Diwali is right around the corner, this year it lands on Thursday, November 4th, 2021. Diwali is a festival of lights and one of the major festivals celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists. The festival usually lasts five days and is celebrated during the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika. We have picked some of the best recipes for Diwali that you should try out this year.

Image Credit: Food Styling by Lillian Chou

Khajur Ladu (Date, Pistachio, and Almond Morsels)


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups rinsed and deseeded dates, coarsely chopped
  • 1–1½ cups raw pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped

Step 1:

Heat 2 cups of whole milk in a non-stick pan. Once the milk comes to a boil, add in the 3 cups of chopped dates, and stir well. Cook and stir on medium-low for 10-15 minutes.

Step 2:

Stir in the crushed pistachio and crush almonds and mix well until it is evenly distributed. Allow it to cool until it is ready to handle.

Date balls are both nutty and fudgy without any chocolate.

Image Credit: Food Styling by Lillian Chou

Cheesy Samosa Puffs

Snack foods are an important part of Dawali and these samosas are an easy and quick recipe option.


  • 1 lb. russet potatoes (about 2 large), scrubbed
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or 2¾ tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more
  • 2 Tbsp. avocado oil or vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ⅛ tsp. asafetida
  • 1 medium serrano chile or 2 green Thai chiles, finely chopped
  • 1 1”-piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • 6 oz. cheddar, cut into ¼” cubes
  • 3 Tbsp. coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1½ tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry (two 14-oz. packages or one 17.3-oz. package), thawed
  • All-purpose flour (for dusting)
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • Ketchup, green chutney, or hot sauce (for serving)

Step 1:

Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and pour in cold water to cover 1″. Season thoroughly with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are very tender around 25–30 minutes. Drain potatoes and let sit until cool enough to handle.

Step 2:

Peel the potatoes once they are cooled enough, place them in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork until mostly smooth with some pea-size pieces remaining.

Step 3:

Heat your oil in a medium non-stick skillet on medium. Cook cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and asafetida, stirring for around 10 seconds. Add chile and ginger and cook, stirring, until softened, for around 30 seconds. Stir in coriander, turmeric, and 2¾ teaspoons of Morton kosher salt; stir for about 1 minute. Add potatoes and mix until spiced oil is mixed thoroughly. Return potato mixture to a bowl and let cool again.

Step 4:

Once cooled, stir cheese, cilantro, lime juice, garam masala, and sugar into the potato mixture. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

Step 5:

Unfold puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface and cut into eighteen 2½” squares. Roll out each square to about 4½”, then divide between 2 parchment-lined baking sheets.

Step 6:

One at a time, brush edges of the pastry with egg. Add a heaping tablespoon of potato mixture onto the center of each square. Fold pastry in half by bringing one of the top corners up and matching it up with the opposite bottom corner to make a triangle. Next, pinch edges together to seal. Brush tops with egg. Allow the puffs to chill for 15 minutes.

Step 7:

Bake puffs until pastry is golden brown around, 25–30 minutes.

Step 8:

Serve with hot sauce or green chutney. Green Chutney – Purée cilantro, mint, lime juice, chile, cumin seeds, salt, and ¼ cup water in a blender until smooth.

Image Credit: Peden + Munk

Chile-and-Yogurt-Marinated Grilled Chicken

Eating meat is not traditional for Dawali but some people do partake, if so, this is a great recipe.


  • 7 dried Kashmiri or guajillo chiles, broken into pieces, seeds removed
  • 1 (1 1/2)-inch piece ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons mustard oil (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried mango powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for the grill
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, patted dry
  • Kosher salt

Step 1:

Place chiles in a medium bowl and pour in hot water to cover. Let sit until chiles are very soft, roughly 30 minutes; drain. Blend chiles, ginger, garlic, yogurt, cilantro stems, lime juice, mustard oil (if using), coriander, paprika, mango powder, fenugreek leaves, garam masala, cumin, and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a blender until it is smooth. Transfer marinade to a large resealable plastic bag. Season chicken generously with salt and add to marinade. Seal bag and turn to coat chicken. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Step 2:

Let the chicken sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Step 3:

Set up a grill for medium heat, and then oil the grate. Remove chicken from marinade, letting excess drip back into the bag, and grill, turning every minute or so, until beginning to char in spots, around 8–10 minutes total. Transfer to a platter and let rest 5–10 minutes before serving.

Published by HOLR Magazine.