Diwali has become far better known in the UK and celebrated outside the Indian community and beyond that one afternoon in primary schools where children would participate in a play about Rama and Sita. as the only Indian girl at my primary school I automatically won the prestige of playing Sita with no competition which would become the only time I played a leading role in a dramatic production.
While I would have liked to have posted my recipe for diwali before it actually kicked off to give out some inspiration for your celebrations, the fact that I made them on diwali and really wanted to wait for photos means that this is coming pretty late, but, it is the start of a festive party period, I would argue, and all of these recipes are great all year round.
It was mainly a table full of north Indian fare such but with some south Indian flavours included with the salmon curry. and I must admit I ran out of steam by the time it got to pudding but there were more than enough Indian sweets and tarts provided by guests to finish off the meal.
The salmon curry was a slight adjustment to the baked salmon recipe but rather than baking it the sauce was cooked on the stove as per this recipe with 2 can of coconut milk and curry leaves added to the sauce. The salmon was marinated overnight then baked in a foil parcel and gently stirred into the sauce.
The chicken biryani was my tried and tested recipe and was a good complement to the curry and the naan bought from the amazing shop in finsbury park that only sells naan (Bakhtiar's Naan) and acted as the mop for any remaining sauce.
The aloo tikki was topped with melt in the mouth chick peas (chaat) and the recipe for both is posted here. I also made a simpler version of the chicken saag, with just spinach which was a rich and creamy side dish that went very well with the salmon and biryani. Another variation was that I stirred in a generous amount of butter near the of end of cooking process. I wanted to do something different with some paneer rather than the usual saag paneer so I made some paneer kebabs which was a great snack and accompaniment to the richer curries.
Everything was washed down with a mango lassi (recipe here) and for those who needed a cooling affect, some dahi bhalla - a yoghurt dish with fried and cooled lentil dumplings, lashings of yoghurt and topped with chopped tomato, onions, a masala mix and tamarind chutney. Recipe for that coming soon.
I hope you enjoy trying out some of these dishes over the festive period!