The Diwali parcel as it is commonly referred to is a plate or box of sweets and savouries that are distributed to friends and family on the day of Diwali. It was initially intended to serve as a gift when families and friends visited each other but gradually grew into a tradition of exchanging parcels with a quick greeting. The Diwali parcel serves as an acknowledgement of the bond between the parties and as a means of expressing best wishes on this major festival for Hindus.
As the years passed and the South African Indian community was uplifted and became more familiar with Western tastes, the Diwali parcel evolved to reflect these changes. For some these days it is simply a box of chocolates, while others prefer to throw together a few richly decorated store-bought sweetmeats with fancy packaging . But for the traditionalist, the Diwali parcel is a platter of Indian treats that are made over the days preceding Diwali and incorporates something for every palate.
Types of Sweetmeats in Parcels
Traditionally the sweets, snacks and savouries are vegetarian – contains no meat products. All our recipes below are vegetarian and even cakes and biscuit recipes are egg-free. Some of the more popular sweetmeats that one would find in a Diwali parcel include :
- Burfi (burfee or barfi)
- Chana magaj
- Gulab jamun
- Boondi ladoo and/or semolina ladoo
- Banana puri
- Patha and puri (please note these are two separate recipes)
- Eggless biscuits and cakes (12 recipes)
- Chevda (chora)
- Vadda (bara)
- Potato samoosa (samosa)