35 Traditional Diwali dishes for a bright and festive holiday
India has no celebration or festival complete without making sweets and snacks at home. Homemade goodies turn out better than store-bought.
Want to try some different Indian meals than curry? You'll need these Diwali dishes, that's for sure! The most significant holiday in India is Diwali. It is a celebration of the victory of light over darkness and is often referred to as the festival of lights. The event lasts for five days, during which time people decorate their homes, buy new outfits, exchange gifts, and, of course, enjoy a sumptuous meal with loved ones.
This extensive list includes everything from breakfast to dinner, as well as savory appetizers, filling entrees, and decadent desserts. There are savory and sweet alternatives available here as well, so there is truly something for everyone. Happy Diwali, indeed.
Here are 35 typical Indian foods eaten during the festival of Diwali in case you're considering attending.
1. Kheel Namkeen (Salted Parched Paddy)
Kheel namkeen is a salty-sweet snack comprised of roasted papad, tomato chips, roasted peanuts, and kheel (sweet puffed rice) (deep-fried dough). This snack surely packs a punch because it is seasoned with chat masala, red chili powder, and ginger powder. It makes a delicious afternoon treat when served with hot tea.
2. Butter Murukku
South India is home to the crispy, chip-like delicacy known as butter murukku. Murukku, which alludes to the distinctive shape of the food, means "twisted." These thin slices of rice dough are deep-fried. Consider churros, but much richer and crunchier. They are particularly addicting because the dough is seasoned with salt, butter, and Indian spices.
Another deep-fried snack popular in India is thattai. It is also prepared using rice flour, just like murukku. In actuality, these two appetizers are frequently made and given together. The murukku has a strand-like appearance, whereas Thattai chips have a round and flat shape.
4. Ribbon Pakoda
A murukku variation is the ribbon pakoda. Although it is made from the same base of rice flour and besan dough, the ribbons are flat and lengthy. They not only taste fantastic, but they also look fantastic. Due to a combination of Indian spices, they are extremely light, crispy, and crunchy and will taste exquisite.
5. Gulab Jamun
The first of several desserts in this collection is here. Gulab jamun is a must-have for any Diwali party! Gulab jamun is a beautiful dish made of sweet, moist balls that have been dipped in rich sugar syrup. The ingredients for the balls are flour, baking soda, clarified butter, and powdered milk. When combined, it creates a dough that is shaped into smooth balls and deep-fried in ghee.
6. Aloo Chaat
A common street meal, aloo chat is enjoyed year-round and is not just a Diwali favorite. It's a rich snack of fried potatoes flavored with chutney and Indian spices. You can alternatively boil the potatoes and have a healthy alternative if you don't like oily munchies. In this specific dish, the potatoes are pan-fried and flavored with yogurt, tamarind, dates, and chutney. This snack features a powerful flavor contrast!
Another irresistible snack with a savory and crunchy profile is sev. Gram flour and spices are mixed to make the dough, which is then formed into long, thin strands and deep-fried in oil. The combination of flavorings that go into the dough, including turmeric, red chile, hot oil, and Indian spices, is what makes sev especially distinctive.
Murukku, a delectable deep-fried snack comprised of rice flour, gram flour, and spices, has many different variations, including chakli. These crispy, flavorful, and spiral-shaped nibbles are light and delicious. Chakli can be flavored in a variety of ways, so you can make them as mild or as spicy as you prefer.
9. Gajar ka Halwa
A delicious delicacy made of carrots is called carrot halwa. Yes, there are treats made with carrots besides carrot cakes and cupcakes. Rich, creamy, and melt-in-your-mouth pudding with nuts and dried fruits is what this is. It is a mainstay during Diwali and other Indian festivals and special events because of its brilliant colors and flavors.
10. Mathri (Mathiya Or Mathari)
A North Indian snack is known as mathri consists of crisp and flaky crackers. They go nicely with chai tea and pickles and are enhanced in flavor by salt, spices, and herbs. The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can choose whether to bake the crackers or fry them. In either case, they will turn out beautifully.
