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Eat and Drink

Diwali dinners and specials in NYC: Indian Accent, Rahi, Old Monk and more

Whether you have a taste for sweet or savory Indian food this Diwali, we've got options for where to celebrate the holiday.

Indian Accent's Diwali feast is available now through

Indian Accent's Diwali feast is available now through Oct. 22. Photo Credit: Indian Accent

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,

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,

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,

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,

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,


Lucky for sweet tooths, desserts and candies are a tradition for Diwali.

“There is a focus on sweets, such as Indian mithais and ladoos,” said Manish Mehrotra, executive chef of Indian Accent, whose take-out Diwali meal includes panjiri, a traditional food for the holiday made with wheat flour that is slowly sauteed with ghee, dried fruit, fox nuts, sugar and nuts.

“It is not usually served in restaurants,” he noted. “My grandmother used to make this especially on Diwali.”

Here are other spots for Diwali desserts.

Bittersweet: The catering company will sell boxes of sweets (think ladoos and coconut truffles, from $15) at its Diwali popup at 2beans from Oct. 18-20 from noon-7 p.m. 100 Park Ave., midtown, 817 Sixth Ave., Chelsea,

aRoqa: Gaurav Anand’s new restaurant will set up a table with 50 candies and treats for all diners Oct. 18 and 19. 206 Ninth Ave., Chelsea, 646-678-5471,

Benares: All diners will receive free assorted Indian sweets on Oct. 19 during lunch and dinner.; 45 Murray St., TriBeCa, 212-766-4900,

Nirvana: Guests will get free traditional Indian pastries and sweets, like laddu and barfi, Oct. 19-21 during dinner; 346 Lexington Ave., Murray Hill, 212-983-0000,

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