Di­wali dishes up treats

Central Leader - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

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.

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