Indian cooks around the world reach for the sweets this week in celebration of the Indian festival of lights, Diwali. Fruits and nuts are a favourite, with recipes for dishes such as nut fudge, walnut brownies and chocolate almond cake on this year's circuit. Royal vermicelli kheer is similar to rice pudding. Ingredients are cup thin vermicelli, one litre milk, cup sugar, cup cream, four tbs ghee (clarified butter), one ounce skinned almonds, one tsp cinnamon powder, three small bananas. Fry vermicelli in two tbs ghee until light and golden. Cool. Chop almonds, then cook in two tbs ghee until toasted. Boil milk for five minutes, then add in vermicelli and stir over low heat until vermicelli is softened and milk is thick (do not overcook vermicelli). Reduce heat, add in sugar slowly, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool. Add in cream, almonds, cinnamon powder and sliced bananas. Serve cold. Rib-tickling deal Deal of the week goes to American rib joint Tony Roma's, which is offering a free child's meal on weekends with every two adult portions of ribs ordered. The special, which includes junior portions of strips, ribs or burgers, runs until November 16 at the Lan Kwai Fong outlet only. Reservations on 2521-0292. Christmas hampers The Furama Hotel's eager publicity machine has brought forward Christmas: its yuletide hampers include few surprises among the cookies, stollen and gingerbread men. The top-of-the-range hamper contains $1,997 worth of festive treats such as cookies, Christmas pudding in a China basin, salami, smoked salmon, duck liver terrine, red and white wine and Champagne, among others. There are a Furama mug and T-shirt, too. Hampers start at $888. On the grapevine A new Australian seedless grape variety, sunmuscat, is headed straight for Asia following its scheduled launch next year. The new grape, sunmuscat, has a muscat taste and is sweeter than regular seeded raisin grapes. The grapes are expected to be most popular as snack foods and in cereals. Fatless hopes Two new fat substitutes - litesse and oatrim - promise entry into a world dripping with butter with none of the high-calorie. Both are classified as 'hydrocolloids', chemical agents that mimic fat so totally few can tell the two apart. They have one calorie or less per gram, compared to 20 calories in a regular gram of fat. They have yet to be approved by US Food and Drug Administration.