Diwali dishes up treats
DELICIOUS dosas will be just one of the many Indian delights on offer at this weekend’s Diwali Festival.
Ravi Shankar and wife Nirmala will be returning to their stall at the Indian light festival this year, selling their masala dosas.
Ravi says his is the only stall which has been at the Auckland festival for every one of the eight years it has been running.
Many will recognise the couple from their dosa stall at the Aotea Square Markets.
The dosas, a type of Indian pancake, are made from a crushed rice and lentil mixture, fried and then served filled with pallya, a potato and spice mixture.
Everything, including the accompanying coconut chutney and rasam, a South Indian tomato curry, are made from scratch at their Blockhouse Bay home.
Both Ravi and Nirmala have the dish down to a fine art and say their dosas are the most authentic in Auckland.
The free, two-day Auckland Diwali Festival celebrates all aspects of Indian culture, with cultural and dance displays and food stalls.
Diwali is India’s most popular festival and is attended by thousands of Aucklanders each year.
This Saturday and Sunday it will return to the Viaduct Basin and organisers say they expect no sign of an economic downturn.
“We’re keen to build on the success of the 2008 festivals which were attended by more than 150,000 people,” says Asia New Zealand Foundation culture director Jennifer King.
Highlights include the Rajasthani puppet group and a Gujarati dance group, both travelling from India to perform.
A pair of minstrels from Bengal will also be making a special appearance.
Visitors to Diwali will also be able to buy The Bollywood Dance DVD for $5, all proceeds go to the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.
The DVD shows the Bollywood dance competitions at the 2007 Auckland Diwali Festival, at Britomart.
Diwali is on at the Eastern Viaduct and Te Wero Island this Saturday and Sunday from noon until 10pm.
Delightful dosas: From left: Nirmala, Sarvajith and Ravi Shankar will be selling their masala dosas at Diwali this weekend.