11. Aloo Tikki
Crisp potato patties seasoned with herbs and spices are known as aloo tikki, a snack. Aloo tikkis can be filled with chana dal, a split chickpea mixture, chat masala, and other herbs and spices. For this dish, however, you'll stick to the fundamentals. For a filling snack, place this tikkis inside hamburger buns and serve with mint chutney.
Karasev resembles murukku, a deep-fried spiral snack, in appearance and flavor, but it has a stronger scent. Red chili powder and peppers that have been pounded into a coarse powder give it its distinctive flavor. Only try them if you can stand the heat; it's spicy.
13. Paneer Makhani
An opulent Indian stew called paneer makhani is made with butter, tomatoes, and cream. It has some heat from the garam masala and other Indian spices. Chunks of crumbly paneer, or cottage cheese, are swimming in this creamy gravy. For a substantial vegetarian supper, serve this with rice, naan, or roti.
Nippattu is rice crackers that come from the cuisine of Karnataka, a state in southwest India. They are crisp and crunchy. These spherical, biscuit-like delights are bursting with flavor from sesame seeds, dried coconut, cumin, chili powder, and toasted peanuts. They are loved as a late-night snack and are also very well-liked during Diwali and other Indian celebrations.
Jalebi is yet another spiral-shaped deep-fried delicacy. But this is sweet, unlike the savory murukku and chakli. Jalebi is similar to funnel cakes, however, they are covered in sugar syrup rather than powdered sugar. As a result, a crunchy, crystallized sugar crust forms, adding to the snack's deliciousness.
16. Pistachio Coconut Ladoo
Ladoos are dough-based confections that are sweet and chewy. In this variation, a mixture made of desiccated coconut, condensed milk, melted butter, and finely crushed pistachios is used to make the balls. To provide even more texture and flavor, the balls are rolled in additional ground pistachios. I suppose I've already decided what dessert to prepare this weekend!
Basmati rice is slowly cooked with milk, sugar, saffron, and cardamom to create the classic Indian rice pudding known as kheer. This turns the rice into a very smooth and creamy dessert called kheer. For texture diversity, different nuts and dried fruit are added to the kheer.
18. Vegetable Pakoda
By now, it should be clear that Indians are passionate about deep-fried foods. Pakoda is an additional example. This time, a mixture of vegetables is deep-fried till golden instead of dough. Carrots, cabbage, beans, and bell peppers are just a few examples of vegetables.
19. Dahi Papdi Chaat
Fresh papdi (deep-fried dough) topped with boiling potatoes, chickpeas, onions, chutneys, tomatoes, and spices is known as dahi papdi chaat. It's a vibrant plate loaded with filling and delicious flavors! It's a delightful combination of sweet, salty, tangy, or spicy flavors.
20. Namak Para (Spiced Diamond Cuts)
We can infer that namak para is a salted snack that has been cut into pieces from the phrases namak and para/pare, which, respectively, imply salt and pieces. Like many of the other snacks on our list, namak para is formed of dough that is deep-fried until it is perfectly crunchy. For added appeal, they've been cut into diamond-shaped pieces.
21. Easy Shankarpali | Shakkar Para
Using flour, sugar, and ghee to make crispy bite-sized sugar cookies, shakkar para is a delicious snack. As you might have suspected, the cookies' remarkable lightness and crispiness come from deep-frying the cookie batter.
22. Roasted Cashews (Spicy Masala Kaju)
I believe that plain roasted cashews are already very perfect. Their crunch and distinct, nutty flavor are to die for. However, the straightforward snack is given a makeover in India by being coated in a batter made of wheat, spices, and herbs. After that, they are crispily roasted, deep-fried, or air-fried.
23. Easy Badam Burfi (with Almond Flour)
India's equivalent of fudge is called badam burfi. Almond flour, rosewater, cardamom, saffron, and ghee are used to make it. Even amateur home cooks may make this streamlined version of badam burfi, which typically requires some level of culinary ability to prepare.
