The festival of lights is marked by millions across the world, and while its origins – as Mallika Basu explained in this paper last year – can be traced to the Hindu epic of Ramayana, Sikhs and Jains commemorate the festivities as well. As Basu put it, “Diwali transcends religion and location to remind us of the value of unfailing hope, hard work and the relationships that matter, despite the darkest of times.”
While Covid, the great interrupter, means celebrations this year are likely to be somewhat muted – a ban on household mixing will do that – a number of restaurants are offering takeaway and delivery, so at least the five days can be enjoyed with a full belly. If you’re more into making things from scratch than ordering in, Kutir chef Rohit Ghai has plenty of tips and easy-to-follow recipes over on Amazon Prime, with his “Michelin Star Cooking” series; watch it here.
Away from the food, Canary Wharf is lit up with a free display of florals; head over to the water features in Jubilee Park to watch floating flowers lit with flickering candles. More information can be found on this page.
Newly opened Fitzrovia favourite Pali Hill are putting on a feast for Diwali, with head chef Avinash Shashidhara offering a whole shoulder of lamb, served with rice dish Navratan pulao, the restaurant’s signature breads and the fresh kachumber. Appropriately, a candle is included to light the meal.
The Cinnamon Kitchen
Just in time for the five days of celebrations, Vivek Singh has launched a range of “Feast at Home” kits, which are available for delivery nationwide. They’re aimed more for celebrating generally, but the Shaan–E–Raan (a braised, Mughal-style lamb leg served with nutmeg and peppercorn sauce, biryani rice and 24-hour simmered black lentils) seems suitably celebratory for a Diwali blow-out, and feeds five.
The popular group have added a series of festive specials to their delivery menu. From now until November 19, tuck into a series of Bengali favourites, including a jackfruit kofta curry, Hyderabadi lamb with baby potatoes and prawn malai, where prawns come cooked in a gravy of spicy coconut milk. Prices vary according to what’s ordered, but every order above £30 gets two free Kingfisher beers (or soft drinks).
Peter Joseph, the head chef at this Belgravia spot, is offering an indulgent platter for two on his Diwali Dawat menu. Joseph’s includes six sharing dishes, three sides and pudding; dishes include organic chicken tikka, grilled stone bass and lamb chops, with vegetarian options including tandoori broccoli, masala-grilled avocado and spiced green pea cakes.