When dark clouds gather, the cool breeze is heavy with promise, and there’s the distinct smell of pitachur in the air, you know the monsoons have arrived. There’s something magical in the air, watching the trees sway from side to side as the raindrops dance on the ground. And whether there’s rain, you know kids won’t be far behind. A sudden burst of clouds, and you’ll find your kids outside, running around with unbridled joy. The rains also bring a desire to eat delicious snacks that are fresh off the stove. To satisfy your kid’s cravings, we’ve put together seven yummy, nutritious recipes that will not only satiate your child’s hunger but also enhance the monsoon experience. Each recipe contains seasonal vegetables and produces that will benefit your child and provide the right nutrients to stay healthy this season. 

So here are five Indian snacks that will delight and nourish your kids in the monsoon season.

#1 Gilka bhaji

A bite into a crunchy, crispy pakora and you can taste the monsoon. Your child can enjoy the typical fried flavours of the season while consuming a good dose of nutrients and helps prevent indigestion. 

Ingredients (serves two):

  • Medium-sized gilka (sponge gourd) – 2 
  • Rice flour – 1 tablespoon
  • Besan – 1/4 cup
  • Red chilli powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Crushed garlic – 1/4 teaspoon 
  • Ajwain – 1 teaspoon
  • Haldi – 1/4  teaspoon
  • Dhania leaves – 1 tablespoon finely chopped
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cooking oil for frying 
  • Water – as needed
  • Salt – as per taste

Recipe for Gilka Bhaji:

  • Remove both ends of the Gilka and cut thin slices
  • Mix the rice flour, besan, haldi and red chilli powder in a bowl
  • Add salt, ajwain, garlic, dhania leaves and lime juice
  • Add water and mix till you form a thick paste
  • Evenly coat each gilka slices with the paste 
  • Heat cooking oil in a medium-sized Kadai
  • Once the oil is hot, lower the heat and drop the gilka pieces one by one
  • Fry till they turn golden brown
  • Once fried, place them on a kitchen napkin to blot out the excess oil
  • Serve hot with homemade ketchup or imli chutney 

Cooking time: 20 minutes

# 2 Pumpkin Puri

Puris taste even better during the monsoon. Add some delicious pumpkin, bursting with vitamin A, B and C, which boosts your child’s immunity system during the rainy days.

Ingredients (serves 2): 

  • Whole wheat flour – 1.5 cups
  • Chopped pumpkin (ripened) – 1 cup
  • Jeera seeds – 2 teaspoons
  • Jaggery powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Ajwain – 1 teaspoon
  • Sesame seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Cooking oil for frying
  • Baking soda – 1 pinch
  • Salt – As per taste

Recipe for Pumpkin puri: 

  • Put the pumpkin pieces in a pressure cooker with a little water; cook for three whistles
  • Add all the ingredients in a bowl; add cooked pumpkin (once it’s cooled); mix well
  • You can add a little water to the mixture if needed
  • Knead the batter till it forms a thick consistency 
  • Let the dough rest for 15-30 minutes
  • Make a batch of small round balls from the dough, and flatten them slightly
  • Heat oil in a kadai
  • When hot, lower heat and add one batch of flattened dough balls
  • Fry till golden brown, flip the puris over till they are evenly fried
  • After cooking, place them on a kitchen napkin to blot out the excess oil
  • Serve as a snack or a dessert

Cooking time: 45-60 minutes (including resting time for the dough)

# 3 Instant Nachni Dosa

What kid doesn’t love a piping hot dosa on a cool, wet day? This is the ultimate monsoon comfort food, and if made with nachni or ragi, it’s nutritional too. Loaded with calcium, Vitamin D and complex carbohydrates, this dish proves yummy treats can be healthy too. 

