There's a joy in both, giving and receiving handmade things. And a greater joy in creating them. Share the goodness of a handmade gift with your folks this Diwali with our tips on handmade gourmet goodies
Every festive season, the biggest decision centres around what presents to give friends, family and clients.
Instead of the clichéd Indian sweet boxes or designer candles, why not go a different route this Diwali? Surprise your loved ones by making simple yet exclusive hampers with these delicious gourmet items.
Pick from our suggestions below to make your own curated hampers and wrap them with pretty ribbons, special paper and maybe even package it in a wicker basket, the choice is yours:
1. Infused alcohol: This is super easy for fun cocktails or enjoying as is. Pour any clear alcohol into a sterilised jar or tall, wide-mouthed bottle. Add berries, seasonal fruit, herbs or even spices to create delicious infusions.
2. Dried or candied fruit: Buy a large amount of candied or dried fruit such as figs, raisins, dates and apricots. Either mix them up and package them in a wooden bowl or chop and layer in a mason jar.
3. Layered dessert jar: Jars are great for ready to eat desserts. You can’t go wrong by layering cream cheese with crunchy granola, dried and fresh fruits and a sprig of mint to top it up. Crumbled biscuits with caramel, chocolate syrup, rice crispies and chocolate chips can be a satisfying treat.
4. Salad-topping seed mix: For the healthy eaters in your circle, you could layer a variety of omega-3 rich edible seeds for them to sprinkle on their salads and soups. Choose from seeds such as sunflower, flax, black and white sesame, pumpkin and watermelon. Let the contrasting colours make the bottle or jar look like a work of art.
5. Dips, spreads, pesto: Good hosts will appreciate a pack of assorted dips and spreads. You could buy economy-sized jars of generic spreads and create custom mixes. A large jar of mayo, mixed with exotic ingredients like sriracha, sumac, tamari or caviar can give you four small jars of spreads. Or you could simply grind together fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, pine nuts and grated Parmesan cheese to make aromatic pesto.
6. Cheese platters: Simply order a platter of assorted cheeses from reputed food outlets like Godrej Nature’s Basket, Reliance Fresh or Salt Water Café and send it to friends to feast on or include in the hamper. Make sure they either refrigerate or consume immediately.
7. Chocolates: Here’s how you can take the popular choice up a notch. Several chocolatiers take custom orders at short notice for fancy, gourmet chocolate barks or slabs with ingredients such as lavender petals or fresh cherries and exotic nuts. Ensure you wrap the exotic variety in appealing packaging for a stellar reaction.
Ditch the conventional alcohol bottle, and instead opt for interesting infusions that one can use with different cocktails.
You can also whip up your own dips and pack them in ceramic jars as gifts for your foodie friends this season.
You can also create a delicious cheese platter with a combination of cheese and nuts like the one here from The Cheese Collective.
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