New York restaurants celebrate Diwali with delicious dishes and sweets

The kitchen at Moti Mahal Delux on the Upper East Side of Manhattan was busy preparing for the crowds expected to celebrate Diwali.

"It symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness, so essentially it is the festival of lights," general manager Samir Baxi said.

Sweets have a big role to play in Diwali celebrations.

"When we expect guests at home or when we go and visit our friends and family, we take a box of sweets," Baxi said, "just to spread happiness and sweetness."

Diwali originated in the ancient Indian subcontinent. Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and some Buddhists all celebrate it.

Chef Jai Lakhwani of Bombay Bread Bar in Soho also prepared for crowds by cooking the other traditional foods.

"It's a really huge festival and a lot of people will use a lot of dairy in a lot of their cooking," Lakhwani said. "So anywhere from their appetizers to their entrees to their desserts will consist of some form of dairy."

Because Diwali fell in the middle of the week, celebrations actually started last weekend and will go all the way into this weekend.

If you happen to see the lights on all night at some restaurants, businesses or homes, it isn't because people forgot. Diwali is, after all, the festival of lights.