Diwali boxes are a thing in India during the festive season. They are everywhere, in all shops, where customers put in orders for giving Diwali boxes to their friends and family. It consists of mainly mithai or Indian sweets, along with nuts like cashew nuts, almonds, pistachios and raisins in different containers. The boxes are beautifully decorated, and you can go as small or as big you want to. 🙂
As kids we would love receiving these boxes cause it meant we could have all the mithai in that season! Those were fun times. My mom would make a lot of sweet and savory stuff herself, to serve guests, who would come visit us during the Diwali holidays. She would put together a plate full of the sweet and savory foods in a lovely way and serve it with masala chai to the guests.
I loved moms snacks, they were always the BEST! I would help her make all the food items like ladoos, chevdo, mathiya, chakri, mohanthal, chorafadi, ghughra etc!
Diwali boxes do not have to be elaborate. They do not have to be fussy! What I have shown here is simply an example of something that you can put together in a Diwali box as a gift to your near and dear ones. I will share how I put mine together, from Michael’s.
I am a weekly customer to Michael’s thanks to my kids, especially my daughter who wants to buy the whole store!! So do I secretly lol. They have some of the cutest wooden boxes as well as the aluminum boxes that work great for cookies. The wooden boxes have covers too, for transportation. They have different sizes as well, in case you want to prepare a smaller one with a variety of 3-4 cookies/mithais for instance.
I created dividers for the cookies in the box with wooden plaques. The wooden plaques are simply long strips of wood that can be cut using a sharp Exacto cutter, that you get at Michael’s too. You get specialty Exacto cutters that are specific to cutting wood. I used those and a ruler to measure out the compartments that I wanted to create in the wooden box. I then glued it together using a glue gun. You can also use cupcake wrappers to put different mithais/cookies in, and use them as pseudo-dividers.
I also found some companies on Etsy selling really cute Diwali boxes that can be bought in a pack, and can be used to put together 4-5 mithais/snacks/cookies. Here is the link for those Etsy stores.
Tips for putting different items in the Diwali box:
- Mithais ofcourse
- Cookies that are inspired by Indian flavors
- Any savory snack like chevdo, or Indian inspired crackers that can be put into a compartment of the box
- Jams that are inspired by Indian flavors
- Nuts such as cashews, pistachios, almonds.
- Paan truffles or Gulab Jamun truffles like the ones made by Cook with Manali and Milk and Cardamom
- Little Diyas
- Sprinkles for a festive touch
Since this year is a special year, with my debut cookbook Mumbai Modern , launching on November 2nd, 2021, I really wanted to include items from my cookbook that would be a fun foodie gift to give as part of the Diwali box. I have a lot of recipes in my cookbook that are great for taking to parties, or for large gatherings, for festivals and occasions because that is how my mom used to cook, and I learnt from the best – my mom! 🙂
What I put in my Diwali box this year?
- Mango Kesar Shrikhand Cookies
- Passion Fruit Kaju Katli Blondies
- Strawberry Gulkand Pendas
- Chorafali Crackers (Recipe in my cookbook!)
- Cornflakes Chevdo (Recipe in my cookbook!)
- Thandai Shortbread Cookies with White Chocolate, PIstachios and Rose Petals (Recipe in my cookbook!)
- Mini Maple Sandwich Cookies with a Pear and Chai Masala Buttercream (Recipe in my cookbook!)
- Pear and Chai Masala Jam (Recipe in my cookbook!)
- Brie bites to go with the crackers and jam! (I thought this was such a fun idea, to put into a Diwali box!)
I hope this inspires you to make your own Diwali box, and also use recipes from my cookbook to put into your Diwali boxes next year, or even for the upcoming Christmas holidays!
Wishing you all a very peaceful, safe and joyous Diwali occasion! May this year bring you all health, wealth and happiness.
HAPPY DIWALI AND SAAL MUBARAK TO ALL OF YOU!