A common snack in India is puffed bread that is crunchy, chewy, and tender. This adaptable snack can be eaten alone, with chutney, with curries and stews, or all by itself.
The badusha, which is India's unique donut, rounds out this list. It has a distinct flaky texture and is also pillowy and soft like a typical Western donut. Ghee, baking soda, and flour are mixed to make the dough. They are deep-fried till golden brown, then topped with saffron, almonds, and lemon sugar syrup.
Nobody can resist a samosa that is both crispy and spicy! You may find it to be the ideal snack for this joyous occasion. Therefore, you must serve "chai-samosa" to your visitors if you are hosting a small Diwali party at your home. Don't hesitate any longer; start preparing this delicious Diwali feast right away.
27. Aloo Bonda
Your taste senses will be delighted by this street food from South India! This recipe is a must-try for everyone because of the mouthwatering potato stuffing inside the golden crispy covering of gram flour! Don't forget to put this recipe on the menu for any gathering, small or large.
28. Sooji Halwa
On special occasions, sooji halwa is a dish that is frequently made in every Indian home. It frequently appears around dinnertime on special occasions like festivals and birthdays since everyone enjoys the flavor! Why then would you skip Diwali? Try it today!
29. Paneer Tikka
Paneer tikkas are a favorite among everyone because they make the ideal starter for any gathering! Your taste senses will be treated by the spicy flavors on top of the soft paneer cubes! So, share this delicious snack recipe with your loved ones during Diwali!
30. Namkeen pare
The ideal pairing for a cup of hot tea is Namakpare! This crunchy and salty snack is ideal for balancing your taste if you've had your fill of sweets this holiday season. This recipe is simple to prepare at home using basic ingredients, and your guests will undoubtedly enjoy it.
31. Moong Dal Ka Halwa
Want to prepare a tasty dish that's easy to make? If so, give this dessert a try! You may prepare moong dal ka halwa as a pleasant and nutritious option for any special occasion. During this festive season, it might also be the ideal dish to serve guests!
32. Masala Peanuts
As we return to the savory munchies, masala peanuts are a crispy morsel of joy! Your dining experience will be improved in every way by it! So, if you want to prepare something for yourself and your loved ones that is delicious, you must try this recipe.
Without gujiyas, no Indian home can celebrate Diwali! All the family members congregating in one location to prepare this treat for the festivals is quite typical. This delectable meal has the ideal balance of sweet and creamy ingredients, which can instantly improve your mood.
34. Aloo Bhujia
We've all probably purchased a package of aloo bhujia at least once for a snack. In India, it is one of the most popular snacks. So, if you become sick of eating sweets all day long during Diwali, try this delicious bhujia dish that pairs perfectly with tea!
35. Atta Laddoo
This wonderful laddoo recipe only calls for three basic ingredients: wheat flour, cane sugar, and ghee. Spend a little time and effort making this delicious dessert for the celebrations. There's no doubt that your kids will adore it!
Significance of Diwali
Diwali, also known as the "festival of lights," is also known as "the festival of flavors"! Yes, you're right. In India, a celebration entails donning new clothes, traveling to different locations, adorning the entire house, enjoying time with loved ones, and eating an abundance of food.
The holiday of Diwali commemorates the day that Lord Rama returned home after spending 14 years alone with his family in the forest. Aside from that, the day is joyfully observed because he defeated the demon king Ravana and returned Sita. Every nook and cranny of Ayodhya was decked for his arrival with diyas that were lit with ghee. In addition to the Ramayana connection, Lakshmi puja is another reason why people celebrate Diwali. Goddess Lakshmi is said to bestow wealth and prosperity on those homes on the big day that is brightly lit!
Speaking of cuisine, several dishes are produced especially during Diwali. Without sweets, the Diwali holiday would not be complete, but there are a variety of other traditional delicacies that are made during this festive time.
Also read: 25 Unique ideas to decorate your home during Diwali