Happy Diwali (Festival of Lights)

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Diwali is often referred to as the “Festival of Lights” and this year it will be celebrated on Friday November 5th, 2010. It is a Hindu holiday that is celebrated with great enthusiasm, throughout the world. Diwali signifies the victory of good over evil. Most people believe Diwali to be a celebration of the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom, Ayodhya after 14 years of exile and after defeating the demon king, Ravan. Jains celebrate Diwali as the time of attainment of moksha by Lord Mahavir.

My best childhood memories of Diwali are lighting the oil lamps (diyas) and putting string lights around the house. We lighted fireworks with our neighbors and the grownups played cards into the night. I remember helping my mother in the kitchen, cooking delicious food for several days. Shopping for new clothes and buying something new for the kitchen was a definite tradition.

Diwali celebration is actually a 3-day event beginning with the worship of Goddess Lakshmi called “Dhanteras”. The following day is considered pre-Diwali and the final day is the actual celebration of Diwali. My family will be getting together to have dinner and play cards each of the 3 nights, as part of the festivities.

I would like to share with you the menu I have made for this Diwali for my family and maybe this can give you some ideas too.

Menu for Wednesday November 3rd, 2010.

Appetizers: Cheese fondue with Broccoli, Cauliflower, stir fry Potatoes and some bread cubes. I prefer Tuscan or French bread.

Main Course: Matter Paneer, Aloo Gobhi, Chole (chana masala), Spinach Raita, Cumin Rice, and an Indian bread, which I have not decided yet.

Dessert: Boondi ladoo. I will serve just the Sweet Boondis in decorative cupcake liners and drizzle the top with chocolate syrup. My grandkids love it.

Menu for Thursday November 4th

Appetizers: Papdi served with Chole Chat and Salad.

Main Meal: Cabbage Kofta, Sukha AlooVegetable Korma, Yogurt, Rice and Naan.

Dessert: Apple crumb Pie.

Menu for Diwali Day, Friday November 5th

We will have an early dinner and serve appetizers and dessert while playing cards, hopefully late into the night. We are fortunate that this year Diwali falls on a Friday and we can spend time freely with our family.

Main Course: Spicy Squash, Potato Curry with Yogurt Gravy, Butter Paneer Masala, Dahi Vada, Dal Puri (I have not posted this recipe yet, but these are whole wheat puris with urad dal filling). This is very typical, traditional holiday bread in north India.

Appetizers: Besan Paare, Crispy Spinach Pakoras, Masala Peanuts, and Muthia.

Dessert: Gajar Ka Halwa, Baklava Rolls, and Kalakand.


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9 thoughts on “Happy Diwali (Festival of Lights)

  1. I discovered your website today and I love it. We are hosting a foreign exchange student from Pune, India and we are enjoying learning about her culture. We are going to celebrate Diwali today with her and I know that I will be coming back to your blog and website for recipes. Thank you!

  2. Hello Manjula aunty, I have found your recipes and videos wonderful. Just want you to know that…Happy Diwali celebrations with your family.

  3. Hello Mam,

    When r u making Pinni. I wanted to make for Diwali. Your recipes are so simple to make with great instruction. Plsssssssssssssssss post the recipe. Thanks

  4. Hello Munjula aunty,
    i have tried many of you recepies till now and they alway turn out to be absalutely delicious. I love it how you give exact mesurement and cooking time in your videos. I have made many items(namak paras, sakkar paras, Mathari, peda and besan laddu) for this diwali feast. we have tradition of giving eachother diwali goods we cook as gift, and this year my mom was very impressed by all the items i cooked. thank you very much. while reading your post, i just made my menu today as well so i hope it wil make it easy for me to celebrate this diwali with lots of good food to enjoy with all the people i love. Happy diwali.

  5. Sounds like quite a feast and a lot of fun. Will you have help preparing all of those dishes? How many days in advance will you start preparing all of the food? Have a wonderful time.

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