A collection of delicious Diwali food stories

At the end of the Kali Pujo shoot

It's Diwali today and I am sure you are having a delicious one.

Like all Indian festivals, food plays a big part of Diwali festivities too. The best part about Diwali is that it is a pan Indian festival and it is celebrated by Indians from across the world. Each community has its own way of celebrating which means that there is an even greater variety of wonderful food on offer than usual. 

I spent the last few days exploring what different communities do for Diwali and will share some of the videos and posts I did as a result in this post. Hope you like them.

First of all there is us Bengalis.

Kali Pujo is what we observe while the rest of India celebrates Diwali. Rituals extend from eating 14 (!) types of saag or greens the night before Kali pujo to eating niramish mangsho (vegetarian goat meat curry!) the morning after Kali Pujo. 'Vegetarian' because no garlic or onion is used.

We do have a vegetarian meal at the Kali Pujo which happens in Bandra in Mumbai where I go to. I shot a video there so please take a look to see what happens at the puja and please subscribe to the channel so that network feels encouraged to continue to produce it.

And here's some sweets typical of Kali Pujo made and sent to us by Ananya Banerjee who has a YouTube channel called Ananyar rannaghor.

Kali Pujo mishti and hot plates made with her paintings from Ananya

The Maharashtrians of my adopted city of Mumbai celebrate Mumbai too.

Bimba Nayak tells me that the Pathare Prabhu community, one of the earliest settlers in Mumbai, celebrate Diwali with mutton curry just as we Bengalis do. As do the kolis, the local fisher folk community, do on Bhau Beej as Anjali Koli tells me.

Both Anjali and Bimba make faral or snacks typical to the their communities on Diwali for sale and they have takers from Mumbai and abroad too.

My friend Harshad, a Gaud Saraswat Brahmin, even shared his mother's rava laddoo faral recipe with me as she is travelling and he hopes someone will make it for him.

Talking of faral, here is the faral I had for breakfast today given to me by Rajeshree Naik, a GSB too, of Ping Network whose mom made this delicious treat.

Faral made by Rajeshree's mom

You can read about all of this and the recipe at the link here to my article in NDTV Food about Diwali beyond the North. This is a column on NDTV food I have started about food traditions in India.

We also had chat on the India Food Network about Diwali food traditions across India where Pinky Dixit of Soam told us about how Gujaratis send faral to each other's homes  and Bimba told us about how Pathare Prabhu Maharashtrians enjoy faral at home. Suma spoke about how Diwali in Bangalore is unique from the rest of South India and Rekha Kakkar told us about how Punjabis in Delhi go for larger than life Diwali feasts.

You can see the chat in the video here:

Diwali is celebrated across the world and it seems that Diwali is a great way for foreigners to know about Indian food though Indian expats in their countries. We had our first ever international chat on Adda With Kalyan yesterday where Sudha Kanago spoke about how ethnic Indians in Singapore and Indian expats celebrate Diwali there. Asma Said Khan of Darjeeling Express told us that Diwali feasts in London cut across religions and communities. Bhavna Kalra of Just a Girl from Amchi Mumbai told us that parts of Sydney seem like India during Diwali with lots of Punjabi and Gujarati food on offer.

You can chat our add on Diwali food across the world here:

And finally, if you are in Mumbai and looking for where to eat out on Diwali then do check out my EazyDiner post for ideas.

Here's wishing you a delicious Diwali


Happy Diwali! One day I hope to visit India and celebrate Diwali and all of the other wonderful celebrations there :D