Diwali Recipes

It's the Festival of Lights! Celebrate with traditional Indian sweets and savory snacks, including halwa, samosas, and barfi.

Staff Picks

Simple Besan Ladoo

Rating: 3.5 stars 2
If you are like me and like the taste of besan in sweets, then you will love Besan Laddu. What is even better is that it is very easy to make and it keeps well for many days. Not that it will last that long.

Kulfi

Rating: 4.5 stars 118
This is a simple but delicious recipe for Kulfi (Indian Ice Cream) that I got from my sister-in-law. I have made this several times, and it always gets rave reviews - even the kids love it! For extra flavor, you could add a few drops of rose water or ground pistachios.

Banana Malpua (Fried Indian Pancake for Diwali)

Malpua is an Indian pancake-like dessert fried in oodles of ghee and sugar syrup. The traditional sweet has been a festive staple since eons. For the longest time in Indian households, malpuas were associated with something celebratory. This is very popular in Northern and Eastern part of the country and the history goes back to the days of Aryans. This mouthwatering dish is prepared nowadays during Eid or Holi or during Diwali.

Shahi Tukra (Indian Bread Pudding)

Rating: 4 stars 1
This is a very famous Hyderabadi dish and is a very simple, but rich dessert. It is great for a large dinner party as the recipe can be easily multiplied to make more. It is best eaten chilled. If available, you can add a few drops of Kewra essence to the milk mixture once it has cooled.

Chicken Biryani

Rating: 4.5 stars 158
For a traditional Pakistani/Indian dish, simmer tender morsels of chicken in a creamy, spicy blend of onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, tomatoes, yogurt, mint, cardamom and cinnamon. Finish by steaming with fragrant saffron rice and potatoes.
By Allrecipes Member

Baked Onion Bhajis

Rating: 5 stars 1
A healthier alternative to the deep-fried onion bhajis you find in Indian restaurants. These are baked and exceedingly tasty. They are sweet, tender and very Moorish. Serve hot as an appetizer or starter.
By Allrecipes Member

Crispy Vegetable Pakoras

Rating: 4.5 stars 111
These are very yummy, and if any of you have ever had Japanese tempura coated veggies, you'll love this recipe. It's similar, yet it is unique in it's taste. Serve with a chili sauce, mint yogurt sauce, or sweet and sour sauce. Try other vegetables for dipping, such as sweet potatoes, broccoli and asparagus.

Dal Makhani (Indian Lentils)

Rating: 4.5 stars 80
Ever go to an Indian restaurant and wonder how they make those lentils? I hated lentils before I discovered Indian food. Then I scoured the internet to figure out how they achieved them, and through mixing and matching recipes and methods on videos, I've arrived at this recipe, which I think is pretty close. This version is very rich, but you can leave out the cream to make it lighter. Kasuri methi (fenugreek leaves) is almost impossible to find in the U.S., even in NYC, but it gives this dish something very special.

Air Fryer Pakoras

Rating: 5 stars 2
All the things you love about pakoras but without the guilt by air frying instead of deep frying. Don't forget the yogurt dipping sauce!

Gulab Jamun

Rating: 3.5 stars 48
This is a traditional Indian dessert. Spongy milky balls soaked in rose scented syrup. Delicious with fresh cream, Kulfi, ice cream etc. To make it even more fancy, sprinkle gold-leaf on top of each serving.

Samosas

Rating: 4 stars 43
These stuffed savory pastries are a traditional Indian favorite. Lamb meat and spices are cooked together to create a mouthwatering filling for the easy to make dough. The recipe may seem complex, but it's actually fairly simple. Enjoy!

Chef John's Tandoori Chicken

Rating: 4.5 stars 40
Tandoori chicken gets its name from the clay oven it is traditionally cooked in, the tandoor. The chicken is marinated in yogurt and an incredibly complex mix of spices, and then roasted in the extremely hot tandoor oven. Don't worry if you don't have a tandoor clay oven sitting in the backyard; a grill will work just fine.
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Inspiration and Ideas

19 Indian Sweets and Snacks for a Festive Diwali
Celebrate Diwali with traditional recipes for easy-to-make Indian sweets and savory snacks.
Lamb (Gosht) Biryani
Rating: Unrated 35
Biryani is a bit of a project and is time-consuming, but I have never been disappointed with the results. Since it is such a festive dish, I usually make it for dinner parties. It is a huge hit.
Easy Naan
Rating: 4.5 stars 10

Using your broiler is a great way to make naan. This naan recipe is deceptively easy! You can choose to make garlic naan or plain naan. Enjoy with your favorite curry!