Deepavali at No. 42

You know how much we love our festivals and special occasions, especially when they give us the excuse to have a cookout. No matter how hard we try, we always seem to go just a tiny bit overboard with the amount of food - I daresay it's really a subconscious choice to do so since it means not having to worry about the next couple of meals. Ah yes, the joys of waking up to a buffet.

Our excuse this time? Deepavali - possibly the most deliciously aromatic of all festivals.

What started out as something small turned into quite the operation when our lack of foresight in terms of groceries turned into a 'let's see how much we can pile into this shopping cart!' last-minute spree. Needless to say, the kitchen was in a bit of a frenzy as we realised how much we had to cook and how little time we actually had. Clad in your bathrobe with your head in the oven while the first of your guests arrive - not exactly the look one would be going for.

The Deepavali must-have, chicken curry

Indian-style cauliflower and potatoes

Spicy tomato chicken

Spinach and cottage cheese - the absolutely divine sag paneer that was the only dish that didn't make it to the next day.

Potato puffs and tuna cutlets

To complement everything, vegetarian biryani.

I've probably said this countless times but the thing I love most about Indian cuisine is how the flavours are always so robust. As someone who is a lot more confident cooking with oyster sauce and soy sauce than say, mustard seeds or garam masala, cooking with the housemates can be quite the educational experience in terms of spices and new flavours.

Of course, the joy isn't simply in the cooking but in the sharing of a meal with good company. Conversations, failed attempts at ice cream making, laughter, chocolate that wouldn't melt, sparklers and far too much eating - oh yes, we were more than content.

I hope you had a delicious Deepavali too.

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