Light-ups, new threads and family visits aside, our favorite thing about Deepavali has got to be the food. From savories to gloriously rich sweets, we have a hard time having just one. As a Singaporean, you’ve no doubt come across these before, but here’s a checklist anyway, and where to get legit versions.
Photo Credit: Flickr user Ajith
Why they’re amazing: Whoever invented these iconic little piping hot bites of love is a genius. Milk fats cooked off until they’re solids, then deep-fried and doused in a sugar syrup flavored with rose water and cardamom? What! Yes! Also, there’s good reason why individual portions are limited to two pieces. Don’t get greedy or you will have no one else to blame for your food coma.
Where to get it: Moghul Sweet Shop, Litte India Arcade, 48 Serangoon Rd., 6392-5797
Photo credit: Flickr user Nadir Hashmi
Why it’s amazing: It takes a lot of fortitude to make these sugary, fragrant, deep-fried (and pretty!) goodies. The batter is fermented overnight to enhance the flavor and dropped in a cauldron of hot oil in a circular motion, to get that fabulous shape. Once done, each jalebi is dipped in a saffron-sugar syrup for that color and aroma. We’re partial to the Punjabi fetish of having hot jalebis with a side of cold rabdi, or yogurt pudding.
Photo credit: Flickr user Kirk Siang
Why it’s amazing: A staple at religious festivals and special occasions, the adorable and spherical laddu comes in dozens of varities, depending on the region and can be made with ground coconut, chickpea flour, semolina and lots else. One thing they all have in common, though, is earthy spices like cardamom, nuts and lots of ghee. Mmm!
Why it’s amazing: Take a break from your sugar coma with this savory, spiral-shaped, crunchy Tamil-origin snack ubiquitous on the streets of Little India during Deepavali. Usually made from urad dal and rice flour with cumin seeds, it is deep fried to a nice golden brown color and it is best eaten with a cup of masala chai.
Get it at: Ganesan Villas, Little India Arcade, 48 Serangoon Rd.
Photo credit: Flickr user awee_19
Why it’s amazing: Our go-to comfort food all year round, vadai is especially fun to gorge on during the holiday season. This often spicy, savory, deep-fried baby is made from fermented batters using some combination of pigeon pea, chickpea and mung bean. Be sure to have it hot and douse it in lots of coconut chutney and sambhar before you do.