(LA Trend) — The Indian Festival of Lights, Diwali, falls on November 14 this year. The holiday is celebrated by Indians and those of Indian descent to honor the victory of light over dark. Originally a Hindu celebration, people of many faiths now celebrate the five-day holiday as the day Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura, the day that Lord Vishnu sent the demon King Bali to rule the nether world, or as King Rama’s return to Ayodhya after he defeated Ravana by lighting rows of clay lamps.
While each region and family has their own Diwali traditions, most people celebrate with treats, fireworks, and visiting friends and family. Mithai, or sweets, are a large part of the celebration. Expect to see laddoos, barfis, and halwas dressed up with bright colors and silver leaf for the holiday. Snack on chivda, a spiced Bombay mix with peanuts, chickpeas, fried onion, and fried lentils, or triangle-shaped samosas filled with spiced potatoes and peas.
Partake in this year’s Diwali celebrations by sampling some of L.A.’s independent Indian markets, many of which also have an extensive takeout or dine-in menu.
Indian Spices and Sweets has been serving the community since 1984. This Culver City spot offers imported staples like spices, rice, dals, and lentils, as well as apparel, jewelry, cookware, and more. Chat with knowledgeable staff for shopping recommendations. Pickup pre-made snacks and enjoy an extensive vegan menu for lunch and dinner. Be sure to get an order jalebi, spiral-shaped deep-fried maida dough, soaked in sugar syrup.
If you have a sweet tooth, look no further thanIndia Sweet House. This L.A. staple has been bringing deliciousness to L.A. since 1981. Order seasonal specialties or classic
barfi kaju made with cashews, milk, and sugar, floral gulab jamun in rosewater syrup, or caramelized carrot halwa. Don’t let the name fool you, India Sweet House can also fulfill your savory cravings with matar paneer, paratha, and daal.
Visit PUNJAB – Indian Market and Cuisine in San Gabriel for lunch or dinner then pick up all your pantry essentials. As the name implies, the restaurant specializes in Punjab specialties like sarhon dā saâg, mustard greens stew, and Makki di Roti, cornmeal flatbreads, plus many rich and flavorful dishes. Enjoy a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options for takeout or delivery.
Stop by Namaste Spiceland in Pasadena for South Indian specialties plus an extensive grocery selection. Choose from crepe-like dosas or heartier uttapam with a variety of chutney and toppings. You’ll also find spices, pantry staples, and a variety of Indian snacks and teas in the grocery department.
For an updated take on classic Indian flavors, visit Délicieux, a dedicated egg-free bakery in Artesia. Pick up freshly baked Jeera Biscuit/Makhaniya tea biscuits for your afternoon snack or savory Naan Khatai cookies topped with nuts. This is probably the only place you’ll find Indian-inspired cheesecakes like the Gajar Halwa Cheesecake made with a graham cracker crust, ultra-creamy cheesecake filling, and a layer of gajar halwa or carrot pudding.