27th September 2019
Dev Biswal, who was named Asian Chef of the Year at the Asian Restaurant Awards in June, is to host a series of special Diwali feasts at the end of October, at his Ambrette restaurants in Canterbury and Margate in Kent and the Devil in Rye in East Sussex.
The restaurants will serve an exquisite five-course Diwali Tasting menu (with a vegan alternative) costing £49.99.
Live entertainment will be provided by Bhavik Haria & Friends, who will to perform a selection of traditional and modern Indian music, including a selection of popular Bollywood songs.
Kajal, from KK artistry, will offer customers complimentary natural henna tattoos.
Diwali is the five-day ‘festival of lights,’ celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists. It occurs on the fifteenth day of Kartika – a month in the Hindu lunar calendar – which begins with the new moon in late October or early November.
One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolises the spiritual ‘victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.’ Light is a metaphor for knowledge and consciousness. By tradition, temples homes, shops and office buildings are brightly illuminated during the celebrations.
“Whereas festive food in Christian churches is largely confined to mince pies with a glass of mulled wine at Christmas and hot cross bun, chocolate eggs or seminal cake at Easter, communal dining is central to Hindus,” said Biswal,” who was born in India, adding, “As a child in India , I would look forward to new clothes and a week long holiday from school.
“Entire cities are illuminated with lamps and communities get together around fireworks displays and endless feasting. Diwali today is very multicultural and multi–religious. The Indian diaspora in cities like London and New York use it as a communal event to bring people together,” he said.
In India, some temples sell food farmed on their own land, whilst others provide free meals cooked by volunteers. Hindu practices vary widely within its three main sects – Vishnavs, Shivaites, and Shaktas. Some temples in Nepal even serve pork.
‘Blessed foods,’ usually dried fruits, nuts and sweet (including Jaggery (sweet rock) are eaten according to specific Hindu sects’ religious customs and practices.
In North India most Vaishnav sects prefer nuts, dried fruits, Laddoos (sweet snacks) and Payasam (sweeten rice). Temples dedicated for Lord Shiva in Eastern India, typically have Ganja or Bhang (cannabis) laced dishes, whereas temples dedicated to goddess Shakti (Kali or Durga) may prepare the meat from sacrificial goat and buffalo.
The special Diwali tasting menus will be served at 6:30pm at the Devil in Rye on Friday 25th October, at The Ambrette in Canterbury on 27th October and in Margate on 28th October.
The Ambrette, 14-15 Beer Cart Lane, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2NY
T: 01227 200 777
The Ambrette, 10 Fort Hill, Kent CT9 1QE
T: 01843 231 504
The Devil in Rye, 6 High Street, Rye, East Sussex TN31 7JF
T: 01797 200 777