Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, occurs on October 30th this year. It is a major holiday signifying the victory of light over dark, good over evil, hope over despair, and knowledge over ignorance. This five-day celebration is one of the biggest Hindu festivals, coinciding with Hindu New Year and it is also celebrated by Sikhs and Jains.
The holiday honors Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Small earthenware oil lamps are lined outside homes and windows and doors are left open for Lakshmi, so she may find her way into the homes of those who celebrate. There are big fireworks displays and families share gifts with neighbors, friends, and those in need.
If you need recipe ideas for the celebration, check out last year’s 10 Indian Recipes for Diwali and then come back for 20 more recipes to make your Diwali festive and delicious.
1. Purple Cauliflower Peanut Coconut Curry
Looking for a delicious dinner that comes together easily? This Purple Cauliflower Peanut Coconut Curry is flavorful, satisfying, and unique. First, roast the chickpeas and cauliflower in the oven and then saute them along with vegetables, coconut milk, and peanut butter. The result is a salty-sweet curry that is as nutrient-dense as it is delicious.
2. South Indian Mashed Pumpkin
In this South Indian Mashed Pumpkin dish, yellow pumpkin is cooked until tender in a pot tempered with curry leaves and spicy mustard seeds. As it cooks, onions, spicy chilis, and turmeric are added to the pot and cooked until the pumpkin is tender enough to be mashed. This side dish is spicy and best paired with rice and your favorite curry.
3. Aloo Tikki: Indian Potato Patties
These Indian Sweet Potato Patties are fluffy on the outside, but crisp on the inside with a blend of Indian spices giving the flavor a savory kick. Best part is, they’re really easy to make. They’re a fantastic addition to the dinner table when served alongside curry and chutney.
4. Palak Pakoras: Spinach Fritters
A pakora is a fried vegetable snack originating from India. These Palak Pakoras, or spinach fritters are a fun and delicious way to enjoy eating your spinach. Chickpea flour is used to create the crispy coating, making these fritters deliciously gluten-free!
5. Dabeli: Indian Potato and Chutney Sandwich
Dabeli is a popular street food hailing from Gujarat, India’s westernmost state. It’s a very tasty sandwich that combines many contrasting flavors and textures. A sweet and spicy potato mixture is stuffed between two buns that are coated generously with spicy garlic chutney, then topped with roasted peanuts, pomegranate seeds, sev (crunchy chickpea noodles), and a sweet date and tamarind chutney. Be sure to toast the bread just before you assemble the sandwich — it’s worth it!
6. Bengali Jackfruit Kofta
These crispy and flavorful Bengali Jackfruit Koftas are made with jackfruit and potatoes. The gravy is a simple tomato base, thickened slightly with cashew or almond butter and a splash of cashew cream, if you feel a little indulgent. The koftas can be prepped and refrigerated the day before and can be fried just before serving.
7. Samosanadas: Seasonal Pumpkin Samosa Empanadas
What do you get when you fuse a Mexican empanada with an Indian samosa? You get a Samosanada! We wanted to give these delectable fusion pies a seasonal twist by using roasted pumpkin instead of the traditional potato filling, and the result was, well, amazing! You can dip these babies in your favorite chutneys or keeping in line with the fusion theme … salsa, perhaps?
8. Tandoori Tofu
Not only does this Tandoori-Style Tofu taste delicious – spicy and moist – but the leftover marinade helps make an amazing sauce that can be ladled over the tofu, if desired, and over rice or potatoes. This is an amazing dish to serve at any festive dinner or even during the week.
9. Eggplant Vindaloo
This Eggplant and Mushroom Vindaloo is a medley of delicious flavors. There are red onions and tomatoes, cinnamon and mustard seeds, and the balsamic vinegar gives the dish a mildly sweet and tangy flavor that goes great with the veggies. Serve with some rice to balance everything out.
10. Cauliflower Rice Paper Samosas With Tangy Mint Chutney
Move over deep-fried, potato-laden samosas – Rice Paper Samosas are here to stay! Rice paper bakes up like a dream – it’s crisp, thin, light and definitely samosa-worthy. The traditional starchy potato filling is replaced by cauliflower, which is a uniquely lighter alternative. Dipping them in tangy mint chutney really seals the deal!
