Diwali, Family Fun, Festivals, Food and Drink

Celebrate Diwali with Recipes from Leila

Diwali, or Dipawali, is India's biggest and most important holiday of the year. The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness. This festival is as important to Hindus as the Christmas holiday is to Christians.

Over the centuries, Diwali has become a national festival that's also enjoyed by non-Hindu communities. For instance, in Jainism, Diwali marks the nirvana, or spiritual awakening, of Lord Mahavira on October 15, 527 B.C.; in Sikhism, it honors the day that Guru Hargobind Ji, the Sixth Sikh Guru, was freed from imprisonment. Buddhists in India celebrate Diwali as well. (National Geographic Kids)

To help celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, we have 3 incredible recipes courtesy of Leila and they look amazing!

Mango Yogurt Smoothie

The perfect welcome drink

Serves 3-4 people | Prep time: 5 minutes | Ready in: 5 minutes

Ingredients for Red Lentil curry: 

  • 240ml Laila Mango Pulp
  • 120g yogurt of your choice (we recommend a natural/Greek style yogurt)
  • 30g sugar
  • 10g crushed pistachio, to garnish
  • Water, if required


Start by adding the Laila mango pulp and yogurt to a blender, and mixing until you achieve a frothy and velvety-smooth mixture.

Once blended, you can tailor the consistency to your liking by adding a little bit of water.

Try the smoothie and add a touch of sugar to sweeten if required. If it’s sweet enough already, you can ignore this step.

Top with the crushed pistachios and enjoy.


One pot Pav Bhaji

The perfect party snack

An iconic Indian street food, Pav Bhaji (Mashed Vegetable Curry with Bread Rolls), is full of spicy and flavourful charm. The one-pot version is a simpler approach to crafting a delightful meal.

Serves 3-4 people | Prep time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 25 minutes | Ready in: 55 minutes

Ingredients for Bhaji:

  • 150g finely chopped onion
  • 400g Laila Chopped Tomatoes
  • 350g potatoes
  • 100g cauliflower florets
  • 120g green pepper
  • 100g green peas
  • 100g carrot
  • 3 tbsp salted butter
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Laila Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1-1½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (for colour)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2-3 tbsp pav bhaji spice blend basis taste
  • 10ml lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves for garnish
  • 150-200ml water
  • Salt to taste

 Ingredients for Pav (bread rolls):

  • 6 bread rolls of your choice
  • ½ tsp butter


In a lidded pot, over a low to medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and then add 1 tbsp of oil.

Add the cumin seeds and chopped onion, cooking until the onions turn a lovely golden brown.

Now, add the turmeric, chilli powder, Pav Bhaji spice blend, Kashmiri chilli powder, Laila Ginger Garlic Paste, and 1 tablespoon of fresh coriander leaves into the pot.

Once the onions are nicely cooked and spices are fragrant, add the canned Laila Chopped Tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the peas and capsicum to the pot and let it cook for 5 minutes and then add all the cooked vegetables to the pot, allowing them to cook and soak in the flavourful spices for 5 minutes.  Pour in the water and allow the mixture to cook for 15 minutes until the vegetables have cooked well.

Once cooked, mash the vegetables well and squeeze in the lemon juice for a perfect tangy taste. Add the remaining butter for extra creaminess.

For the Pav (buttered rolls), melt ½ teaspoon of butter in a pan, cut the bread rolls in half and toast until they are warm and slightly crisp.

Garnish your bhaji with the remainder of the fresh coriander leaves, serve alongside the Pav and enjoy.


Red Lentil Curry with Laila Jeera Rice

A comforting curry with a bowl of rice

Serves 3-4 people | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 30-40 minutes for Dal, 20 minutes for Rice | Ready in: 80 minutes

Ingredients for Red Lentil curry: 

  • 200g Laila red lentils
  • 150g finely chopped onion
  • 200g Laila Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Laila Ginger Garlic Paste
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • 10ml lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp coriander leaves
  • 400-500 ml of water

 Ingredients for Laila Jeera Rice: 

  • 200g Laila Gold Superior Long Basmati Rice
  • 400ml water
  • Salt
  • 2 tbsp Laila Pure Butter Ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin


Before using Laila red lentils, rinse them two or three times and soak before soaking in water for 20 minutes.

In a pan, on a low temperature, heat the Laila Pure Butter Ghee before adding the cumin seeds. Allow them to heat through until they sizzle and pop.

Add the finely chopped onion and Laila Ginger Garlic Paste, sautéing for about a minute until they turn translucent. Add the Laila Chopped Tomatoes and sauté.

Incorporate the remaining spices – turmeric powder, chili powder, garam masala, and ground coriander. Add salt to taste if required. Allow the spices to cook thoroughly with the onions and tomatoes for 2 minutes.

Add the red lentils to the pan along with 2-3 cups of water and let everything cook for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils become tender, and the curry thickens.

While the curry is cooking, you can start preparing the rice.

Rinse Laila Gold Superior Long Basmati Rice in cold water until the water runs clear. This helps remove excess starch and prevents the rice from sticking together.

In a separate pan, heat Laila Pure Butter Ghee over medium heat. Once the ghee is heated through, add the cumin seeds (jeera) and allow them to sizzle for 30 seconds until they start to release their aroma.

Drain and rinse the rice once more, before adding to the pan. Stir the rice and cumin seeds together for about 1-2 minutes to lightly toast the rice.

Now add the water, and any salt to taste if required.

Bring the rice to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed.

Once cooked, fluff the rice with a fork, recover and let it rest for a few more minutes before serving.

Serve the red lentil curry and Laila Jeera Rice together in a bowl and garnish with fresh coriander leaves. You can also add a few drops of lemon juice if you’d like to.


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