Diwali get-togethers are the highlight of the festive season. Good food, lovely company, exciting games—all in the comfort of one’s home. But if you’re the host, throwing a dinner party can get stressful. Is there a fool-proof trick to getting everything right? Yes! A sparkling but simple menu—easy to prepare, adapt (veg-non-veg) and serve—is half the battle won! Professional caterers may call it the mise en place, but we call it making life easy. How? Just scroll down.
There’s more to life than tikka shikka!
Regulars:Paneer Tikka (That universal “vegetarian option!”)
Swap with: Hara Pyaz ka Paneer Tikka
This stuffed paneer tikka that we got from the JW Marriott Kolkata menu is a delicious twist on the menu staple. Hara Pyaz ka Paneer Tikka recipe has pieces of cottage cheese stuffed with grated cheese, chopped green chillies, crushed black pepper, salt, and a few other spices. The tikka is marinated in a mixture of chana dal powder, salt, mace powder, cardamom, garam masala, almond paste, cream, and red chilli powder.
Regulars: Aloo tikki (No, not again!)
Swap with: Bhurani Dahi ke Kebab with Chutney Shots
This melt-in-mouth kebab comes from the handwritten recipe book of chef Mustaq Hashmi, executive chef, Blue Sea Catering. Prepared with hung curd whipped with roasted chana powder, chopped green chillies, chopped coriander stem, and a mélange of Indian spices, this one will be a star at your Diwali party. Arrange tangy-spicy chutney or pani puri shots as an accompaniment.
Hara bhara kebab (death by green eating)
Swap with: Stuffed Hara Bhara Candy
From the menu at Mumbai’s hip and young YoUnion, this innovative snack will add sparkle to your Diwali dinner table. Chef Momin Faqi’s hara bhara candy is not really a candy. A kebab made of chopped veggies, spinach paste and chana powder are mixed and stuffed with cheese. This is then shaped as a candy and shallow fried.
Get all the full recipes here
A lot can be achieved if you tweak your sauces from the regular to the rad!
Regulars: Spaghetti in red sauce (Read BO-red!)
Swap with: Spaghetti with Burrata and Red Pepper Orange Sauce
Is there a Diwali dinner party dish more perfect than a creamy and delicious spaghetti main? One of the gems from chef Shilarna Vaze aka chef Chinu’s catering kitchen, Gaia Gourmet, this is a spaghetti recipe cooked in a tangy and mildly sweet sauce made with red bell pepper, tomatoes, and fresh orange juice. The pasta is served with fresh burrata, basil leaves, and a generous sprinkle of basil and walnut crumbs.
Regulars: Risotto (Move on, Italian mamma)
Swap with : Paneer Makhani Risotto
To ensure your vegetarian menu stands out, try this paneer makhani risotto. From the personal recipe collection of chef Siddhesh Raut of M.I.T.R.O.N Bar & Café, Mumbai, this take on the classic risotto involves cooking the risotto in a delightful makhani gravy with cubes of paneer. It is finished off with fresh cream and grated parmesan cheese.
Pro tip: To avoid the hassle of cooking separate veg and non-veg mains, keep some makhani gravy separate and add a few pieces of boneless chicken to it. Cook this until the chicken soaks in the flavours of the gravy and mix with the risotto. Your non-vegetarian friends will love the Murgh Makhani Risotto.
Get all the full recipes here
A taste of traditional, with twist. Pro tip: Keep it subtle, and slurpy.
Regular: Besan Laddu (Yummy, but needs to get party ready)
Swap with: Saffron and Besan Laddu Cheesecake
The talented folks at Foodhall have come up with a twist to the traditional Diwali dessert. Delicious, ghee-soaked besan laddus are crushed and mixed with some butter to create the base, on which lies a layer of light and frothy cheesecake infused with saffron.
Regular: Kheer (We love it, but can you make it less messy and more healthy?)
Swap with: Dates & Milk Crumble
This dates & milk crumble will find a special place in the hearts and minds of dry fruit lovers among you. Created by chef Tarun Sibal of One Fine Meal, this is a juicy date and golden brown khoya crumble garnished with slivers of almonds and pistachios and dried rose petals. You can also use fresh edible flowers to garnish the dates & milk crumble.