Baking | Almond Digestive Chocolate Squares & Roasted Garam Masala Chickpeas … Diwali / Holiday Baking

“This is my advice to people: Learn how to cook, try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun”
Julia Child

Almond Digestive Chocolate Squares & Roasted ChickpeasIt’s Diwali, the festival of lights, India’s biggest festival and one that literally lights up the length and breath of this beautiful country. That this time of the year is hectic seems an understatement; I race to keep up with holiday baking. For today, I went a little sweet and some savoury – Almond Digestive Chocolate Squares & Roasted Garam Masala Chickpeas

LampsOh, I bought some lamps. Actually got these lamps for myself after buying some for Finla {bottom of this post}. Her better half was visiting India for a music fest and I asked her what I could send. Her wishlist had Diwali lamps if possible! I ordered some for her, then got really tempted and got some for ourselves too. I loved the rustic metallic look!

Almond Chocolate SquaresThis is the best time of the year in North India. The nips in the air, winter is beginning to make itself felt. It’s time for soup, for breads, for baking; generally time to tuck into food without feeling too guilty. I was short on time as always yet wanted to bake something. These little squares hit the sweet spot without being too sweet or too buttery. Nice balance of flavours and quick, convenient holiday baking.

Almond Chocolate SquaresThese got made FAST! They’re an adaptation of a simple recipe I’ve had scribbled for ages, passed down by a friend. Of course I added my little twist adding whole almonds to the digestive biscuit base. I love the texture that nuts add. Maybe hazelnuts would work nicely too.

Almond Chocolate SquaresLack of time and I had to fast track. Instead of waiting for the bake to cool completely and then pour melted chocolate over the top, I sprinkled the chocolate chips over the warm bake. Worked well. I do this quite often when I bake Oat Energy Bars. It’s always a happy feeling to see how beautifully dark chocolate melts gently on warm bakes!

Almond Chocolate SquaresNothing like a quick fine slicing of almonds and pistachios over the melted chocolate to dress up the bites. A slicer comes quite handy at times like this unless of course you have the luxury of sliced nuts on hands. I don’t!! Roasted Chickpeas It’s nice to think up something savoury to meet the sweet. Savoury is my weakness! The Philips AirFryer continues to call my name and fuel my imagination with creative ideas. I’ve done roasted chickpeas in the oven before, so thought  that they might come out well in the AirFryer too. Why ever not? Roasted Chickpeas Good idea! Great idea! I do chickpeas from scratch here {we are not a canned chickpea country}. It isn’t cumbersome though does require a little planning like an overnight soak. {At this time I would LOVE to be a chickpea … I’d give an arm and a leg for an overnight soak! Oh my weary bones…} Roasted Chickpeas Once you have cooked chickpeas, toss them in EVOO, then spice them as you like. I did one batch with garam masala, salt and a dash of lime juice. YUM! The second batch was with a mix of garam masala, dried mint, cinnamon, red chili powder and roasted cumin. I’d love to do a garlic or chipotle, or maybe a honey garlic. How about smoked paprika? Roasted Chickpeas These came out CRISPY good from the AirFryer in about 20-25 minutes, a few shakes in between. An oven would do the same job at 200C for about 45 minutes, with some shaking up too.  Both teens had a go at tossing them high in the air and playing catch with the mouth. The dog was obviously HAPPY as she got all the missed catches. She LOVES chickpeas – soaked, boiled and now crispy garam masala too! CocoHope you enjoy these recipes. Both are relatively fuss free and very quick, great additions to the holiday table! Do you have quick fun filled holiday baking recipes that light up your lives? I would LOVE to hear about them! Have a wonderful holiday baking season!


Recipe: Biscuit, Almond & Chocolate Squares your picture

Summary: These little Almond Digestive Chocolate Squares hit the sweet spot without being too sweet or too buttery. A quick holiday bake using staples from the pantry.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • 250g digestive biscuits
  • 85g whole almonds
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 400g condensed milk {1 tin}
  • Topping
  • 100g dark chocolate, chips or chopped up
  • slivered nuts to garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.  Butter the sides of  a 8 X 8″ square baking tin, and line the bottom with parchment.
  2. Place the biscuits and whole almonds in the jar of a food processor and process until you get a sand-like crumb meal. {Thermomix: Speed 7, 20 seconds}
  3. With the processor running on slow, pour in the melted butter, followed by the condensed milk. It should all come together in a sticky glob … something like flubber. Don’t be tempted to taste it now, as the danger is that you might not stop eating. {Thermomix: Reverse Speed 2, 20 seconds}
  4. Transfer to prepared tin, level out with an offset spatula or butter knife, and bake for about 20 minutes / until slightly firm to touch. It will set as it cools.
  5. Leave for about 15 minutes, then sprinkle the chocolate evenly over the top. It should melt in 5-7 minutes. Smoother it uniformly over the top, scatter slivered nuts, cocoa nibs, sprinkles etc over the top and let it cool completely.
  6. You might need to refrigerate it for the chocolate to set.
  7. Cut into squares and serve.

