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Celebrating Diwali with Sid Sahrawat

One of Auckland city’s largest annual event – The Diwali Festival – was meant to take place in Aotea Square last weekend on 30 & 31st October. It is an annual highlight, drawing friends and families from all over, reveling in the celebrations with food, music and live entertainment. Like so many events, it was unfortunately cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Sid Sahrawat, owner and executive chef of Cassia & Sid at The French Café, shares with us a little bit more about Diwali and how you can celebrate Diwali from the comfort of your own bubble.

Diwali is the festival of lights and is celebrated by Hindus as their New Year. We celebrate it because Lord Ram rescued his wife Sita from the evil demon Ravan and so it marks the victory of good versus evil and light versus dark.

We’d typically celebrate Diwali at home by lighting candles or oil lamps called diyas to symbolise the light and to invite goddess Laxmi the goddess of wealth and prosperity home. Kids join in prayers, and we cook a lot of vegetarian food and sweets to feast on.

Celebrating with Cassia

Over at Cassia, we’d usually celebrate with the team by enjoying a staff meal together but sadly we aren’t able to do so this year. A lot of our staff look forward to the Aotea Square celebrations and food stalls – it makes them feel like they are not that far from home and this year the celebrations will be missed in our community for sure.

It will be very different Diwali this year as we will be celebrating it within our own bubbles, usually we’d visit family and friends and exchange gifts to bring in the New Year.

Diwali Feast Box

We also can’t wish our guests a happy Diwali personally, so we have created a limited season Diwali Feast Box for our diners and foodies to enjoy. The Diwali Feast Box is made up of vegetarian dishes as Diwali is a religious festival when most Hindus abstain from eating meat.

This will feed a bubble of four easily and has 2 entrees, 3 mains, rice, and naan as well as our special Diwali dessert of pineapple and passionfruit “Ghewar” (2nd picture above) . Ghewar is a honeycomb made of batter that is fried and then soaked in sugar syrup. Our chefs and front of house are also adding an unlisted secret edible surprise into each Diwali box, so you are in for a treat!

How can we order the box?

The Diwali Feast Box is available until Sunday, 7th November, simply head online to the Cassia website and check out the take home menu. Pick up or delivery* options are available Thursday to Sunday.

* Delivery zone limits apply Would you like to share anything else with our diners during this time?

We would love to wish everyone a very Happy Diwali and a Prosperous New Year and to thank them for their support of Auckland Hospitality during such a difficult time. We hope that everyone can feel a bit of Diwali cheer and know that Diwali brings light in dark times and so we hope we can all see a more positive future post lockdown.

The Sahrawat Family (L-R: Chand, Zoya, Roan and Sid Sahrawat)/supplied

Diwali falls on Thursday, 4th November 2021 this year.


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