Deepavali may be the Festival of Lights, but you won’t be wrong to call it the Festival of Flavours either.

No Deepavali is complete without a large array of dishes and sweets to mark the celebration. From the palagaram ­murukku, achimurukku, pineapple tarts, coconut candy and various popular treats – to the family breakfast at home, where steaming piles of idli, crispy vadai, mutton curry and other delicacies are quickly wolfed down, to the open house for friends of all races to tuck in the biryani and kurma, Deepavali is that time of the year when our cuisine takes centrestage.

While grains and spices are known to be staples of Indian kitchens and essentials in any self-respecting chef or home cook’s pantry, yogurt is just as important to Indian cuisine, though it is something of an unsung hero.

Think about it. Yogurts are featured prominently in Indian cooking, used in dishes from curries to raita to tandoori chicken and mooru and lassi, just to name a few. It adds a touch of sourness and textural richness that is all but impossible to replicate otherwise.

Yogurt’s importance to the Indian culture stems from its historical roots. Many Indians are vegetarian, and yogurt has always been an important source of protein and calcium for the human body.

And when used in curries, it doesn’t just act as a thickener, but also provides important cooling effect to counteract the heat of spices in Indian food.

However, as our lives become more and more busy – many families now see both mum and dad working – it’s hard to make yogurt from scratch. Thankfully, we can now pick up what we need from the supermarket shelves and stores.

MARIGOLD, for example, offers a range of yogurt options to suit every need and taste. One popular choice is MARIGOLD Fat Free Yogurt Natural flavour, an absolute necessity in the kitchen, especially during this Deepavali season when plates need to be filled with heaping servings of deliciousness.

MARIGOLD’s yogurt comes in 1kg tubs that’s creamy in texture, well-balanced in flavour, as well as healthy, wholesome goodness. Not only it’s fat and cholesterol-free, it also has no added sugar and is fortified with calcium as well as live and active cultures. These cultures and probiotics are essential in keeping our digestive systems and intestines healthy while proven to reduce the risk of health problems like type 2 diabetes, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and obesity. ( Who says we can’t feast and be healthy at the same time?

Those who prefer some flavours in their yogurts can always opt for MARIGOLD’s fruit-based fat free yogurts, available in fruity flavours like Mixed Berries, Peach Mango, Strawberry, Blueberry and Aloe Vera. Perfect for the creative chef who wants a base for their next great Deepavali dessert creations.
Sometimes, you’ll want a little bit of fat for that extra creaminess, there are low fat options in Natural, Peach, Strawberry, Mixed Fruit Salad and Apricot flavours.

And if you’re looking for a kitchen lifehack, here’s one for those who want to make a great lassi. Use MARIGOLD Fat Free Yogurt Drink as your base and you’re on your way to enjoy the quintessential Indian drink. Whether it’s strawberry, mixed berries, mango, orange, natural or mixed fruits & vegetables with kale, there’s bound to be a flavour that tickles your palate!

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Image credit: PhilosoKitchen, MinistryOfCurry, HostTheToast, BlendWithSpices, TheVeggieIndians, FeastingAtHome and BBCGoodFood