Asda partners with Master Chef quarterfinalist Rishi Nanavati to create recipes for Diwali using ingredients available at Asda; company boasts that it is celebrating its biggest Diwali yet, with seasonal aisles in 61 stores

Sample article from our Retail & Omnichannel

November 2, 2023 (press release) –

  • Asda celebrates its biggest Diwali yet, with seasonal aisles in 61 stores  
  • MasterChef quarter finalist, Rishi Nanavati, is partnering with the retailer to create delicious recipes for Diwali using ingredients available at Asda.
  • The vegetarian-friendly recipes include a delicious centrepiece dish of Lasooni Methi Malai Paneer, and Gajar Halwa cake that serves a whopping x20 people.

This year, Asda has introduced Diwali seasonal aisles to 61 stores, which is 11 more than 2022, making it the biggest Diwali yet at the supermarket.
To showcase the breadth of range and choice, when it comes to fresh ingredients, store cupboard essentials and frozen favourites, the retailer is partnering with MasterChef 2022 quarter finalist and Instagram influencer, Rishi Nanavati (@dish_by_rish), to create delicious recipe inspiration for Diwali celebrations. The dishes include an impressive vegetarian centrepiece main, an easy-to-cook rice-based side dish, and a showstopper dessert.

On TikTok, the hashtag #Diwali2023 is gaining traction with 15.4 million views and #Diwalirecipes has racked up 4.2 million views, demonstrating an appetite for festive recipe inspiration.

Rishi was the first vegetarian MasterChef contender to cook only vegan and vegetarian food when he took part in the show in 2022, introducing the audience to traditional Indian dishes with a twist. As well as being a dentist and private chef, Rishi has become increasingly popular on his social media accounts sharing inspirational recipes, and this year he is creating dishes perfect for Diwali celebrations using ingredients entirely available at Asda.

Rishi says: "Here are 3 recipes to spruce up your Diwali dinner using Asda's ingredients! Serve a main course of Lasooni Methi Malai Paneer (a creamy garlic and fenugreek paneer curry) alongside some fresh, vibrant, and earthy Lemon Jeera Rice (lemon and cumin rice). A guaranteed crowd pleaser that's full of flavour and perfect for celebrating the occasion. Finish your Diwali dinner with a slice of Gajar Halwa Cake, in other words the famous South Asian spiced carrot pudding meets carrot cake, this recipe serves 20 people at a budget-friendly price when using Asda ingredients. Serve with a scoop of Malai Kulfi for a sweet and creamy finish to a lovely Diwali meal."

All ingredients are available to buy in-store, don’t forget customers shopping Diwali, can gain 10%  back in their Asda Rewards Cashpot on selected products. All of Rishi’s recipes can be found online or head to Asda Good Living for more information.

Centerpiece: Lasooni Methi Malai Paneer
Serves: 4
Price: per serving £1.90

Rishi says: “Serve a main course of Lasooni Methi Malai Paneer (a creamy garlic and fenugreek paneer curry) alongside some fresh, vibrant, and earthy Lemon Jeera Rice (lemon and cumin rice). A guaranteed crowd pleaser that's full of flavour and perfect for celebrating the occasion.”

Ingredients: 500g paneer 3 onions, sliced 50g cashew nuts 7 cloves garlic 3tbsp ghee 250ml water 1tsp cumin seeds 3 green cardamom 1 bay leaf 1 cinnamon stick 2 green chillies, sliced 75g fresh methi, roughly chopped 1tsp salt 2tsp garam masala 2tsp black pepper 1tsp cumin powder 100ml double cream 1/2tbsp kasuri methi Handful fresh coriander

Tempering: 1tbsp ghee 2 cloves garlic, sliced 2 green chillies, sliced 1/2tsp chilli powder

Method:

  1. Start by chopping the paneer into bite sized pieces, then soak in boiling water for 30 mins
  2. Heat 1tbsp of ghee in a pan and sauté the onions, 3 whole cloves of garlic, and cashew nuts for 10 mins on low heat
  3. Then transfer to a blender jug with 250ml of water and blend till smooth
  4. Heat another 2tbsp of ghee and toast the cumin seeds, cardamom, cinnamon, and bay leaf for 1 minute
  5. Mince the remaining 4 cloves of garlic and add to the pan along with the green chillies.
  6. Continue to cook until the garlic has turned golden
  7. Next add the fresh methi and sauté until it has started to wilt
  8. Pour in the onion sauce along with the salt, black pepper, cumin powder, garam masala, and paneer.
  9. Mix to combine, then cover the pan and let it simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes
  10. Finish with cream, kasuri methi, and fresh coriander
  11. For the tempering, heat ghee in a pan and sauté the garlic and green chillies until the garlic becomes crispy
  12. 12. Mix in chilli powder and spoon over the paneer before serving

Side dish: Lemon Jeera rice
Serves: 4
Price: per serving £0.34p
Ingredients: 300g basmati rice 1tbsp ghee 2tsp cumin seeds 1 bay leaf 1/2tsp turmeric 1tsp salt Juice of 1 lemon

Method:

  1. Heat the ghee in a pan and toast the cumin seeds and bay leaf for 30s
  2. Add in the turmeric and rice, and briefly mix
  3. Add salt and enough water to the pan to cover up to the first line on your index finger from the top of the rice
  4. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn down to a medium heat until the water reaches the level of the rice.
  5. Cover the pan and place on a low heat until all the water has evaporated
  6. Finish with lemon juice

Showstopper dessert: Gajar Halwa cake
Serves: 20
Price: per serving £0.55p

Rishi says: “Finish your Diwali dinner with a slice of Gajar Halwa Cake, in other words the famous South Asian spiced carrot pudding meets carrot cake. Serve with a scoop of Malai Kulfi for a sweet and creamy finish to a lovely Diwali meal."

Ingredients: Sponge: 450g self-raising flour Pinch of salt 12g baking powder 300ml whole milk 150ml neutral oil (sunflower/vegetable) 240g sugar 2tsp vanilla bean paste 1tsp almond extract 20 cardamon pods Generous pinch saffron 100g sultanas 500g carrots, grated Halwa: 1kg carrots Pinch salt 125g sugar 450ml whole milk 2tbsp ghee 5 pods cardamom, ground Pinch Saffron 10g Sultanas 10g Pistachios 10g Flaked almonds

Method:

For the sponge

  1. Take 1tbsp of the milk and heat in the microwave till steaming.
  2. Then add a pinch of the saffron and allow to infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the inner black seeds from the cardamom pods and grind to a powder
  3. Next whisk the oil, sugar, cardamom, vanilla, and almond extract
  4. Add the milk and the saffron milk and whisk again
  5. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Then whisk to a smooth batter
  6. Fold in the carrots and sultanas, and pour into a greased and lined 31x20cm pan
  7. Bake in a preheated 130'C(fan)/150'C(conventional) oven for 60 minutes, then 170'C/190'C for 10 minutes
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely

For the halwa

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a pan and toast the sultanas, pistachios, and almonds for 2 minutes on low heat, then transfer aside
  2. Add the remaining tbsp of ghee, then add the carrots and salt. Cook for 10 minutes over a medium heat, stirring continuously
  3. Add the sugar, milk, cardamom, and saffron and continue to cook stirring continuously for 25-30 minutes or until no liquid remains
  4. Mix the sultanas and nuts into the halwa. Allow to cool before topping the cake
  5. Serve with a scoop of malai kulfi

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