Every cultural festival has their festive treats to mark the occasion – and Deepavali (or Diwali) is certainly no exception! Along with the various traditions that are practiced during this time, the annual Hindu ‘festival of lights’ is also truly a feast for the senses, with lots of culinary delights to savour during this celebration, whether they’re homemade goodies or store-bought snacks.
The food enjoyed at Deepavali is typically rich and flavourful, marking a ‘sweet’ start to the festive season, and hopes for an abundance of joy and prosperity to fill the year ahead. If you’ve been invited to celebrate this special occasion together with your friends, here is just some of the traditional savoury and sweet Deepavali delicacies you’ll be able to indulge in and enjoy!
The savoury bites served at Deepavali are mostly deep fried in ghee (clarified butter, made from cow’s milk), as this represents spiritual purification. Ghee is also an important element used in Hindu rituals, like fire sacrifices and lighting offering lamps.
Did you know that this crunchy, fried rice flour cracker takes its name from the Tamil word murukkappatta, which means ‘twisted or contorted’ – a reference to its curly, spiral shape. It’s also a snack that’s enjoyed throughout the year!
Be it vegetables, meat or even seafood – once they’re dipped in flour batter and deep-fried, it’s hard to stop at just one with these crispy fritters! Pakora goes best with either yoghurt or chutney, for an added tangy or creamy kick.
This puffed, deep fried bread made from wheat flour can be eaten at breakfast, or as a mid-day snack, together with savoury curries or sweet condiments. It’s also served as part of prayer rituals at Hindu ceremonies.
No Deepavali celebration is complete without a platter of sweet treats for guests! These are known as mithai, an all-encompassing name for traditional Indian desserts and confectioneries. While Indian sweets are savoured all year round, it’s also best enjoyed during special occasions like festivals and weddings, and are often given or exchanged as gifts. You might come across some of these on a mithai platter!
Making this sweet, fried dough puff is a tradition for some households, served as an offering to seek blessings for successful festival food preparations ahead.
2. Gulab Jamun
After deep-frying, these indulgent ball-shaped sweets made from milk solids are left to soak in a sugary syrup, infused with flavours like saffron or rose water.
It may be spiral-shaped like murukku, but the similarities between jalebi and its savoury counterpart ends there! After the batter is fried, it’s immediately dipped
in sugar syrup, which gives it its glistening sheen.
Also referred to as ‘laddu’, these are made from variations of flour and grains, like wheat semolina and chickpea flour, with nuts added into the mix.
Paal means milk in Tamil, and the only other ingredient in this sweet fudge, besides sugar!
Another treat that features milk as its main ingredient, this traditional dessert – similar to a rice or vermicelli pudding – is also enjoyed during special occasions.
Do you have a favourite Deepavali recipe to share, or memories of your celebrations back home? We’d love to hear from you! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch.
If you’re wondering what the Deepavali festivities are like back home, here’s a look at the bazaar at Little India (and all the yummy food) through our ‘$30 challenge’!
From all of us at OSU, happy Deepavali to our Hindu friends, and enjoy the feasting!