What are the traditional Diwali foods?

Holidays and Celebrations

Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is one of the most important Hindu festivals celebrated across India and by Hindus around the world. It is a time of joy, happiness, and feasting with family and friends. Food plays a significant role during Diwali, with a wide variety of traditional dishes prepared and enjoyed. In this article, we will explore the different types of food that are commonly eaten during Diwali, including sweets, snacks, and main course dishes.

The significance of food during Diwali

Food holds great cultural and religious significance during Diwali. It is believed that during this festival, the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, visits homes that are clean and well-decorated, and she brings prosperity and abundance. Therefore, people prepare elaborate meals and offer them to the deities as a way of seeking blessings for wealth and prosperity. The food is then shared with family, friends, and neighbors, spreading joy and happiness.

Sweets and desserts

Sweets, or mithai, are an integral part of Diwali celebrations. They are prepared in abundance and shared with loved ones. Here are some popular Diwali sweets:


Ladoo is a round-shaped sweet made from various ingredients like flour, sugar, ghee (clarified butter), and nuts. Some common types of ladoo include besan ladoo (made from chickpea flour), coconut ladoo, and motichoor ladoo.

Gulab Jamun

Gulab jamun is a soft and spongy sweet made from khoya (reduced milk solids) and soaked in sugar syrup. It is often flavored with cardamom and rose water, giving it a distinct aroma.


Barfi is a fudge-like sweet made from condensed milk, sugar, and various flavors like pistachio, almond, or coconut. It is often garnished with silver leaf (varak) and cut into diamond-shaped pieces.


Jalebi is a crispy and syrupy sweet made from fermented batter, deep-fried in a spiral shape, and then soaked in sugar syrup. It is often served hot and enjoyed with a cup of masala chai (spiced tea).

DOC VS NURSE VS PA: তাদের মধ্যে পার্থক্য কতটা নাটকীয়?

এমডি বনাম আরএন | ভবিষ্যৎ ডাক্তাররা নার্সদের কাছ থেকে কী শিখতে পারেন

Snacks and savories

Along with sweets, a wide variety of snacks and savories are prepared during Diwali. These snacks are often enjoyed with tea or as an accompaniment to the main course. Here are some popular Diwali snacks:

Namak Pare

Namak pare are crispy and savory snacks made from wheat flour, salt, and spices. They are deep-fried until golden brown and are perfect for munching on during Diwali.


Chakli is a spiral-shaped savory snack made from a mixture of rice flour, gram flour, and spices. The dough is shaped using a special chakli press and then deep-fried until crispy.


Mathri is a flaky and crispy snack made from refined flour, semolina, and spices. It is often flavored with ajwain (carom seeds) and can be enjoyed with chutneys or pickles.


Samosa is a popular Indian snack made from a crispy outer covering filled with a savory mixture of potatoes, peas, and spices. It is deep-fried and often served with chutney.

Main course dishes

While sweets and snacks dominate the Diwali menu, there are also some mouthwatering main course dishes prepared during the festival. These dishes are often served during the grand feast that takes place on the main day of Diwali. Here are a few popular main course dishes:


Pulao is a fragrant rice dish cooked with various spices, vegetables, and sometimes meat or seafood. It is often garnished with fried onions and served with raita (yogurt-based side dish).

Paneer Tikka

Paneer tikka is a popular vegetarian dish made from marinated and grilled cubes of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) along with bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes. It is often served as an appetizer or as part of the main course.

Chicken Biryani

Chicken biryani is a flavorful and aromatic rice dish made with basmati rice, marinated chicken, and a blend of spices. It is often garnished with fried onions, mint, and coriander leaves.

Malai Kofta

Malai kofta is a rich and creamy vegetarian dish made from deep-fried dumplings made with paneer and potato, served in a tomato-based gravy. It is often enjoyed with naan or rice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can you provide a recipe for making Gulab Jamun at home?

A: Sure! Here’s a simple recipe for making Gulab Jamun at home:

Ingredients: Instructions:
– 1 cup khoya 1. Take the khoya in a bowl and crumble it using your fingers.
– 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 2. Add the all-purpose flour, cardamom powder, and a pinch of baking soda to the crumbled khoya.
– 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder 3. Mix well to form a smooth dough. If the dough feels dry, you can add a little milk.
– A pinch of baking soda 4. Divide the dough into small portions and shape them into round balls.
– Vegetable oil for frying 5. Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan and fry the balls on medium heat until golden brown.
– 1 cup sugar 6. In a separate pan, prepare sugar syrup by dissolving sugar in water and boiling it until it reaches a sticky consistency.
– 1 cup water 7. Once the balls are fried, transfer them to the sugar syrup and let them soak for 15-20 minutes.
– Rose water (optional) 8. Optional: You can add a few drops of rose water to the syrup for added flavor.
9. Serve the Gulab Jamun warm or at room temperature, garnished with chopped nuts.

Q: Are there any special dietary restrictions during Diwali?

A: Diwali is a time of indulgence, and people often enjoy a wide variety of sweets and snacks. However, it is important to consume these treats in moderation, especially if you have dietary restrictions or health concerns. If you have diabetes, it is advisable to opt for sugar-free sweets or consume them in small quantities. For those following a vegan or vegetarian diet, there are plenty of options available, such as vegan versions of traditional sweets and snacks.

