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Where to celebrate Diwali with plenty of <i>mithai</i>

A variety of sweets are sold at Surati Farsan Mart restaurant in Artesia.

A variety of sweets are sold at Surati Farsan Mart restaurant in Artesia.

(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, is a five-day new year celebration that involves plenty of sweets, also known as mithai. And this year, Diwali starts Wednesday.

To celebrate, here are a couple restaurants and stores around town offering special menus and sweets. If you’d like to make your own Diwali-inspired dessert, we’ve got a recipe for kheer, Diwali-style Indian rice pudding.

Sambar: Akasha Richmond’s Culver City restaurant is celebrating Diwali with some festive desserts. Expect turmeric poppy-seed cookies and chai-spiced chocolate chunk cookies at Sambar, as well as more Diwali-inspired sweets at her other Culver City restaurant, Akasha. 9531 Culver Blvd., Culver City, (310) 558-8800, www.sambarcc.com.

Spice Affair: The Beverly Hills restaurant will have Diwali specials and activities Wednesday through Sunday. The Diwali menu will include pumpkin and cheddar naan; nalli roganjosh (lamb shanks with onion, tomato, dry ginger and fennel); and shahi tukda (bread in saffron milk). Guests will also receive complimentary sweets. There will be Rangoli art and Diyas displays Wednesday to Sunday; live Indian music Friday, Saturday and Sunday; live dancers Friday and Saturday; and a special brunch featuring henna artists Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 3 p.m. 50 N. La Cienega Blvd., #120, Beverly Hills, (310) 400-6800, www.spice-affair.com.

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Surati Farsan Market: At this market and restaurant in Artesia, you can order churma ladoo, kaju-pista rolls, shrik and more sweets by the pound and online. You can also stop in for some samosas to munch on while you shop. 11814 E. 186th St., Artesia, (562) 860-2310, www.suratifarsan.com.

I’ve got a serious sweet tooth, but I like chips for dessert too. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_

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