If you’re planning truly decadent Diwali celebrations on 11th November, it’s not enough to simply light up the night with the brightest fireworks in the neighbourhood and ignite a load of diyas to guide Rama and Sita home safely.
No – you want your guests’ eyes to light up as they alight on the sumptuous sweetmeats and scrumptious savouries set out before them. You want divine decorations and drinks to die for. You want to give your nearest and dearest gifts that make them feel luckier than Lakshmi (and let them know you have great taste to boot). In short, you want to take a good long look at the very cool items on the Diwali hotlist below.
The big fat bumper box
A hamper’s not just for Christmas – especially when it’s as stuffed with spicy stuff as Spice Collective’s. Everything included has an Indian accent, from the cookbook to the chocolate; the chutney to the chevdo. Bringing together brilliant brands like Holy Lama Spice Drops, Dips, Cheeky Food Co. and Spice Kitchen, it’s a full-on festival in a box.
It’s a safe bet you’ll eat more than your fair share of snacks this Diwali – and equally certain that many will be made even lovelier with a smear of this here relish. Mild yet wild, it’s absolutely addictive.
Give standard chevdo the heave-ho and try Delhish’s not-Bombay mix instead. A finger-licking, crunchilicious combo of nuts, lentils, chilli, flaked corn, split chickpeas, puffed rice, spice and all things nice.
Create conversation with your chaat with one simple trick – a trickle of this tangy tamarind chutney. At once sweet, sour and spicy, it’s a beautifully-balanced, fourth-generation recipe for success.
Cashew-based, marzipan-like kaju sweets are auspicious and delicious Diwali gifts – and Delhish’s handmade-in-Britain box contains a range of silver-dusted styles with substance.
Inside these tempting truffles’ dark coating, mellow milk chocolate meets Asian rose, English quince, Bourbon vanilla and honey. A treat fit for – and initially made for – a Maharajah.
The bling shouldn’t stop with your Diwali sari. This fabulously OTT creation will steal the show at any gourmet gathering – and the rich fruitcake tastes every bit as good as it looks.
The combination of sweet, creamy white chocolate with fragrant rose and hand-gathered Persion saffron calls to mind kheer. These are evocative, intriguing, and unashamedly indulgent.
A double dozen chocolate paisleys in various shimmering shades to use as you choose – from popping atop freshly-baked cupcakes to scattering on the dining table as fine-flavoured favours.
Your cookies will look smart if you whip them into shape with this unusual stainless steel Diwali diya cutter – and so will you when you serve up a platter of beautifully festive biscuits.
Body & Soul
Aside from sensational Spice Drops, Holy Lama purveys wholly brilliant bodycare bits like this quartet of massage oils; each one delivering different benefits to both body and mind.
This compact guide is equally at home bunged in a backpack or on the shelf of an ardent armchair traveller; the author offering endlessly-engaging insight into the eponymous countries.
Don’t just give a gorgeous gift – seal the deal by wrapping it in colourful block-printed elephant-laden paper, made from cotton offcuts to a seventeenth-century Indian technique
Whether it’s used to dry dishes or has pride of place as a piece of wall art, this tea towel is a real treat, featuring a bold geometric print of precariously stacked clay chai cups.
These are coasters for the hosts with the most. Whether they’re ‘your cuppa chai’ or ‘the chilli to your paneer’, get the message across in a super-cute yet perfectly practical manner.
Lotus flowers denote beauty, fertility, prosperity, spirituality and eternity. These hand-made, hand-drawn paper flowers are all unique and can come in any colour you choose.
Bring on the bling! Bestow one of these bejewelled, boldly-coloured statement silk cash envelopes upon anyone who likes to flash the cash and needs somewhere to stash it.
Toiletries might be a common gift, but toilet paper?? If it’s Design Temple’s humorous stuff, it’s entirely acceptable. ‘Cheerharan’ (stripping of the sari) references a famous 4th-century Indian epic.
Smooth, dark and rich. It’s not a Bollywood star, it’s this rum. Double-filtered through charcoal, its complex character speaks of molasses, brown sugar, spicy vanilla, wood, coffee and pepper.
Whether your guests drink until they teeter or are totally teetotal, this scented syrup is a handy standby; its floral flavour equally at home in a cocktail or something somewhat softer.
Love Dishoom’s chocolate chai? Try Jaz & Jul’s supremely indulgent hot choc, laced with the creators’ signature spice blend and based on great-quality Madagascan chocolate.
- To read more about The Chocolatier’s Indian-inspired chocolates, click here
- For delicious Diwali recipe ideas, click here
- To read more about Indian sweets, click here
- For Indian-accented cake recipes, click here
- To read more about That Hungry Chef Pratap Chahal, click here