Today marks the main day of celebration of Diwali. Known as the Festival of Lights, Indians across the globe get together with those closest to them for the five day long event. Candles are burned to symbolize good over evil and food is at the heart of the enjoyment. So let’s talk food…

My family has always celebrated Diwali ever since I was young. My mother is from Bombay and she has always wanted us to appreciate our Indian roots. After hearing why Diwali was treated as Indian Xmas, and then doing the usual ritual blessings, we all tucked into some delicious food. This was the norm in our house. Time has since moved on and we all know the story behind this bright festival, and now it’s only about the food.

I don’t think anyone needs an excuse to celebrate these days and entertaining at home is one of the best ways to impress your friends and family. As always cooking with spices is seen to be scary, but if you follow recipes that don’t have endless ingredient lists using obscure and hard-to-find spices, cooking can be a breeze. I wanted to share two of my favourite pulse-based Diwali recipes:
 Sweet & Sour Lentils with Roasted Aubergine: Heart warming lentils with crispy skin spice rubbed aubergines – Dlish! Click here for the full recipe.

Channa Masala: You gotta love the versatility of chickpeas. Perfect with some rice or bread – simple yet satisfying. Click here for the full recipe.

Happy Diwali and happy eating to you all…

by Anjali Pathak, chef, food writer, author of Secrets from My Indian Family Kitchen

Anjali’s book Secrets from My Indian Family Kitchen is published by Mitchell Beazley in the UK and Clarkson Potter in the USA. She is currently launching Flavour Diaries, India's first International cookery school in Mumbai.