Well, it's been a busy week. But first things first: a very Happy Diwali to you. I hope that you were able to celebrate the festival with your loved ones over lots of good food (no celebration is complete without food). And because it's hard to shake off the festivities, we've decided to enter the weekend in the same spirit and saved some of the celebratory quintessence for next week too.
If you were too caught up in Diwali-cleaning, closing calendars at work for the long weekend and running to the tailor for last-minute alterations, you've probably forgotten to send out the gifts and hampers you thought you would to friends and family. But you haven't missed the bus. Just look at this story, where Food Editor Suman Quazi and I have rounded up some of the country's best offerings this year. From thoughtful gifts that aim to help reduce the carbon footprint to familiar favourites like desi mithais and namkeens, our list is complete and comprehensive.
You've got to agree, it's never a bad time to express your love for the people you care about through food, so if you want more choices, check out Junior Writer Samika Aurora's piece on 10 food-centric gift ideas that are as beautiful as they are tasty.
I want to flex the unique festive treats that the IFN kitchen has concocted this season. It started with a paan ice cream recipe that is just what you'd want at the end of an Indian-ish brunch and ended with a decadent mawa cake and kulfi sundae topped with jalebi and falooda that is almost too pretty to eat. Both are perfect for a cosy taash party at home with friends, or even a DIY activity with the kids through the holiday season (which, by the way, isn't far). Plus, for the leftover mithais from hampers you received, there is this Amritsari pede wali lassi recipe to help you use it all up.
And because craving something savoury post the mithai overload season is a given for us, and natural for you, I want to leave you with a recipe for rasa vadai shots by chef Kalpana Mudliar, which is just like a chaat, but with a twist. I don't know how I end up referencing chaats in everything I do. But I do.
Sonal Ved is the editor at IFN. She is also an author of an award-winning cookbook called Tiffin. She travelled through the first five tastes to be able to tell between a brie and provolone dolce. She can make stellar undhiyu and a green smoothie.