Super excited to share all of my fun and festive Diwali Recipes with you! This recipe collection includes traditional sweets and savories as well as my modern take on classic and fusion foods. I am also including easy, tasty, and colorful appetizers that are sure to be a hit at your next Diwali Party!
What is Diwali
Celebrated over 5 days in autumn, Diwali, the festival of lights, is India’s biggest and most popular festival. Diwali signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair – ideologies that are at the core of my family’s values.
Passing Down The Art of Making Diwali Recipes
Every time my mom visits us, I make sure to learn at least a few Diwali recipes. Now over the years, I have learned many traditional recipes like Shankarpali, laddu, Bhajani Chakli, Karanji, and Spinach Sev. I have slowly mastered the art of roasting flour, making dough, and learning the technique of carefully frying while keeping a close eye on the colors and textures. I have shared all of the tips and tricks with detailed step-by-step photos in each recipe so you have fail-proof results every single time.
Diwali Recipe Collection
Diwali Sweets, Snacks and Appetizers
Here is a collection of festive Diwali recipes including sweet and savory recipes that can be made ahead. In Maharashtra where I grew up these special Diwali recipes are called "Diwali Faral". Each family will have its own version and it's so fun when we exchange the Diwali Faral platters with neighbors.
Sweet treats or desserts have always been a big part of Indian festivals and celebrations. Each family may have a different variation of the sweet treats they make to celebrate the festival of colors. Here are my favorite Diwali sweets!
Besan Ladoo are creamy, melt-in-the-mouth dessert balls. These Laddu or Ladu are made with besan/gram flour, ghee and sugar, laced with aromatic cardamom, nutmeg and saffron.
Another dessert ball recipe made with freshly grated coconut, roasted semolina with the aromatic cardamom & saffron. Check out this recipe with all the tips and tricks to make perfect rava ladoo.
Balushahi is a heavenly Indian dessert that dresses up any celebration! These pretty little yogurt cakes are shaped into donut-like rounds which are fried, then bathed in a luxurious rose and cardamom syrup. The result is a sweet flaky surface, a tender cakey interior, and the pure pleasure of beautiful Indian flavors - ghee, rose, cardamom, and saffron.
Shankarpali or Shakarpara is a crispy & lightly sweetened snack prepared using few pantry ingredients. These irresistible bite-sized sugar cookies can be prepared ahead of time and make for a perfect snack that can be enjoyed year around.
Chirote is a flaky, layered, pastry-like treat glazed with aromatic rose-cardamom-flavored syrup. Traditionally they are deep-fried which brings out the beautiful layers and makes them crispy and light. In this recipe, I am also sharing how to air fry them for a healthier twist and sharing an easier alternative to sugar syrup!
Rose Coconut Karanji or Gujiya is a crispy pastry filled with sweet and delicate rose flavored coconut filling that simply melts in your mouth.
ou might be surprised by how few ingredients you need to make this beloved Indian dessert. The magic behind the fudgy, melt-in-your-mouth texture of Besan Ki Barfi is in how each element is treated and combined. The simple base of besan flour, ghee, sugar syrup, and spices is transformed into a rich and fragrant delicacy!
Creamy! Tangy! Sweet! Made with thick yogurt, sugar, cardamom, and saffron Shrikhand is a must-try Indian dessert. Saffron-laced Shrikhand is the easiest homemade Indian sweet that requires no cooking, can be made ahead, and will instantly elevate the simplest of a meal.
A cool and lush mango flavored dessert made with creamy yogurt and sweet mangoes, garnished with aromatic saffron. This is my favorite no-cook dessert for Indian festivals as it can be made ahead and is loved by all.
Make this super easy treat for your family! Each square looks like a pretty picture with Pistachios, Rose Petals & Apricots against the creamy Cardamom White Chocolate. A perfect dessert for the festival of colors using some of our favorite flavors.
Feeding a crowd? Try this stunning Crinkle Cake that is easy to make! It has that pretty sheen and crinkly swirled top of a fancy pastry, but is actually a simple dessert based on store-bought frozen phyllo dough!
Crispy, sticky, sweet, irresistible–that is the one and only Jalebi! My mom’s recipe for the best Jalebi needs no fermentation, is ready in under an hour, and stays perfectly crunchy for days! These Instant Jalebis have it all—light crisp dough to soak up sweet cardamom-saffron syrup and that essential lemony tang.