Q: Can you suggest some healthy alternatives to traditional Diwali sweets?

A: Absolutely! If you’re looking for healthier alternatives to traditional Diwali sweets, here are a few ideas:

  • Replace sugar with natural sweeteners like dates, jaggery, or honey.
  • Make fruit-based desserts like fruit salad, fruit custard, or baked fruit with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  • Prepare dry fruit and nut bars or energy balls using ingredients like dates, nuts, and seeds.
  • Opt for baked versions of traditional sweets instead of deep-fried ones.

Q: Are there any specific rituals associated with food during Diwali?

A: Yes, there are several rituals associated with food during Diwali. One common tradition is preparing and sharing homemade sweets and snacks with family, friends, and neighbors. It is also customary to offer a portion of the prepared food to deities as a form of gratitude and seeking blessings. Additionally, some households follow the tradition of making a special dish called Poha (flattened rice) and offering it to the deities during Diwali morning.

Q: Can you provide a recipe for making Samosa at home?

A: Certainly! Here’s a simple recipe for making Samosa at home:

Ingredients: Instructions:
– 2 cups all-purpose flour 1. In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, salt, and carom seeds.
– 1/2 teaspoon salt 2. Add ghee (clarified butter) to the flour mixture and rub it with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs.
– 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds 3. Add water gradually and knead the mixture into a firm dough. Cover it and let it rest for 30 minutes.
– 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) 4. In a separate pan, heat oil and add cumin seeds. Once they splutter, add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a minute.
– 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 5. Add chopped onions and cook until they turn golden brown. Then, add mashed potatoes, peas, and spices.
– 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste 6. Mix well and cook for a few minutes. Remove from heat and let the filling cool.
– 2 medium-sized potatoes, boiled and mashed 7. Divide the dough into small portions and roll each portion into a thin circle.
– 1/4 cup green peas 8. Cut each circle in half and shape it into a cone. Seal the edges with water.
– Spices (such as coriander powder, red chili powder, garam masala, and amchur powder) 9. Fill each cone with the potato filling and seal the top by pressing the edges together.
– Vegetable oil for frying 10. Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan and deep-fry the samosas on medium heat until golden brown.
11. Serve the samosas hot with mint chutney or tamarind chutney.

Q: Are there any regional variations in Diwali food?

A: Yes, there are regional variations in Diwali food across different parts of India. For example, in North India, popular dishes like Chole Bhature (chickpea curry with fried bread), Poori Halwa (deep-fried bread with semolina pudding), and Kheer (rice pudding) are commonly prepared during Diwali. In South India, dishes like Murukku (spiral-shaped snack), Payasam (sweet rice pudding), and Vada (deep-fried lentil fritters) are popular. Similarly, each region has its own unique set of traditional dishes that are prepared and enjoyed during Diwali.

Q: Can you provide a recipe for making Paneer Tikka at home?

A: Of course! Here’s a simple recipe for making Paneer Tikka at home:

Ingredients: Instructions:
– 250 grams paneer (Indian cottage cheese) 1. Cut the paneer into cubes and keep them aside.
– 1 bell pepper, cut into cubes 2. In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, and salt.
– 1 onion, cut into cubes 3. Add the paneer cubes, bell pepper, onion, and tomato to the marinade. Mix well to coat them evenly.
– 1 tomato, cut into cubes 4. Cover the bowl and let the paneer and vegetables marinate for at least 30 minutes.
– 1/2 cup yogurt 5. Meanwhile, preheat the grill or oven to medium-high heat.
– 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste 6. Thread the marinated paneer, bell pepper, onion, and tomato onto skewers.
– 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder 7. Grill the skewers for 10-12 minutes, turning them occasionally, until the paneer and vegetables are cooked and slightly charred.
– 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder 8. Serve the Paneer Tikka hot with mint chutney and lemon wedges.
– 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
– Salt to taste

Q: Is there a specific order in which the Diwali feast is served?

A: While there is no specific order in which the Diwali feast is served, it is common to start with snacks and savories like namak pare, chakli, and mathri. These are usually served with tea or as appetizers. This is followed by the main course dishes like pulao, paneer tikka, chicken biryani, and malai kofta. Finally, the meal concludes with a variety of sweets and desserts like ladoo, gulab jamun, barfi, and jalebi. However, the order may vary depending on personal preferences and regional customs.

Q: What is the best way to store Diwali sweets and snacks?

A: To ensure the freshness and longevity of Diwali sweets and snacks, it is important to store them properly. Here are some tips:

  • Store sweets and snacks in airtight containers to prevent them from absorbing moisture and becoming stale.
  • Keep different varieties of sweets and snacks in separate containers to preserve their individual flavors and textures.
  • Store the containers in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight.
  • If possible, refrigerate perishable sweets like milk-based barfi or kheer to extend their shelf life.
  • Consume the sweets and snacks within a week or as per their individual shelf life recommendations.


Diwali is not only a festival of lights but also a festival of flavors and culinary delights. The traditional foods prepared and enjoyed during Diwali reflect the rich cultural diversity of India. From the mouthwatering sweets like ladoo and gulab jamun to the savory snacks like namak pare and samosa, Diwali offers a gastronomic experience like no other. So, this Diwali, indulge in the delightful array of flavors and celebrate the festival with joy, togetherness, and of course, delicious food!

Rate article
Add a comment