Diwali is a time when I binge eat on laddoos, jalebi, gulab jamuns and all things soaked in sugar.

indian sweets chocolate cake

Story by Daniel Ashwin Pillai

Now, for many South Asians, after Diwali, we experience a lull…that’s until the Christmas festivities begin; but for me, Diwali is a signifier of various obsessions to come, namely: wine, cheese, sugar and CARBS.

If I haven’t already spent the first 9 to 10 months of the year obsessing over various meals and edible delights, I sure as hell plan to spend the remaining 2 to 3 months indulging and devouring all that tastes good and melts in your mouth.

Now that I am writing this, I am forced to remember those pleasant moments in the kitchen with my mom, watching and marvelling at her precise and delicate techniques when it came to making pastries and desserts. She cared so much about each little pinwheel, and each light dusting of icing sugar. It was this fascination that led to my obsession over food, and then led to my obsession with cooking and baking, which automatically led to my obsession with cheese and wine, and thus led to my obsession with…well, it’s a sick cycle, and I am sure by now you get the point!

wine cheese celebration

For me, food is celebration, and food is life. Each morsel which I chew with such passion becomes emblematic of that moment in time, a specific memory, a special occasion. I still remember the buttered popcorn I ate as I watch Hum Aapke Hain Koun in the theatres back in 1994. I fondly relish in my memories of the glass of Pinot Grigio I sipped in celebration of Madhuri Dixit’s return after watching Aaja Nachle in 2007. And I even remember that heavenly chocolate cake I ate the day after I met Priyanka Chopra.

Clearly food is passion, food is obsession.


Here are a list of essentials, to create a night of your own obsessive food memories:

  1. A bottle of white wine (preferably Pino Grigio, or a glass of Prosecco, chilled)
  2. Always have old cheddar cheese on hand at all times. Cut yourself a slice or two….or ten.
  3. At least 2 of your favourite childhood Bollywood films. Or at least one Bollywood compilation DVD.
  4. Something sweet. To satisfy your cravings
  5. Vintage dinnerware, so you can serve yourself, like royalty. I think you’d remember the time you felt like a queen.