It is quite interesting that no matter how ‘uber cool’ we get, when it comes to festivities we turn into serious traditionalists. We like our festivals old school, don’t we? And Diwali is one of the biggest examples of that thought. And what is Diwali without a good feast. Fortunately, we don’t always have to whip them up at home. Here are a few places you can enjoy a lavish Diwali meal, or tuck into a decadent sweet or two, or three:
Kesariya is hosting special Diwali treat for you – a seven-course meal that comes in a thali, which includes some of the most tempting treats. And it is a traditional meal on offer – Rajasthani Baati with Dal Panchmel and Choorma, Paneer Simla Mirch, Aloo Gobi, Bharma Kofte and Aam Methi ki Lunje that can be enjoyed with Fulkas, Missi Roti, Dal ki Poori, Rajshahi Pulav or steamed rice. You could also try out the Bajre Ki Khichdi or Ram Khichdi. End your meal with a sumptuous bowl of Badam Ka Halwa, Shahi Jamun, Moong Dal Halwa or Mango Shrikan.
Sattvam is laying out a lavish sattvic buffet this Diwali where you can literally check 70 kinds of dishes – starting with chaats and ending with desserts. For main course, the Chef has put together an extensive menu that includes 20 dishes, if not more. From the Chhote Samose ki Sabji, Steamed Dry Fruit Kofte, to Kamal Kakdi Ki Sabji – there is quite a treat on offer out there. Plus there is the dessert section, featuring festive delicacies such as the Mini Malai Ghevar, Moti Rabdi Jamun, Navratan Sheera, and Badam Halwa.
Kebabs & Kurries at The ITC Gardenia is known for its decadent North Indian and Mughlai food can be quite an indulgence if you want a truly luxurious Diwali. From their kakori kababs, and Chooze Biryani, to the Dal Bukhara, and Murg Shami, the restaurant is particularly good for special occasions.
Riwaz is yet another place to head to for lunch, or better still dinner on Diwali. The restaurant that focuses purely on North Indian food has a general festive ambience about it too. Start with a kabab platter and work your way up as you discover the curries, such as the Nalli Nihari, paired with sheermal (baked Indian bread made with flour, milk, sugar, kewra, and saffron). A biryani is must I suppose and the Gosht Dum Biryani is worth a try here.
Rajdhani is the place for a thali. It is something we have been told for years and somehow, no one ever gets tired of sharing this little well-known fact. Apart from the thali, some of their other must-haves include Chole Bhature, Mumbai Pav Bhaji and Rajma Ussal Pav. As far as their sweets go, you may try their Jalebi Rabdi, Kesari Malpua, Halwa and (if you feel like experimenting) Apple Jalebi.
Dum Pukht Jolly Nabob at ITC Windsor is a quiet restaurant – perfect for you if you want a quiet, and yet indulgent Diwali dinner. Their menu sticks to traditional north Indian food, and some of these dishes are hardly found elsewhere. For instance, try the Raan e Dumpukht where a leg of lamb is marinated in rum before cooking. And then there is the Kacche Gosht ki Biryani, and Murgh Rezala. For dessert, you must try the Begum’s Pudding, or the Shahed-e-Jaam (stuffed gulab jamuns).
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Priyadarshini is an independent journalist from Bengaluru whose life pretty much revolves around food, good music, literature, and cinema. She’s worked with different publications over the past 10 years, and has written about travel, theatre, films, books, music, food and lots of food! She’s travelled wherever her feet and budget would allow, discovering cultures through local palates and social behaviour, and in an ideal world would probably resort to using food and music to resolve any dispute.