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • Nachni flour – 1 cup
  • Grated coconut – 1/2 cup
  • Dahi – 1/2 cup
  • Water – as needed
  • Cooking oil as needed
  • Salt – as per taste

Recipe for instant nachni dosa:

  • Mix the flour, grated coconut, dahi in a bowl
  • Add water till you get a thin consistency 
  • Let the mixture rest for 15-20 minutes
  • Heat a tava, set to medium heat and evenly spread the dosa batter using a ladle
  • Add a few drops of oil on it, and then flip the dosa
  • Once the dosa is cooked, serve hot with chutney or aloo bhaji

Cooking time: 30 minutes (including resting time for the dosa batter)

# 4 Sukha Peanut Bhel

Outside bhel puri is a big no-no during the monsoon, but that doesn’t mean your kids can’t enjoy this road-side treat at home. The peanuts add a punch, both in terms of flavour and nutrition. This snack has a nice dose of protein, Vitamin E and healthy fats to keep your child warm on a breezy, rainy day.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • Roasted or boiled peanuts – 1/2 cup
  • Puffed rice – 1.5 cups
  • Chopped onion – 1 small or 1/2 medium-sized
  • Chopped tomato – 1 small or 1/2 medium-sized
  • Boiled potato, chopped – 1piece
  • Chopped dhania leaves – 1/2 tablespoon
  • Chaat masala – 1 teaspoon
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – as per taste

Recipe for sukha peanut bhel:

  • Mix the peanuts, puffed rice, onion, potato and tomato in a bowl
  • Sprinkle chaat masala through the mixture, and add lemon juice and salt
  • Garnish with chopped dhania leaves
  • Serve in a bowl with mini puris

Cooking time: 15 minutes

#5 Abri Patra aka Alu Vadi

A great monsoon superfood, Arbi leaves (when cooked correctly) are excellent to improve immunity, enhance eye health and are a great source of minerals [1]. And the patra tastes heavenly. No doubt it is a popular monsoon snack.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • Colocasia/taro/arbi/alu leaves  – 10 medium sized 
  • Ginger – 1/4 inch  
  •  Green chili (optional) – 1
  • Coriander powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Red chilli powder 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • tamarind seedless (imli) – 1 tablespoon
  • Besan – 1.5 cups
  • Jaggery – 1-2 tablespoon
  • Oil (optional) – ½ teaspoon oil
  • Salt – As required
  • Water – As required

Ingredients for tempering:

  • sesame seeds – 1-2 teaspoons
  • mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • asafoetida powder – A small pinch
  • Curry leaves – 8-10
  •  Freshly grated coconut – 1/4 cup
  • Coriander leaves (chopped) – 1 tablespoon

Recipe for Alu vadi/Arbi Patra:

  • Soak the tamarind in little water for 30 mins
  • Wash the Taro/Arbi/Alu leaves well; gently wipe them dry
  • Remove the central vein and stalks etc. [see here for details]
  • Make a paste of ginger and green chilli
  • Extract the tamarind pulp by squeezing it directly into the water
  • Mix besan, powders of corriander, cumin, red chilli & turmeric, jaggery, and salt in a bowl
  • Add tamarind pulp to the mix; mix well, make a thick batter by adding water as required
  • Take one leaf spread batter on it, then press another leave on top of it, apply batter
  • Repeat the process for all the leaves
  • Roll the stack of leaves tightly; spread some batter for each fold as you roll
  • Place the roll on a greased steamer pan
  • Steam the roll for 20-25 minutes
  • Let the roll cool; slice it into vadis/patras
  • Temper the slices or deep fry them
  • Serve with green chutney

Tempering the alu vadi/arbi patra:

  • Heat oil in a small Kadai; once hot add mustard seeds; let them pop
  • Add sesame seeds, curry leaves & asafoetida; saute till the curry leaves change colour
  • Add the slices and gently saute till they turn brown
  • Switch off the heat; sprinkle grated coconut and coriander leaves

I follow the recipe from here [2]. It has detailed pics and description for rolling, steaming and tempering.

Words of traditional wisdom when preparing arbi patra/alu vadi:

This superfood is perfected by cooking the traditional way and via 2 important ways:

  • Cook the leaves well: Steam the patra then shallow/deep fry them; this cooks the leaves well to remove toxins
  • Add Imli: Use imli in the recipe to avoid irritating your throat.  Taro/alu/arbi leaves can cause skin irritation if not cooked correctly, imli/tamarind ensures one does not get irritation in the throat.


So when it’s pouring outside, and you want to spice things up indoors, try these amazing, simple recipes. Just sit back with your little one and enjoy a delicious and guilt-free treat.