Diwali- the festival of lights. Every square foot is lit up with the festivity of this month. Lights, colours and novelty glitters through every heart. They say during Diwali, every household is decked up like young bride. The only thing that makes this even better is that perfect Diwali Dinner!
And like every other festival, Diwali has its own delicacies. Around 30 years ago, women made pretty much everything at home- all the treats, all the snacks. Plus the daily breakfast-lunch-dinner routine. Crazy! Isn’t it! Today, I wholeheartedly appreciate my mother’s management skills. She has been flawlessly executing this entire show for over 30 years now.
Today, however, increase in the number of bread-earning women, and the number entrepreneurs has gone up. This means most of our Diwali snacks are outsourced. I am a big supporter of homemade food and genuinely request everyone to make at least 3 items at home, the easiest ones. The more complicated ones can be ordered through small scale businesses owned by women and that way, you are also helping these ladies celebrate Diwali.
Change the Diwali Dinner tradition
Diwali is a big deal for everyone in India. Buy from small businesses, support local artists. They say “When you buy from a local business, you are not helping a CEO buy his 3rd holiday home. You are helping a little girl get her dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mum and dad put food on the table.’ Let us help each other this Diwali and make it enjoyable, affordable and memorable for everyone.
Therefore, when you are hosting a party at your place, buy your items from a local vendor. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, chana, whatever it is, go to the market and buy it from a farmer or local vendor. And if you are absolutely generous, give them a tip or bakshish on the occasion of Diwali because khushiya mil baatke manao. Sharing is the real joy of a celebration.
So getting back to your house party menu, here are 10 simple things that you can have on your late night party menu that are pocket friendly, desi and healthier than store bought anything.
10 simple menu items for your Diwali Dinner
Peanuts from your neighboring singdana wala, chopped onions, tomatoes, cilantro and green chili, mixed with black salt.
Include some quick bites in your Diwali Dinner menu. Dhokla, Amiri Khaman, Handva, Idli bites, Dal vada (all regional delicacies, pick your fave) or simply crunchy peanuts – Peanuts fried like a pakoda in masala batter.
Don’t miss out on that amazing, top secret recipe given to you by your aunt/ neighbor/ colleague for the special Diwali Dinner. Make sure you make your favourite biryani at least once this Diwali, as this could be your chance to show off your culinary skills.
Assortment of home made sev
Late night without sev = cards without aces. So have an assortment of homemade sev: garlic, spinach, aloo, pudina, ratlami, marwadi, besan.
P.S: A kind request to keep away all the low fat and soy and no oil and no fry sev back on the shelf. ‘We don’t want that kinda negativity in here!’
Nothing brings people together like good food!
I say nothing brings people together like sweet food!
Sweets? Hell ya! What did your mother make at home? Kaju katli, paruppu thengai, bhapa doi, chirote, anarse, ghewar, churma, laddoos- drooling all over?!! Making Indian sweets is not a ‘cake-walk’ (get it? 😉 ). Very crucial, temperature, measurement sensitive task; needs perfect eye and judgement skills. Being a halwaii is a God gifted skill without any doubt.
There might be many options for drinks to be included in your Diwali Dinner menu.
Nimbu paani with a pinch of saffron and cardamom will definitely pass the fancy lemonade test, given that saffron is hella expensive and cardamom has anti- sugar rush properties. In other words, it slows down your heart rate from all the sugar in the treats. Also tea with cardamom will slow down the action of caffeine on your heart and help create a balance.
Golgappa or phuchka in a fancy shot glass looks like a hundred dollar dish. So definitely include that in your menu items for Diwali Dinner.
Motichoor- cheescake parfait
Motichoor- cheescake parfait is simply crushed laddoos layered with cheesecake batter and all kinds of fun stuff like nuts and pralines. A perfect recipe for a perfect Diwali Dinner. It will be your show-stopper dish.
Masala doodh with sev, chakli and chivda are buddies from heaven. Very easy to make, no stress of serving, no major cleanup required. Now that’s every woman’s dream, isn’t it!
Lastly, do not forget the mukhwaas
items. Various forms of candied fennel
with nuts and seeds and rose petals are available around this time. If you are ambitious, you make make your own stuff too. And if you forgot to arrange for that stuff, simple jaggery/ gul
with toasted fennel seeds also give a very traditional touch to your evening.
If you find these tips handy and helpful in planning your menu items for Diwali dinner, do let us know.
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Cheers, Happy Diwali!!
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