Our Diwali 2022 selection for the festive season in Chennai!
One day in Diwali, friends. The air in the city’s confectioneries is laden with the aromas of hot syrup and ghee as batches of your favorite sweets are wrapped up for gifting by the hundreds. Meanwhile, in five-star kitchens and bakery shops, the scene is a little different. For the past month, a multitude of innovative experiments have been simmering. How does a Payasam Choux Pastry sound on a lark? Or brownies made with rose thandai and on the savory side, galouti skewers packed in “cracker boxes.” We hope you’re reading this with a full appetite, because while we celebrate the festival of ‘light’, our diwali basket selections for the season are anything but!
Pearls & pâté
The Coromandel Hamper hosted by Taj Coromandel is as extravagant as it gets. Imagine this: hand-molded truffles, slices of Valrhona Swiss artisanal dark chocolate, premium dates stuffed with homemade baklava and of course, a generous offer of traditional mithai. On the savory side, there are Virgin Olive & Basil Cheese Crackers, Truffle Tagliatelle, Black Truffle Pâté and Vanilla Fudge with Scottish Wild Flowers. And no, we’re not done yet. The basket also contains luxury lifestyle offerings like handcrafted marble coasters, a Montblanc pen, Apple Airpod Pro and a Diwali beaded toran. INR 5,00,000++
Writer’s Cafe offers an exclusive selection of handpicked chocolates for the holiday season. Expect dark chocolate truffles, almond florentines, passion fruit candies and peanuts in a 400 gram box meant to be reused, simply because it looks so pretty. INR 949.
Swap the pataka bombs for a “Galouti bomb” this year. Cloud’s Kitchen (of the same name) offers an “explosive” mix of textures and ingredients with a box of 24 galouti kebabs that makes a fun savory treat for a house party. Non-vegetarian variations include a Shahi Murgh and the OG Nawabi Mutton, while vegetarian options include Maharaja Rajma, Durbari Yam, and Beetroot. You can customize your box of 24, priced at INR 240 onwards.
Ricky’s Cookies is rolling out an “absolute” Diwali basket with crisp cookies in coffee and almond and sesame and honey flavors that make an indulgent accompaniment with your coffee, ready-to-drink chocolate mix, roasted trail mix and the piece de resistance, a seven-inch hazelnut celebration cookie with a dark chocolate mixture. INR 2,300 upwards.
raise the bar
Japanese chocolate and confectionery brand Royce’ Chocolate, which recently opened a kiosk in Chennai at the Express Avenue Mall, is offering a Royal Celebration Box of decadence in-store with 48 pieces of their bestsellers. This includes melt-in-your-mouth Coffee Chocolate, Prafeuille Chocolate, Potechi Chocolate, Nut Bars, Chocolate Truffles and Wafers, Chocolate Covered Almonds, and Almond Chocolate. INR 5,695.
Wine & dinner
Novotel Chamiers Road offers exclusive baskets with everything you need to party at home. From packets of pasta, tonic water and crisps to sparkling wine, candles and dark chocolate, expect a ready-to-go ambiance setting. The Platinum Hamper, at $9,999, even comes with an ice bucket complete with cocktail shaker, ice tongs, and muddler. And if that’s not enough, you’re also covered for a healthy diwali breakfast with a jar of organic jam and gluten-free oats! INR 1,999 upwards.
pradadam & Pastry shop
Pastry shop Prasadam x Pastry box was inspired by an exciting idea: packaging traditional prasadams in pastry form. The box contains four desserts made from four famous temple prasadams – Sabarimala Aravana Payasam Choux, Pazhani Panjamirtham Berliner, Gurudwar Kadaprasad Millionaire Shortbread Bars and a Tirupati Ladoo Cookie Sandwich. INR 1,499.
Crackers, cakes and chips
Shortbread cookies with scrumptious dips like chocolate, coconut cream and lemon curd. Tea cakes in flavors such as chocolate zucchini and nut streusel. And festive eclairs that range from Pistachio to Cornflakes. This is just a taste of what Pumpkin Tales has in store for Diwali, leaving us spoiled for choice. Also look for a high-end festive basket that includes a Diwali Dream Cake – a honey-glazed almond cake with dates, pistachios and cashews, monsoon crisps, sourdough crackers and more. INR 3,575.
Pop go mithai
Park Chennai offers an eclectic mix of festive treats. Expect artisan chocolate truffles, eggless nut brownies, traditional dishes like thattai and murukku, and a generous helping of mithai. The Signature box comes with a fun mix of everyday treats like cheese crackers, peanut butter, sparkling wine and a chef’s mix of garlic and chili sunflower seeds, cashews and powder cannon, dehydrated pineapple and organic gooseberry candy. Baskets start at INR 1,099++
Brownies & barfi
ITC Grand Chola’s Diamante collection includes festive cakes with saffron, almonds and currants, brownies made with filter coffee and dates, an assortment of festive jars with mix-ins like cashew, peanut , pumpkin and cranberry with rich kaffir lime and mithai flavor including Kaju Ladoo Lavender and Pumpkin Seed Pista Barfi. Also enjoy Fabelle’s luxury chocolates including Pralines and Gianduja and for a lasting touch, plantable firecrackers. INR 17,499.
Chocolates & good humor
Holiday Inn Chennai OMR IT Expressway is gearing up for the festive season with a range of selected baskets including chocolate, dried fruits and nuts with raisins, almonds and pistachios, cookies and traditional sweets. Also look for specials like an alcohol-infused candy or a box of chocolates to literally cheer you up over the Diwali weekend. INR 399++ upwards.
Over the Cocoa Rainbow
Luxury chocolate brand Smoor offers a festive basket with chocolate covered pecans, chocolate bars and discs, hazelnut spread, nougat bars, baklava, danish cookies and chocolate hot Stir-it-Up, a 24-piece box of chocolate couverture, jars of nuts, delicious teas and flavored makhanas, and handmade gold diyas. INR 10,000.
Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park offers a special range of bespoke gift baskets featuring an assortment of sweets and snacks. Think Kaju Katli, Tirunelveli Halwa and Mysore Pak alongside healthier options like Besan Ladoo, green teas and roasted flax seeds. Also expect artisanal cheese, California prunes and imported wine and, for a touch of decoration, diyas, brass bells and potpourri. INR 950++ upwards.
Cracker of a box
Do you prefer a box filled with bon bons, nut rocks and kutty pattasu chocolates or nine hot chocolate bombs? The latter has flavor options ranging from Peppermint to Paan. Zitter offers a decadent selection of curated baskets or you can customize your own with all of the above, plus an assortment of beggars, bonbars, barks, and gold bars. INR 475 upwards.