DIWALI OR DEEPAWALI, the Hindu festival of lights is celebrated all over India with great enthusiasm. In this festival, children burn firecrackers, people light-up their houses; worship Lord Ganesha for good health and welfare, and Goddess Lakshmi for wisdom and wealth. Its celebration is marked upon by the return of Lord Rama from 14 years of ‘vanvas’ (exile) and his victory over ‘Ravana’. The festival of Diwali is incomplete without sweets and snacks. Here are few Diwali treats to try this festive season:
It is a popular sweet in South Asian countries, particularly India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal where it is known as ‘Lal Mohan’. It often has a garnishing of dry fruits like almonds, etc. It is served both hot and cold. It is made from khoya (milk solids). As Diwali feels incomplete without sweets, these luscious sweet softballs have got absolutely no substitute.
Rasgulla is made from chenna and semolina which are mixed into dough, and cooked in sugar syrup. This is a popular dessert in the Indian Subcontinent and a specialty Bengal sweet. Apart from the Bengali rasgullas which are whitish and rubbery, two other types of rasgullas are famous in India- the first one is the Odisha rasgullas which are soft and creamy, and the second one is the Pahal Rasagola that is from the Pahala area of India.
Halwa is a sweet, confectionary popular all over India. Halwa is a sweet dish which is relished not only in Diwali but all other festivals like Holi, Janmashtmi, Dusshera, etc. Some famous halwas are:
A. Beetroot Halwa
It is very easy to prepare at home. You can also add cardamom or saffron for enhancing the flavor. As beetroot already has high sugar content, many recipes do not include the addition of sugar.
B. Gajar Ka Halwa
It is made from carrot and has high β- carotene content which is a precursor of Vitamin-A. The Carrot Halwa or Gajar Ka Halwa is the most popular confection delight during the festive season.
C. Lauki Ka Halwa
It is made from Bottle Gourd. It has a nice aroma and a bland taste.
Barfi or Burfi is a milk-based confectionary very popular in India during celebration time. In most of the small towns and villages, the Barfi is made at home: the milk is heated in a vessel till it condenses and sugar is added simultaneously. It may be garnished with cardamom, vark (an edible metallic leaf), almonds, pistachios, etc. Some types of Barfis are:
A. Anjeer Barfi
It is made from dry figs and some nuts. Some recipes also include milk powder. It is a sugar- free dessert, and the required amount of sweetness is provided by figs and dates.
B. Besan Barfi
Besan (Gram flour) is sautéed in ghee and is mixed with sugar. Dry fruits can be used for garnishing. Besan Barfi stands on the second spot after milk-based Barfi on the favorites list of many people.
C. Coconut Barfi
Coconut Barfi is made from condensed milk and desiccated and grated coconut is used. It is one of the easy to make at home sweets.
D. Chocolate Barfi
Chocolate Barfi includes milk powder, or khoya and chocolate powder in its preparation. Good quality cocoa bean should be used to perceive a rich melt-in-mouth texture of chocolate which comes from the cocoa butter. Chocolate Barfi has a smooth, creamy texture with a glossy sheen.
Ladoo is a ball-shaped sweet confection popular during the festive season and other religious occasions. It is made from flour and sugar and other ingredients are added to the flour and then kneaded it into dough. Some popular Ladoos are:
A. Atta Ladoo
Whole wheat flour “Atta” and sugar are the main ingredients of Atta Ladoo. It is an easy home-made Diwali treat to try.
B. Boondi Ladoo
Boondi Ladoo’s name comes from the fact that during its preparation, the gram flour batter is poured from a ladle that has perforations in it, which gives it a round droplet shape (boondi). This Diwali treat takes its place as “Prasad” during Lord Ganesh and Goddess Lakshmi Pujan.
C. Besan Ladoo
It is basically sweetened chickpea flour which is roasted, allowed to cool to room temperature, and then rounded into yummy delicious balls, and spiced with cardamom.
D. Rava Ladoo
Rava Ladoo is a South Indian sweet delight made from rava (suji or semolina), ghee, and sugar among other ingredients. It is a must-have sweet confectionary item during Diwali.
E. Murmura Ladoo
Also called Pori Urundai. It is made from puffed rice which gives ladoo a crunchy mouth feel, and jaggery provides the desired sweetness. This Diwali treat is also enjoyed on many auspicious occasions.
6Khubani Ka Meetha
It is an authentic Hyderabadi sweet confection made from dried apricots and sugar.
Gulkand, the sweet preserve of rose flower petals, is the main ingredient of Glukand Peda, providing a sweet and refreshing flavor to the dessert.
Soan Papdi or Sohan Papdi is a very popular dessert in North India. It has a crispy and flaky texture, and gives a firm hand feel on touch.
Basundi is an Indian dessert popular in the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. It is made from sweetened condensed milk, with the addition of dry fruits.
Rossomalai or Ras Malai is a soft, spongy, and flattened ball of Chenna. Ras Malai is a Hindi word, where “ras” means juice, and “malai” means cream.
Paneer Tikka is a famous Indian dish that is made from paneer cubes. Paneer cubes are marinated in spice mix and then grilled. It is a quick snack and can be served as a starter during the festive occasions.
Shahi Tukda is a rich, royal treat of Mughlai origin. It is quite similar to Double Ka Meetha popular in Hyderabadi cuisine.
Gujarati Kadhi is a thin and sweet variant of Punjabi Kadhi, which is thick and made from sour yoghurt. Jaggery or sugar is added, apart from chickpea flour, turmeric powder, etc.
Punjabi Chole or Chana Masala is quite a popular dish relished alongside Puri or Bhature, during the Diwali celebrations. Chole or Garbanzo Beans are cooked in spiced gravy.
Hyderabadi Dum Biryani is a true delight to enjoy on a festive occasion like Diwali. It is cooked in a vessel called handi over steaming coals (dum) on a low heat.
16Bombay Pav Bhaji
It is the most famous street food of Mumbai. A spicy curry of mixed vegetables known as ‘Bhaji’ is served with Pav (a kind of soft bread) which is shallow fried in butter or ghee.
Ajwain Chakli is an easy to make wonderful Diwali snack. These are crispy in texture and very good in taste.
Kheer is an Indian style rice pudding, flavored with cardamom or saffron, and garnished with dry fruits like almonds, pistachios, walnuts, etc.
Spring Rolls are the popular Chinese snack, loved by most people in the country. It can be served as a quick snack or as a starter during the festive season.
Malai Kofta is a North Indian dish that is originated from Mughlai cuisine. It gives a rich, creamy mouth feel with a smooth texture, which makes it a must-try Diwali main-course dish.