Diwali, often referred to as the festival of lights, is one of the most well-known festivals in the Hindu calendar and starts this year on 3 November. It is a five-day festival honouring Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Lamps are lit in all public places to help Lakshmi find her way into people's homes.
The festival celebrates victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance and good over evil. It is also a time to celebrate one of the Diwali legends, in which Rama and Sita return to Rama's kingdom after 14 years of exile.
- Bake shop-bought naan, chapatti or paratha bread
- Make onion bhajis
- Make vegetable samosas
1 potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
6-8 French beans, trimmed and cut into small pieces
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
a pinch of garam masala
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp cooked chickpeas, slightly mashed
1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
10-12 filo pastry sheets
25g (1oz) unsaturated fat spread
1. Preheat the oven to 180degC/gas mark 4.
2. Place the potato in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for four minutes.
3. Add the carrot, sweet potato and beans and simmer for a further four minutes until the vegetables are beginning to soften. Drain.
4. Put the vegetable oil in the frying pan and saute the onion, spices, garlic and ginger for three to four minutes until the onion is softened.
5. Remove from the heat, add the chickpeas, lemon juice and the cooked vegetables, stirring well.
6. In a small saucepan, melt the spread and mix with the vegetable oil.
7. Lay out one sheet of filo pastry and brush the top with the spread and oil mixture; then lay another sheet on top and brush the spread and oil mixture again. Cut the pastry into strips about 7cm wide and 20cm long.
8. Place a heaped teaspoonful of the mixture in the top corner of the strip and fold diagonally to form a triangle. Continue to fold over until you use up the whole strip.
9. Place on a baking tray and brush the top with a little melted spread and oil.
10. Make triangles in this way until all the filling/strips are used up.
11. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden and crisp.
Suitable for freezing; keeps up to two days in the fridge.
Taken from The Healthy Celebrations Pack: practical guidance on providing healthy food at celebrations and events by the under-5s public health team of the Nutrition and Dietetic Service of Luton and South Bedfordshire. For more help, visit www.healthyunder5s.nhs.uk.