With its fun, festivities and cheer, there’s no doubt that Diwali is most people’s favourite festival. But there is another reason why the Festival of Lights is so popular – the food! After all, who can think of Diwali without the mithai, dry fruits and traditional delicacies? Here are some dishes from across the country that are a must-try.
This jaggery-based sweet is a popular Chettinad recipe that is prepared during Diwali. Ukkarai is proof of how simple ingredients – chana dal, coconut and nuts – can be combined to create something spectacular. A healthy sweet, Ukkarai doesn’t use much ghee and is made of steamed chana dal.
Traditional chhena-based sweets such as rasabali are a festive favourite in Odisha. Deep fried balls of paneer are dunked into sweet, thickened milk and garnished with chopped nuts. Rasabali is a part of the Chappan Bhog (56 kinds of prasad) offered to Lord Jagannath.
Teepi Gavvalu looks as pretty as it is delicious. The name of this traditional Andhra sweet literally translates into ‘sweet shells’ in Telugu. Maida dough is moulded into shell-shaped curls and fried. These deep fried bites of goodness are then coated with jaggery or sugar syrup.
As its name goes, Dil Khushal is guaranteed to make your heart sing with joy. This besan or chickpea flour barfi is a popular Rajasthani mithai. Its fudge-like, chewy texture perfectly contrasts with the crunch of nuts and dry fruit in every bite. No wonder that it’s hard to stop after just one!
This Kumaoni speciality is a part and parcel of Diwali celebrations in the mountainous region of Uttarakhand. Singals are mildly sweet, fried spiral fritters made using semolina or sooji, banana and yogurt. They especially make an appearance during Bhaidooj and are paired with adrak chai.
Gajrela often gets overshadowed by its famous sibling, gajar ka halwa. But it is delicious enough to hold its own. This sweet treat also celebrates the juicy, sweet red carrots that are only available during winters. Gajrela is a runny carrot kheer that is garnished with almond slivers. It is rich, warm and nutritious with contrasting textures that make each bite interesting.