The Festival of Lights is almost upon us.
Diwali — a major Hindu holiday — is Oct. 19.
Hindu populations in India and other countries celebrate Diwali by lighting candles and lamps all over homes, buildings and temples; decorating floors with rangoli, an art form where intricate patterns are created with rice, sand and dried flowers, and participating in prayers.
Diwali is also marked by large family feasts with lots of sweets. And several Indian restaurants and chefs in NYC are serving special menus and dishes in honor of the holiday.
Jackfruit curry and phirni at Old Monk
Guests dining at the new contemporary Indian soul food restaurant on Oct. 19 will be able to order chef Navjot Arora’s special of jackfruit curry ($19). All diners will also receive a free Diwali sweet of phirni (rice pudding with cardamom and saffron). 175 Ave. B, East Village, 646-559-2922, oldmonknyc.com
Snacks and sweets at Rahi
Chef Chintan Pandya will be offering snacks and desserts Oct. 19-22, including Delhi pakodi chaat ($16), a lentil dumpling mixed with chickpeas and sweet yogurt; achari paneer tart ($14), based on a savory cookie from Rajasthan that is often served to guests during Diwali, and goat cheese shrikhand and puri ($9), a spin on a traditional sweet yogurt dessert, here made with saffron goat cheese, pistachio, almonds, and flour crisps. Additionally, there is a special cocktail called Tranquility ($15), made with Campari, gin, pomegranate, hibiscus and basil, served in a traditional Indian copper pot. 60 Greenwich Ave., West Village, 212-373-8900, rahinyc.com
Tasting menu at Awadh
Chef Gaurav Anand’s Upper West Side flagship restaurant is serving a five-course tasting menu on Oct. 19 for $75 per person, with items such as dum pukht lamb shank, malai lobster masala and, for dessert, kulfi and gulab jamun. 2588 Broadway, Upper West Side, 646-861-3604, awadhnyc.com
Takeout feast from Indian Accent
The Delhi import has a special takeout feast ($59/two, $110/four) for pickup now through Oct. 22 that includes braised lamb shank with anchovy curry; paneer kofta with barberry pulao, and Punjabi panjiri for dessert. 123 W. 56th St., midtown, 212-842-8070, indianaccent.com
Festival of Lights dinner at The James Beard House
Chef Arora is also hosting a special Diwali dinner Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. Menu highlights of the feast ($135-$175) include Goan prawn lollipops and ginger lamp chops with mint chutney. 167 W. 12th St., West Village, 212-627-2308, jamesbeard.org