Traditional foods eaten during Diwali
Festivals in India are all about feasting and Diwali is no different. Special treats are made in every household with regional favourites taking precedence. Here we list some of the traditional Diwali dishes that are served in homes across India.
Anyone who has been brought up in North India will have fond memories of sugar toys that are used as an offering during Lakshmi puja and also relished as a sweet treat, especially by children. These toys are made around a fortnight before Diwali. Water, sugar and food colouring is heated and the solution is poured into moulds to make these into figurines of horses, temples, peacocks and more. The simpler version of this is the drop-shaped batashe, while a more complex variation is the tower-shaped Hathri that can go up to two feet in size.
These beautiful, deep fried, sweet kachoris are a staple in Rajasthan and certain parts of North India during Diwali. Filled with a mixture of khoya and dry fruits in a crisp pastry shell, these sweet delights are dipped in sugar syrup before serving.
Traditional foods eaten during
Sel rotis are the Nepali version of deep-fried doughnuts. Served during Tihar, as Diwali is called in those parts, this ceremonial ring-shaped bread is made of ground rice flour and can be either savoury or sweet. As a savoury bread, it is served with a spicy potato curry or eaten as a sweet fried bread for dessert.
On Naraka Chaturdashi or Bhoot Chaturdashi, Bengalis feast on a special preparation called Choddo Shaak that is made of 14 kinds of leafy greens. This day is dedicated to one’s ancestors and it is believed that eating this preparation keeps evil spirits away. This mouth-watering and healthy dish is served with steamed rice.
Diwali in Andhra Pradesh is incomplete without the consumption of Teepi Gavvalu. This festive snack translates to “sweet shells.” A dough made with maida, jaggery and water is shaped into small shells and deep fried. It is then dipped in sugar syrup and served as a snack. Sinful but delicious
For Maharashtrians, Diwali feasting includes a delicious fritter called Anarsa. Made with rice flour and jaggery, these fried snacks are sprinkled with poppy seed. The rice is soaked in water for three days to cause mild fermentation. The rice is then dried, ground and mixed with castor sugar. This dough is rolled out into flat discs and fried golden.
Bihar is famous for this sweet made of many layers of flaky pastry that is deep fried and soaked in sugar syrup. In fact, the Khaja available at Silao, Bihar, has got a GI tag as well. The snack that is made by combining flour, sugar, ghee, cardamom and aniseed into a dough, is fried to a crisp, and is somewhat similar to the Turkish Baklava.