Diwali, the festival of lights is tomorrow, Nov 13th. It is also a celebration of good over evil. Hindu mythology states the story of Diwali as follows:
Ravana, the wicked king of Sri Lanka who had ten arms and ten heads, kidnapped Sita, wife of Rama. At the time Rama was in exile for 14 years because of a disagreement with his father as to who would be the next king of Ayodhya.
After a great battle Rama killed the demon Ravana and rescued his wife. Rama’s return with his wife Sita to Ayodhya and his subsequent coronation as king is celebrated as Diwali.
When Rama and Sita first returned to Ayodhya it was a dark moonless night and they couldn’t see where they were going. People of Ayodhya put small lamps called ‘diyas’ outside their houses so that the new king and queen could find their way. The tradition of lighting lamps and fireworks is still continued to this day by Hindus across the world.
In my humble opinion, there is a bit of Ravana in evry one of us. We could also call him the ‘ego’. Diwali is a time to reflect and rethink our priorities and the way we tame our ego and treat one and all with respect and love.
Wishing you a bright and happy Diwali!
Here are some recipes that will make your Diwali sweeter and delicious…
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups wheat flour
4 tbsp yogurt
10-15 whole peppercorns
¾ cup Milk
1 cup Water
Oil for deep frying
Make a batter of all the dry ingredients and yogurt, using 1/2 milk and 1/2 water till it is thick and of pouring consistency, similar to pancake batter. Whisk till smooth. Add the 10 peppercorns. Keep aside and allow it to ferment for about two hours.
Heat oil on a medium flame. Drop large ladlefuls into the oil to form circles of 4 inches.
Typically the dough will sink and line the bottom of the pan and rise up in the shape of a disc. Fry till golden. Drain and pat off the oil. Serve with whipped cream.
1 Cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
Oil for deep frying
Salt to taste
Roast the cumin on low fire, let it cool slightly and grind it. Mix cumin and salt with flour. Knead the flour mixture with 2-3 teaspoons of oil and water (as needed) to form a firm dough.
Roll the dough into a circle. Fold it. Roll it flat again. Repeat the process one more time to form a 1/8 inch thick disc.
Cut dough in small squares or diamond shape.
Heat the oil in a skillet on medium heat. Fry the diamond shaped namak pare, until they turn golden brown.
Let the snacks cool before serving. Store in air tight container for over a week.
12 nos. Almonds
4 tablespoons Rice flour
2 1/2 cups Milk
5 tablespoons Sugar
8 strands Saffron
1 teaspoon Cardamom powder
Blanch and grind the almonds to a fine paste with 1/2 cup milk. Mix together the ground almond paste and rice flour and keep aside.
Bring the milk to a boil. Add the sugar and stir till the sugar dissolves. Keep aside a tablespoon of hot milk and dissolve the saffron in it. Add the almond-rice mixture into the boiling milk along with the saffron.
Stir continuously for a few minutes till the milk thickens and attains a custard-like consistency. Sprinkle in the cardamom powder. Take off fire and cool to room temperature. Pour into individual bowls, garnish with almonds and pistachios and refrigerate.
1 cup Wheat Flour
1/4 cup Gram Flour (besan)
1 1/2 cup Sugar Powdered
1/4 cup Grated Coconut
1/4 cup Dry Fruit almonds, raisins, kaju etc
1 cup Ghee
Heat the ghee. Put both the flours in the heated ghee. Slow roast till the mixture turns golden brown and gives a nice aroma. When nearly roasted put coconut and sliced dry fruit in the mixture. Now put the ground sugar in the mixture and stir thoroughly.
Take off from the heat quickly and make laddus. You may also put the mixture in a greased thali & cut into small pieces.