11. Sarson Ka Saag: Mixed Greens Curry
A traditional Punjabi dish made from mixed greens and spices, Sarson Ka Saag is a must-make if you love curry. Although it’s made from greens, this curry is packed with flavor. Mustard greens, spinach, and more are cooked with spicy chilis, garlic, onion, ginger. Then, it’s topped with onion tempered in spices and garlic. This comforting curry is perfect with brown rice and flatbread.
12. Vegetable Bajji: Indian Tempura
Vegetable bajji, colloquially known as Indian Tempura, are just thin slices of vegetables dipped in a crisp batter and deep-fried to golden brown perfection. These are superbly delicious, easy enough to whip up on a whim and a perfect way to use up leftover pieces of vegetables that are too little to make anything else out of. The batter is a mixture of chickpea flour and rice flour with the optional addition of baking soda, which gives it that amazing crispiness.
13. Spicy Butternut Dal
This Spicy Butternut Dal is the perfect easy-to-make lunch. It begins with a medley of garlicky butternut squash, mushrooms, onions, lentil, and cabbage which is then topped with a rich red tomato passata. Serve with rice and garnish with butternut seeds for a dish that is filling without being heavy and warming and spicy, yet tummy friendly.
14. Broccoli and Onion Pakora
Pakora are Indian spiced chickpea flour fritters made with a wide variety of vegetables. They are traditionally served as snacks in India, but can be eaten as part of a meal as well. These Broccoli and Onion Pakora are amazing. They’re crunchy, savory, and delicious.
15. Chickpea Flour Pancakes
These Chickpea Flour Pancakes are also known as chillas and pudla. The classic Indian pancake made with chickpea flour is a popular breakfast in North India. These chillas in the simplest form are easy and perfect for breakfast, a snack, or a side flatbread. For a veggie omelet version, add less water for a thicker batter and add leavening such as baking powder. Add finely chopped vegetables such as zucchini.
16. Indian-Spiced Red Lentil Patty Sandwich
This Indian-Spiced Red Lentil Patty Sandwich is a fusion recipe at its finest: easy, filling, and delicious. The cutlets are made from a blend of lentils and Indian spices that are shallow-fried until crispy. It’s great served on toasty bread with vegan cheese sauce, fresh vegetables, and chutney. Filling and flavorful, it’s a great option for a to-go lunch.
17. Buckwheat Pooris
Poori is an unleavened deep-fried bread, commonly consumed in India. This particular Buckwheat Poori is made with buckwheat flour, filled with warm mashed potatoes, and seasoned with green chili. Typically, this bread is served with curry, but you can also serve it as an appetizer.
18. Aloo Chaat: Spicy Indian Potato Snack
Aloo Chaat is a savory street food hailing from Mumbai. Baby potatoes are marinated in spices and then cooked until golden, then topped with chutney, crispy chickpea noodles, and dairy-free yogurt. The spicy sautéed potatoes are amazing just by themselves and would be amazing as a side to any dish.
19. Crispy Turmeric Curried Roasted Potatoes
Despite popular belief, potatoes are one of the healthiest foods on earth! It’s all just a matter of how you cook them. These Crispy Turmeric Curried Roasted Potatoes, for instance, are tossed with turmeric and oven roasted to crisp perfection for a flavorful, healthy, and energizing dish.
20. Indian Pan-Fried Cauliflower and Cashews
Transform cauliflower into a flavorful, Indian delight with this Indian Pan-Fried Cauliflower and Cashews. Simply cut the cauliflower into florets and fry them until they are golden brown along with turmeric, coriander, curry powder, raisins, and cashews. This light, nutty, unique, and easy-to-make dish will become a weeknight favorite!
Whether you’re Hindu or not, the triumph of good over evil is reason for everyone to celebrate. Happy Diwali!
Lead image source: Aloo Tikki: Indian Potato Patties