Tag Archives: Diwali

Festival Markets: Nostalgic Childhood Memories of Diwali Celebrations

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Image result for diwali images

Photo Courtesy:Internet :Holiday Spot.

Year 2018 Diwali comes knocking at our door. Whilst cleaning  the puja altar and preparing easy sweet treats, my cravings for the crunchy chakli, a lentil and spice based savoury and ghee laden karanji or khajjikaya bring back childhood memories. Did my old paternal aunt just knock at our door? I wish! Those were the fun-filled, aroma wafting days of a busy kitchen. Aunt used to help Mother to prepare big boxes of Diwali Faral treats. As children, we would patiently hide behind the kitchen doors, eager to hear the first call to taste the delicacies.

Here I share with you my home made Diwali Faral.

Home made Diwali treats

My friends and I ordered some dry fruit barfi and doodh pak online, keeping with the technology. We also visited our local store and bought some Faral off the shelves, that of course did not taste the same as home-made. Less cooking, less cleaning and no visit to the grocery stores are the choices of the day.  Weight watching, diabetes and BP have added to the lack lustre of relishing Diwali sweets, let alone preparing them.

Lighting of clay lamps and bursting crackers is an important part of the festival. Bright lamps signify light over darkness, good over evil. Traditionally clay lamps are made by the kumbhar potter communities. Life celebrated each person’s role in society and home – their ability, social involement and artistic qualities. Be it the simple kumbhar or the rich Bania merchant, the manual labourer or the wealthy household.

I rushed to buy some new clay lamps, traditionally old ones are discarded, another eco friendly concept. Roadside stalls, wheel carts, supermarket shelves, flower shops – all filled up every inch of space with different sizes and colours of these traditonal and modern diyas.  

As the sun goes down, rows of little oil filled diyas will beautify door entrances of every Hindu home, a symbolic representation to drive out negativity and darkness and illumine the home and heart. I filled out vibrant colours in the rangoli at the doorstep, inviting Goddess Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga – each one celebrated for wealth, learning and courage. I was once again reminded of childhood memories when mother, aunt and friends gathered together discussing Rangoli patterns, importance of placement of dots, lines and curves -it was fun-filled learning at the doorstep of each home.

Contrast that with shops in recent times, flooded with pre cut Rangoli plastic sheets, plastic flowers, crafted thermocol pieces to decorate the home. Creativity and business, a move away from the threshholds of home. Add Goggle websites and videos for up-to-date technology. Who needs an artistic neighbour or Aunt? Where is the time and interest? Demands of work pressure at office and nuclear families at home caves in to no involvement, no dedication and decreasing traditional spirit!

Rangoli –  Courtesy:Internet – happyshappy.

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Last but not the least – wearing new clothes and discarding old ones is customary. ”Declutter” – not just your home, body …but also your mind is the message given out through cultural knowledge. Wearing handmade ghagra or lengha and choli, bending over the sewing machine, learning how to thread the beads and laces on to the dress was another nostalgic learning moment, a time for bonding together with elder ladies of the house. A once a year gift to be treasured!

Instead, come visit the mall and revel in multi colours of the shelves and hanging sarees, see the extra-large street hoardings, newspaper advertisements spread over entire sheets during the pre Diwali shopping spree. Try buying online, there are dedicated FB pages. Designers are selling pre ordered clothing, that reaches every corner of India, and the world over, be it Toronto, or Melbourne. http://www.fabindia.com, http://www.utsavsarees.com, Naqshi, Chakor and Saree Speak on FB are some examples.

Fast cash and more incomes, internet connectivity and consumerism and other social pressures are fast changing the deep rooted traditions and symbolic meanings of the festive spirit. ‘Change is the only constant” and it applies here too.

Fancy dresses for Diwali sales

See here for an earlier post on Diwali

Festive Market: Light up for Deepavali

It’s time now to fill the oil in the lamps, light the diyas and prepare for arriving friends to share the sweets and festive warmth.

Happy Diwali to all my Hindu friends, family and blogging family. May you have prosperity, warmth and good health. May you share your goodwill and bounty with others.

