The foods of Diwali

Carrot halwa

Diwali, a five-day festival of lights celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains across the world, celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. The actual day of Diwali is traditionally celebrated on the third day of the festival, this year that day is Thursday, October 23. Diwali celebrations frequently include fireworks, candles, and other forms of light displays. Additionally, as with many holidays around the world, food plays an important role, especially sweets.

If you are wondering which foods are frequently associated with this festival, you can find guides to what foods to eat during Diwali. The lists include many fried items such as chakali, a crispy deep-fried snack made with rice flour, gram flour and spices; and karanji, a slightly sweet deep-fried snack that looks like a hand pie. You'll also find poha chivda, a flattened rice snack; maida burfi, a concoction of ghee, cashew nuts, flour and sugar (often colored with green food coloring); laddoo/laddu, made with flours like chickpea, wheat semolina and ground coconut, combined with sugar and other flavorings, cooked in ghee and molded into a ball shape. Another frequently found treat is halwa, which is a thick, pudding-like dessert made from various fruits and vegetables (carrot is a favorite), grains, nuts and lentils, finely grated and fried in ghee and sugar.

This is only a sampling of foods associated with this festival. If you have any favorite Diwali foods, please share them with us!

Photo of Punjabi-style carrot pudding (Gajar ka halwa) from Saveur Magazine

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