Creamy, lightly sweetened Rice Pudding AKA ‘Kheer’ is infused with fragrant saffron and cardamom. In India, Rice pudding is also known as kheer, phirni or payasam in different states with slight variation but same comforting flavors.
Presenting a new family favorite, Badam Burfi – an aromatic Indian dessert with a delightful balance of a mild sweet taste and a light fudgy texture. Unbelievably easy to make, this almond fudge leaves your kitchen smelling like a million bucks, as the fragrances of cardamom and saffron weave a perfect harmony with the earthy and flavorful almond flour.
Kalakand is a delectable, melt-in-the-mouth dessert whipped up in Indian homes for festivals and celebrations. A moist and flavorful milk cake, Kalakand has a nutty floral aroma and delicate grainy texture. Laced with cardamom and saffron, and dressed up in bright green pistachios, this exotic mithai always stands out amongst the finest of Indian dessert spreads.
Anjeer Halwa or Dry Fruit Halwa is a popular Indian Dessert. This 5 ingredient Fig Walnut halwa laced with cardamom, is my modern take on the traditional fig dessert. I have included both Instant Pot and stovetop recipes for this refined sugar-free, must-try dessert.
Sheera is a traditional Indian dessert made using fine semolina(Rava or Sooji), ghee, and sugar, laced with aromatic cardamom. Ready in under 30 minutes this easy-to-make pudding uses just a handful of pantry ingredients and is perfect for a quick dessert.
Pineapple Sheera is an exotic, tropical tasting dessert made with sweet and tangy pineapple cooked with ghee roasted semolina garnished with aromatic saffron and nuts.
Gajar ka halwa is a popular Indian dessert made with grated carrots cooked in ghee, milk, aromatic cardamom, saffron and garnished with nuts and raisins. Enjoyed warm or cold, this make ahead dessert is ready in under 30 minutes using the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.
Another popular Indian dessert, Dudhi Halwa is a creamy pudding made with grated bottle gourd also known as lauki. This perfectly sweetened, creamy pudding is traditionally laced with cardamom but feel free to add vanilla extract instead for a surprise twist.
5-ingredient dessert with a soft melt-in-mouth, fudgy texture, this coconut mango burfi has fragrant Alphonso mango pulp that makes this dessert heavenly. This must-try recipe has my favorite ingredients - coconut and mango - if you love them too, make this recipe today!
Heavenly Mango Cheesecake! The smooth textures and flavors of this divine creamy tangy mango cheesecake are elevated with a perfectly crumbly crust for a decadent treat. Best of all, this radiant golden cheesecake is easy to make using the Instant Pot.
Lighter than the traditional cheese cake, this perfectly sweetened ricotta cheesecake is laced with delicate notes of rose & cardamom. The buttery pistachio crust will remind you of the nutty baklava and is a must-try recipe that will win everyones heart over.
Luscious Rice Kheer with cardamom-rose flavored Berry Compote! A fun fusion recipe with creamy rice kheer pudding served over sweet-tangy berry compote and garnished with slivered pistachios and dried rose petals. A show-stopper dessert that is easy to make and fun to eat!
Diwali Savory Snacks and Appetizers
Here are some of the snacks and appetizers that are quick and super tasty! Recipes like Chakli, Chivda, and Sev can be made and enjoyed for a few weeks and can be added to your Diwali Faral Platter. Hot appetizers like onion pakora, samosa, and chat make for crowd-pleaser party appetizers.
Chakli is a delightfully scrumptious snack that is often made in India during the Diwali festival. Also known as Chakri, these spiral-shaped crunchy snacks are made using the perfect blend of lentils and spices. Deep-fried to golden brown perfection, chaklis are lightly spiced with turmeric and chili packing in an explosion of flavors in every bite.
Palak or Spinach Sev are crunchy savory noodles with a delightful bright green hue to complement the tantalizing spices. A twist to the regular chickpea sev, these gluten-free garlicky noodles have a mildly spicy flavor from green chilies. Quick to make, these utterly delicious noodles are a great snack or party starter!
A light, crispy snack the Poha Chivda is a traditional snack from Maharashtra (Western India) where I grew up. My mom often made this tasty, can't-stop-eating savory mid-day snack made from roasted flattened rice. Low in calories, this roasted Chivda is easy to make with a few optional add-ins that enhance its flavor and texture.
