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Diwali seems to be the most extensively notable festival in India; a celebration of fun, frolic and fizz with family, friends and feast. And when it comes to a Diwali party, clearly all the essence has to be there in abundance. Why not? The party can be an entire lot of fun and a worthy way to rejoice a year of hard work and to share the Season’s Greetings with one and all. That said when it comes to entertaining, ‘you can never be too organized!’…. Hope these tips help.
• Do not forget to soak the Diyas overnight.
• Order enough beverages; make sure you have enough cutlery and crockery.
• Keep a first aid box ready for just in case!
• Have enough Dustbins around.
• Adorn the party area with Indian flowers like ‘Marigold’ and of course a ‘Toran’ on the door for good luck!
• Bright up the home with Diyas and candles and the Laxmi Ganesha Murti.
• Dress up in Indian clothes.
• Fill up heaps of Indian candies, sweets and toys to distribute to the kids.
• The festivity caps can have themes of ‘Diyas’ or somewhat Diwali specific.
• Serve delicious eatables and do not forget Mithai.
• Have exciting games associated to Diwali.
• Share gags for party fun.
• Keep the children busy with giving them stencils to try their hand at Rangoli.
• RELAX AND ENJOY!!!
DIWALI RECIPES BY RUPALI DEAN (learnt from her mother)
Makes 6 portions
Mutton mince: 600 Gms; Chana Dal (soaked for 2 hours): 60 Gms; cloves: 4-5 nos; Cinnamon stick: 2 cm; Green Cardamom: 4 nos; Ginger (finely chopped): 10 Gms; Egg: 1 no; Green chilly (finely chopped): 5 Gms; Salt: to taste
1. Mix the Dal and mince, cover with water, add salt & bring to a boil. Add the whole Garam masala and cook for about an hour. Cook until meat is dry with no hint of liquid in it.
2. Remove from heat and let the meat cool. Turn the contents into a mincer/food processor. Grind to a fine paste. No whole spices should be visible. Add the ginger, garlic, green chilly & egg. Blend well. Taste & add more salt if required. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
3. Shape into 18 equal sized balls and flatten them into 3-inch discs. Shallow fry on moderate heat till crisp on the outside.
4. Serve hot with some mint coriander chutney.
No winter is complete without…
SARSON DA SAAG
Serves- 4 portions
Mustard leaves: 1 Kg; Spinach: 250 Gms; Methi: 100gms; Bathes: 50 Gms; Green chilies: to taste; Ginger: 40gms; Garlic: 25 Gms; Salt: to taste; Makki Ka Atta: 20 Gms (as reqd): Red chili powder: to taste; White Butter: 250 Gms; chopped Onions: for tempering; Juliennes of ginger: for tempering.
1. Clean, wash and roughly chop leaves and the tender stems.
2. In a mortar and pestle paste the 2/3rd of the roughly chopped ginger, garlic and green chilies.
3. Put all the leaves and the ginger, garlic, green chili paste in a handi or pressure cooker and simmer until tender.
4. Remove and drain excess liquid if any and keep aside. Little by little put the drained vegetables in a bigger mortar and pestle and coarsely puree it. (Blender can also be used but make sure not to make the puree too thin).
5. Return the pureed vegetables in the handi/pressure cooker and add red Chilli powder and makki ka Atta with the drained water, (you may add some butter too) slowly and steadily and keep cooking on slow fire, stirring occasionally till it stops bubbling. Adjust seasoning. Remove from fire.
Rupali Dean is a familiar name in Food & Travel writing. Her passion and work takes her on various travels across the world and her by-line is familiar to discerning readers of esteemed magazines and Newspapers like Uppercrust, Food & Wine, Discover India, Economic Times Travel, Hindustan Times City, Statesman etc to name a few. A trained hospitality professional, from the Institute of Hotel Management, Ahmedabad gives her an edge over any other food writer. She has also won the Best Food Travel writer award in India by Spain Tourism and has been Featured among India’s Top 5 Food Bloggers in India in the Hi Blitz magazine.