Recipe: Roasted Chickpeas
your picture

Summary: Crisp, healthy and addictive, these are a great addition to holiday snacking!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

  • 250g chickpeas, soaked overnight , cooked, drained
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried mint leaves
  • 1/4- 1/2 tsp red chli powder
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. AirFryer
  2. Preheat the AirFryer to 200C for 5 minutes. 
  3. Toss the chickpeas in olive oil, then in the spices to coat well. Taste and adjust seasoning if required.
  4. Transefer to wire mesh basket, set the timer to 20 minutes. Shake the basket after 10 minutes, then once again after another 5 minutes.
  5. Check to see if they are crisp, else give them another 5 minutes.
  6. For the oven, bake at 200C in a preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. Stir a couple of times}


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  • Happy Diwali Deeba!
    Those almond chocolate squares are unbelievably simple! Such a great idea 🙂

  • shweta jani
    4 years ago

    This is so delectable looking treat. I will have to try both the recipes as soon as possible. Wishing you and your family a very happy Diwali.

    Ps- where can i buy those antique lamps ? Thanks a lot !

    • 4 years ago

      Thanks Shweta. I bought the lamps from Janpath, New Delhi.

  • 4 years ago

    I absolutely love the sound of the almond digestive squares – like a cross between chocolate biscuit cake, cheesecake base and a flapjack, yum!

  • Donna
    4 years ago

    OOhh!!…Much thanks for the two offerings to satisfy both the sweet AND the savoury holiday “camps”…Bookmarking both for the looming dinners!

    Could one possibly use speculoos as a base if digestive biscuits cannot be obtained?..Thanks for sharing your culinary artistry with us…so appreciated.

    • 4 years ago

      Ola Donna. Always good to hear from you. Not sure what the texture of speculoos are, but am sure any biscuit base would work well, maybe graham crackers too.

      • Donna
        4 years ago

        Thanks so much!..Speculoos are a bit of a spiced (ginger/cinnamon)Belgian biscuit cookie..perhaps sold under the name “Biscoff”?! in the U.S.?…I will still search out the digestive biscuits…as I want these marvelous morsels to be duplicated as closely as possible!…Classy…yet simple = instant classic “must” for the holiday table and gifting!

  • 4 years ago

    I love the lamps! And beautiful baking and cooking and I’d love to try the chickpeas! But those scrumptious chocolate-covered squares have my mind racing and I now want to make something similar! Gorgeous snaps, doll and miss you! Coming to P2P?

    • 4 years ago

      I shall be on P2P someday…and then it’ll be lamps for you chicas! Miss you too. Why is life so disorganised suddenly? How’s the new ‘home’? All settled in. Must be like heaven!

  • 4 years ago

    Both looks fuss free. Bookmarking deeba

  • 4 years ago

    Great idea Deeba! We get wasabi and sriracha peas here and we gouge on them!! But they surely are pricy..these roasted chickpeas would surely be a hit at my home! will definitely try it

    • 4 years ago

      Yes indeed Deepti. I made thees with wasabi in mind as the son loves those pricey bits. These were from scratch, healthy and cheap too. 😉

  • 4 years ago

    Those squares look quite naughty. A treat which would not last very long at my place!



  • 4 years ago

    I am definitely going to try out the chickpea(in my oven,of course!).What a lovely idea!

  • 4 years ago

    Wonderful squares plus, chickpeas ! I cannot resist to try these recipes at my end. Looking so festive and appetizing. Cheers, Sonia

  • I make roasted chickpeas very often.. its healthy snack and very very addictive!

  • 4 years ago

    Belated diwali wishes to you and your family. Both squares and roasted chickpeas makes me drool.. Tempting and super addictive.

  • 4 years ago

    Hi Deeba,
    Hope you had a wonderful Diwali !
    I will be trying out those digestive chocolate bars sometime soon…they look irresistible. And I know my hubby would love those garam masala chickpeas …Nice combo!!


  • Hahaha, I love the part about the overnight soak, I could could for one of those myself!

  • 4 years ago

    We love those chickpeas and green peas too roasted in the oven or MW sometimes when making small quantity. Tried the same method with cooked soybeans too as I had tasted a product called Soynuts that we had liked. The homemade ones were good but not as light as the commercial ones we had. Green peas and chickpeas rule 🙂

  • 4 years ago

    I was so sick and down this time that I completely missed this post. But, I did make these for Diwali as well, and some besan barfi’s for the first time in my life! They both came out yum …
    Just soaked some chickpeas to make more and here I see your recipe. Gonna try them your way this time. 🙂

  • The pictures are so beautiful and yummy. 😉 You have really done a good job. You bake quite well. They must be very delicious, I guess. These are the best delicacies for Diwali and I will surely try to make these this year. 🙂 Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

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