Murmura Chivda is a crunchy savory snack made with roasted puffed rice, and nuts, and spiced with turmeric and green chili. This healthy and light gluten-free, and vegan snack is easy to make and perfect paired with a cup of chai.
Namak Pare are light and crispy bite-sized savory Indian crackers made with flour and spices. Traditionally deep-fried, they can also be air fried for a healthier option. A simple recipe with pantry ingredients these homemade light and tasty crackers are a must-try!
These golden-crisp onion fritters are jam-packed with flavors from green chilies, red Kashmiri chili, garlic, carom seeds, turmeric, and of course onions! Serve this epic dish as a snack with green chutney or ketchup or serve it alongside your favorite Indian meal.
Onion Bhajis are naturally Gluten-Free and Vegan, a wonderful bite to be enjoyed by all!
hese awesome Air Fryer Zucchini Chips make a healthy and delicious one-bite appetizer that’s just perfect for entertaining. They’re light, crispy, and so satisfying dipped in the tangy yogurt sauce. The Indian spiced zucchini coins have so much flavor and the grab-and-go size lets guests nibble and mingle with ease!
There is something so fun and inviting about mini appetizers and finger foods. Don’t they just make a party?? I love seeing my guests happily talking and grazing. All the oohs and ahhs over how cute bite-sized food is. These Mushroom Tartlets are so tasty, extremely easy to make, and bake in just 6-8 minutes so you can keep those plates full.
With chunks of paneer, crunchy sweet peppers, and onions marinated in yogurt and warm spices and cooked to perfection, Paneer Tikka makes for the best Indian appetizer. Traditionally the skewers are is cooked in a tandoor oven. But here is my EASY and simple version that can be cooked in an air fryer or an oven in just 10 minutes.
When the calendar fills up with work and school, I look for things to make that are quick and easy, can be made ahead, and still have that wow-factor flavor. With a simple combo of fresh and frozen ingredients, these Jalapeno Cheese Samosas come together in a flash! A flaky crispy shell holds the spicy, melty cheese filling with little bursts of sweet corn goodness.
Popular Indian street food, Paneer Kathi Rolls are warm, layered parathas filled with spicy paneer, mixed peppers, and sweet caramelized onions. Whether you make it for a quick weeknight meal or a leisurely gathering, these Kathi rolls are sure to be a hit!
Sweet, Spicy & Tangy this Tater Tots Chaat is loaded with an incredible combination of flavors and textures. A simpler version of the traditional North-Indian Aloo chaat, this recipe uses crispy air-fried tater tots that are layered with chickpeas, creamy yogurt, spicy green chutney, sweet-tangy tamarind chutney, crunchy onions, and sev.
Popular street food from India, Dahi Puri is a crunchy, savory dish packed with layers of tangy, sweet, and spicy flavors with a perfect balance of texture and aromas that are a feast to the eyes! Making Dahi Puri at home is easy as it needs minimal cooking. Super versatile as an appetizer, snack, or light vegetarian meal.
With flavor explosion in every bite, Papdi Chaat is crunchy wheat chips topped with creamy potatoes, dressed with cooling yogurt, spicy bright green chutney, sweet-tangy tamarind chutney, crunchy sev, and ground spices. A delicious appetizer, snack, or a light vegetarian meal that is easy to prepare and quick to assemble.
A stunning contrast of colors and a crispy tang are the hallmarks of this visually delightful and incredibly delicious snack. Aloo Chaat in Phyllo Cups is a fusion of the all-time favorite potatoes, sweet-spicy chutneys, and lightly sweetened creamy yogurt. Dressed up in crunchy sev and bright red pomegranate pearls, this tantalizing snack is one of the most easily assembled party popular.
Kothimbir Vadi is a Western Indian delicacy, made with fresh cilantro and gram flour perfectly spiced with chili, garlic, and ground turmeric. This Instant Pot recipe uses a simple method so you can have this traditional Maharashtrian dish ready in no time! A gluten-free and vegan dish for a perfect breakfast, snack, side dish, or appetizer.
I’m thrilled to share these Diwali recipes with you. I hope you enjoy these easy Indian sweet and savory snack recipes in your home as much as we do.
May the divine light of Diwali bring into your life peace, prosperity, happiness, and good health. Happy Diwali and Enjoy!
Leave a Reply