), rice flour, and spices such as red chile powder or cumin (my recipe includes black pepper for heat). Water is added to create a thick dough, and the sev is passed through the holes of a large ladle into hot oil, where it fries until puffed and crispy. There are many variations of sev across the breadth of India.


Murukkus are a highly popular snack in South India the name is derived from the Tamil word for “twisted,” which refers to their spiral shape. They are typically made from rice flour and urad dal flour. The flours are mixed with salt, chile powder, asafoetida, and sesame seeds. Water is added to form a stiff dough, which is then shaped into spiral shapes by hand, or extruded using a murukku mold. Finally, the seasoned spirals are fried in hot oil.


Typically made for festivals like Krishna Jayanthi (Lord Krishna’s birthday) or Diwali (festival of lights), thattais can be either sweet or savory. The savory ones are my favorite, and I remember helping my grandmother make them for Diwali when I was a little girl. Thattais call for rice flour (my grandmother used to wash, drain, and dry rice to mill her own, but these days rice flour is available at any Indian market), roasted peanuts, red chile powder, asafoetida, salt, and water. The dough is patted out into flat disks on a clean dry cloth with greased fingers, then deep fried in hot oil.


Like thattais, boondi can also be sweet or savory. For the savory version, a mixture of gram flour and rice flour is combined with spices, such as red chile powder and crushed curry leaves, and water to make a thick batter. It’s then ladled onto a slotted spoon through which drops of batter fall into hot oil and cook until crisp (similar to the process for sev). Boondi are enjoyed as is or used as the base for Madras or Bombay mixture they’re also a popular addition to raita.


Ompodi is a member of the sev family. While the ingredients are similar—the dough consists of gram flour, rice flour, butter, ajwain, and salt—a dash of turmeric sets it apart. Water is added until the dough becomes soft and sticky, then it’s passed through the ompodi press into hot oil.


If you’ve never eaten hot, fresh-off-the-stove pakvada on a cold rainy day along with some masala chai to wash it all down, you’re missing out. Pakvada, also known as pakora or pakoda, is a fritter of sorts that’s typically made with onions, although there are seemingly infinite versions in India, including potato (aloo), spinach (palak), and paneer pakora. A batter is made from besan flour, turmeric, red chile powder, masala powder, salt, and chopped curry leaves, then a finely sliced onion is added, along with enough water to thicken the mixture. In my family, we add cashews, too. The whole thing is deep fried in oil and served hot, broken into bite-size pieces.


Samosas are delicious little morsels of pastry wrapped around assorted fillings such as spiced potatoes, minced meat, onions, peas, or lentils. A soft, pliable dough is made from all-purpose flour, salt, ghee, and a little water, then rolled out into small circles before being stuffed and shaped by hand into the familiar triangles. After a quick turn in hot oil, the parcels are served hot with mint chutney.


Perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, bondas are a deep-fried snack that can go sweet or savory. Although they originated in South India (Mysore, allegedly), they can now be found all over the country. The savory kind is typically stuffed with potatoes, onions, mixed vegetables, or even whole hard-boiled eggs. A thick dropping batter is made from all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, yogurt, water, and rice flour, then shaped with two spoons before being dropped into hot oil. Bondas can be enjoyed plain or with a variety of sauces and chutneys.


Known as vadais, these savory doughnut-like creations are a popular South Indian breakfast item, but they also find pride of place at the snack table. For me personally, vadais are an anytime treat. They’re made by grinding pre-soaked urad dal with salt and asafoetida, then adding finely chopped green chiles, ginger, cilantro, cumin, and chopped onions. The resulting batter is quickly shaped into rings and fried in hot oil, then served with green chutney or sambar.


Bhajis are spicy, fritter-like snacks that are best enjoyed with a cup of hot tea. Various vegetables, whole peppers, and even bread are dipped in a thick batter—made from besan flour, baking soda, salt, turmeric, red chile powder, and water—until thickly coated, then deep fried.

Madras Mixture

Madras mixture is a tasty hodgepodge of various delectable treats. Known colloquially as micchar, Madras mixture often contains kara sev, boondi, ompodi, roasted peanuts, flattened rice flakes, and roasted chana dal, almonds, and cashews. Although it is primarily made during Diwali, it is also enjoyed as a snack year-round, typically alongside a cup of tea. It can be quite the endeavor to gather all the components to make your own, so I tend to buy my mixture pre-made from my favorite sweet shop.


Paniyarams are also called kuzhi paniyarams (which refers to the special pan that is used to make them). Black lentils are teamed with rice for the batter, which is very similar to the one for idlis and dosas, then left to ferment. When the batter is ready, it’s ladled into the various indentations in the paniyaram pan and cooked until golden brown. Paniyarams are typically served with coconut chutney or sambar.


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