Dress up in your brightest and best to celebrate Diwali, India's Festival of Lights. The official day is October 17, but you can beat that by going to the L.A. Mumbai Sister City Affiliation's Diwali party the weekend before. On October 11, the group will go all out with a sumptuous Indian regional feast, henna painting, tarot reading and a dance performance by Sharanya Mukhopadhyay, Miss Showbiz India 2008-2009.

achari paneer tikka; Credit: B. Hansen

achari paneer tikka; Credit: B. Hansen

You'll eat such exotic dishes as zaffrani murgh tikka, which is saffron-seasoned chicken; lamb do piaza, or lamb with onions; Goan fish curry with coconut sauce; achari paneer tikka, which is grilled marinated Indian cheese; and aloo akhrot ki tikki, or tender cakes made of potatoes and walnuts. The long menu is planned for vegetarians as well as meat-eaters.Wines will be provided by Rideau Vineyard of Santa Ynez, Clautiere Vineyard of Paso Robles and Malibu Family Wines.

The dress code is glamorous and Indian-inspired, so you'll have a chance to get out those spangly clothes you brought home from India. And all for charity, with proceeds going to AmeriCares in India. You'll have fun, because Diwali is a happy festival, which Indians observe by gift-giving, eating sweets, seeking blessings of the goddess of wealth, setting off fireworks and illuminating homes with candles and oil lamps.

The party starts at 6 p.m. Oct. 11 at Gaylord Banquet Room, adjacent to Tanzore Indian restaurant, 50 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 652-3838. Tickets are $75. Those interested should make checks out to L.A. Mumbai Sister City and mail to David Salazar, 4931 W. 140th Street, Hawthorne, CA 90250 or email la.mumbai.sca@gmail.com.

LA Weekly