Diwali special: The guilt-free gourmet
Take an alternative route to feasting, with a selection of delicious gluten-, dairy- and sugar-free ‘mithai’, candies, chocolates, cakes, granola bars, nut butters, kale chips and more
The world on a plate
On a regular day, Foodhall, the gourmet supermarket, showcases produce from around the world, from exotic fresh fruits and vegetables to spices, dried herbs, sauces, condiments and much more. During Diwali, specially curated hampers offer the health-conscious plenty of alternatives to mithai—from organic staples to single-origin chocolates. The Aurora hamper is a mix of almond butter, chewy biscotti, gluten-free bread, date syrup, cookies, buckwheat and oats pancake mix, kale chips, protein bars and Pacari lemongrass-flavoured organic dark chocolate. The Middle Eastern Noor hamper includes edible rose petals, Iranian lime powder, pink pistachios, Turkish apricots and Medjoul dates.
The Aurora hamper costs Rs3,050, and the Noor hamper, Rs5,150. Available at all Foodhall stores across the country.
Bengaluru-based Chaitali runs Tantraa Organic Handbaking, a specialist home-baking outfit which creates gluten- and sugar-free confections, nut butters, cakes and even vegan cheese. The almond flour cakes come in toppings ranging from mixed edible flowers to nut creams. During Diwali, Tantra Organic Handbaking provides a cake decor service creating customized decorative corners with cupcakes and muffins. Apart from her cakes, she also has a festive hamper which features hazelnut, chocolate-peanut and almond butters as well as a light granola.
The festive hamper costs Rs2,750, and loaf cakes start at Rs1,000 for 250g. Available in Bengaluru. For details, visit here
A Paleo Diwali
Delhi-based home baker Vidhi Gupta specializes in dairy-free and gluten-free cakes and cookies. Her guilt-free offerings under the brand V’s Bake Shop are made with nut flours, butters, fruits and organic oils and do away with processed sugar, using raw honey and maple as substitutes. This is a Diwali treat for the health conscious as well as those with medical conditions ranging from diabetes and celiac disease to lactose intolerance. Her Diwali box features an almond honey granola, peanut butter and flax balls and mocha energy bites.
This nutty Diwali box is priced at Rs1,700. Available in Delhi and Gurugram. For details, visit here
Put together by chef Manish Sharma of the Oberoi Patisserie & Delicatessen in Gurugram, adjacent to Delhi, this hamper has an assortment of artisanal wellness products from across the country. It keeps in mind each brand’s farm-to-kitchen ethos, organic practices, and minimal processing. The hamper includes organic cashews, wheatgrass juice, assorted organic dried berries, cold-pressed sesame oil, almond butter, organic amaranth bars, granola and signature home-made dark chocolates from the Patisserie. Scented candles, incense sticks and a little Ganesha idol add a festive touch.
The Organically Yours wellness hamper costs Rs7,500 and is available at the Oberoi Patisserie & Delicatessen, Gurugram.
Pune-based Anuradha Sawhney’s Back to the Basics brand offers a range of products, including wholegrain snacks, energy bars and nut butters. This Diwali she will launch a range of vegan mithai made of unusual ingredients like sweet potato sweetened with coconut sugar.
The snacks hamper is priced at Rs1,800, whereas the sweets start at Rs600 for 12 pieces. Available in Pune and can be shipped across the country at extra charges. For details, visit here
Thea Tammeleht is a sixth-generation marzipan maker. Nordic Kandie offers a range of artisanal European marzipan confections based on a 400-year-old family recipe which is 100% vegetarian, gluten-, trans fat- and cholesterol-free. Their marzipan uses Iranian Mamra almonds, organic sugar, natural flavours and colours and a thin Belgian chocolate coating. This year, Tammeleht has come up with a special Indian collection which features dates stuffed with dry fruits coated with Belgian chocolate and dried fruit and besan laddoos covered in Belgian chocolate. Additionally, she has collaborated with food blogger and chef Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal to come up with a range of mithai kandie in flavours like Berry Salted Kali Mirch, Masala Chai Caramel Brew and Mango Motichoor Marzipan.
The festive Diwali hamper costs Rs5,500, and a box of the mithai kandie, Rs1,000. Available at Nordic Kandie stores in Mumbai and Gurugram