Diwali, the South Asian festival of lights, is fast approaching — this year, the five-day celebration kicks off Sunday, November 12. One of the most popular holidays in India and Nepal, Diwali derives its name from the Sanskrit word “deepavali,” meaning “row of lights.” Traditionally, revelers light diyas — small oil lamps made of clay — to symbolize the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. Celebrations often include fireworks and elaborate light displays, too.
Many people celebrate Diwali at home, but if a day out on the town is in order, a number of Twin Cities restaurants are serving specials, offering Diwali brunch menus, and serving up mutton curry and halva at local events. Here’s a guide to food-filled Diwali events around town.
Edina’s Raag Progressive is offering a special Diwali brunch on Saturday, November 11 and Sunday, November 12. Stop by for a pani puri-making station, sumptuous chole bhatura, an Indian-Chinese fusion spread, and pastries (think cardamon red velvet cake and coconut ladoo). Raag recently came under new ownership, and rolled out its first brunch services this month. It has a whole menu of new cocktails, including chai-tinis. 3812 W. 50th Street, Minneapolis, MN, 55410
MGM is hosting a Diwali celebration on Saturday, November 4 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. The event is totally free — it’ll feature Bollywood, folk, and semi-classical dancing; a fashion show featuring garments from around India; music performances; and skits. Last but certainly not least, Momo Dosa is serving a special menu of mutton curry, chicken tikka masala, samosas, vegetable curry, and masala chai (free halva comes with a purchase of any of the above). 920 E. Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN, 55407
Curry Corner is running its usual menu of fruit and nut-studded Peshwari naan, chicken makhani, and gulab jamun for the holiday. But during Diwali, the restaurant is offering specials on combo plates: Get deals for groups of two people or four people, with reduced rates for vegetarian entrees. Pair a meal with one of Curry Corner’s coconut-rum cocktails. 201 E. Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN, 55414