Heard on the Hill

Menu Set for Diwali Fest

Everything about Congress’ first-ever Diwali celebration — a commemoration of the Hindu festival of lights scheduled to take place 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 29 in the Rayburn foyer — appears to be falling into place, including the array of vegetarian treats to be shared with guests and the high-profile friends expected to be floating around.

The inaugural event (secure your spot by RSVPing to diwali@ssvt.org) will be catered by Woodlands Restaurant in Langley Park, Md.

A party planner told HOH that attendees will be invited to feast on: cocktail-sized samosas (stuffed pastries), dhokla (a grain-based snack flavored with everything from sweet tamarind to zesty chutneys), paneer tikka (chunks of marinated and grilled homemade cheese), aloo tikki chole (spiced potato patties), kala jamun (deep-fried cheese balls dipped in sugar syrup), and burfee (fudge-like sweets forged from condensed milk and assorted mix-ins). Mango lassis (think fruit-yogurt smoothie) will be the featured beverage.

“Dignitaries will be greeted with jasmine flower garlands [and] will be cloaked in a traditional shawl,” an event coordinator relayed via email.

We’re not sure if Sen. Mark Warner will make the cut for the garland-shawl treatment, but his staff confirmed that the Virginia Democrat plans to attend.

And an aide to Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans Co-Chairman Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., told HOH that Nirupama Rao, Indian ambassador to the United States, has pledged to make an appearance.

Not a dignitary?

No worries.

Everyone who attends will be sent home with a gift box of Indian sweets.