Diwali is just around the corner now and we can’t keep our excitement at bay anymore. Personally, it is my favourite festival of the year for many different reasons. From dressing up in new clothes to decking up home with lights, diyas and rangoli, but the best part is the food.  This year Diwali will be celebrated on 4th November 2021 and I can’t wait to gorge on all the deliciousness that comes along with the festivity. Dubbed as the 'Festival of Lights', Diwali honesty should also be called festival of food since it is truly the time when we simply want to let go our guards and gorge on everything from biryani to barfis. Besides, it brings people together for a week-long festivity that begin on Dhanteras and go on till Bhai Dooj. And while it is celebrated across the country with much fervour, the traditions, foods and rituals may differ from state to state. 

While in northern India, we enjoy mithais such as kaju katli, soan papdi, ladoos, etc., along with savoury snacks such as papdi chaat and namak pare, southern states too have their own share of signature delicacies to enjoy Diwali. Here we have five dishes prepared and relished around Diwali in South India:

1. Thenkhuzal Murukku

Think Diwali in Tamil Nadu and it won’t be complete without crispy and crunchy Thenkuzhal Murukku. Literally translating to 'tubes of honey',’Thenkuzhal’ Murukku is a savoury snack, which is prepared on Diwali or ‘Krishna Jayanti’ in the state. Prepared with rice flour and urad dal flour, which are mixed together and then roasted for close to 2 -3 minutes, Thekhuzal Murukku has a longer shelf life of up to 2-3 weeks, and thus it is often made in big batches. Isn’t it a perfect snack to relish with tea as well?

2. Paniyaram

This has to be one of the most popular south Indian snacks in the country. Paniyaram is an easy snack that simply requires leftover idli or dosa batter, which is sweetened with some jaggery along with coconut and cardamom. This could be perfect addition to your sweets platter.

3. Teepi Gavvalu

A traditional dessert from Andhra, Teepi Gavvalu is especially prepared during Diwali. It is a Telegu word which literally translates to 'sweet shells', and it is made of maida, ghee and a bit of water. The name is so because these looks exactly like sea shells. The savoury version of these sweet shells are Karam Gavvalu. These sweet shell-shaped curly dessert is then deep-fried and dipped in sweet sugar syrup or tossed with jaggery powder.  

4. Mysore Bonda

A light festive snack that can often be seen at parties in Karnataka and Andhra, Mysore Bonda is a delicious balance of crisp from outside and fluffy from inside. A combination made with urad dal flour, dahi and spices, it also has a stuffing of mashed potato or mixed vegetables inside. It is a perfect meal paired with coconut chutney and sambar.  

5. Marundhu

Also known as Legiyam, Deepawali Marundhu is a popular Tamil delicacy that is made in Chennai homes around the festive season. Not just because it is super yummy but also because it has several health benefits, including aiding digestion. With all the rich food that we consume around Diwali, seems like Marundhu is the need of the hour. Made with carom seeds, pepper, dry ginger, dry grapes, honey, jaggery, nuts, ghee and more, this looks like a wholesome treat.

Happy Diwali, 2021!