All content and images copyright belong to Veena S. (2013 -2018) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.comPlease see copyright disclaimer.

 

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World Palate Recipes: Dry Fruits Barfi (Noughat)

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Once again it’s the festival of lights – Deepavali. All over India homes, shops and streets are decked in bright colour, tinkling lights, and garlands of marigold flowers. The festival celebrates ‘light over darkness’ and rejuvenating ourselves with knowledge. People lit diya or mud lamps in their homes and offices, symbolically to spread light.

Rangoli floor design

Indulgence in sweets mithai comes only naturally as friends and family  visit each other exchanging traditional home made sweets like Ladoo, Karanji, Doodh pak, Kalakand, Gulab Jamun. In recent times, fusion food followers are making fresh efforts to introduce new ingredients and recipes. Rose water, figs, khoya and baadam, chocolate, avocado and variety of nuts give a twist to the traditional recipes.

Here is a quick, easy and nutritious recipe using dry fruits.

Dry fruit Barfi

Ingredients

30 gms of each – almonds, figs, dates, pistachio, cashew nut ..and any other nut you may wish to introduce

20 gms roasted sesame seeds

10 gms poppy seeds or khus khus

2 spoons ghee or clarified butter

2 spoons wheat flour (optional)

Method

Finely chop the figs, dates and lightly soak them in very few drops of water for about 5-10 mins.

Coarse grind almonds, pistachio, cashew nuts and roasted sesame seeds – all separately! Keep aside in small separate portions.

Put a large pan on the burner to warm, add ghee and stir as it melts. Add the flour and roast till it gives aroma. Add in the dry fruits and nut mixture. Keep aside some pistachio powder and khus khus for garnish. Stir the mixture till all is well coated and mixed. Remove from burner and roll into cylindrical shape tightly. Tie a plastic wrap or aluminium foil and refrigerate.

Once cooled, remove from wrap. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Roll the edges with khus khus. Decorate on plate. (Optional – coat with silver edible foil if you wish, adds a festive touch).

Happy Deepavali. Enjoy the treats with your dear ones.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2017) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

Festive Market: Light up for Deepavali

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Festive Market: Light up for Deepavali

Yes, it’s Deepavali or Diwali once again. Streets and shops are brimming with latest sarees, dresses, lamps, festive puja items, fruit and mithai and electronics. Sale! sale! Glittering gold, red and green twinkling lights and confetti decorate shop windows. There’s hurry (and pressure) to buy the latest designs – be it bumper TV or iphone….or fashion wear! Festive markets are so colourful and fun.

Deepavali, a Hindu festival of lights (deepa) is celebrated all over India with much pomp. Traditionally, festive lamps or diyas, made from baked mud /clay are lit and kept at door entrances. Large colourful Rangoli or Kolam designs dot the floor spaces at entrances of homes and shops, boxes of mithai and meva arranged in colourful baskets, boxes laced with golden trimmings sit on store shelves awaiting customers. At home, every kitchen is given a good scrub. Preparation for making traditional sweets and savoury like sev, ladoo, chakli, halwa, chirote, namkeen begins days earlier. And on the last day…the noise and sparks from fire crackers and sparklers fill the streets.

For a recipe of Besan Ladoo see here.

No wonder, this family festival brings crowds (literally) to the streets. Here are a few photos that to brighten your mood and give you a glimpse the festival.

Diwali items for sale at street Bazaar

Diwali items for sale at street Bazaar

Colourful paper lanterns for sale at street kiosk

Colourful paper lanterns for sale at street kiosk

Here are the festive mud /clay lamps that add colour and bring in ‘light’ to the doorstep.

Festive Diyas or lamps

Festive Diyas or lamps

Many stories about the festival revolve around Lord Rama, the fight of good over evil, light and wisdom over darkness. The significance of lighting the lamps itself is symbolic of removing darkness and negativity from our life and the colours of Rangoli symbolize role of colour in our daily activity.

Here is a small compilation on books, stories and Rangoli:

At home, I enjoyed making simple paper lanterns or Kandil. Soon it will be time to decorate home with earthen lamps, colourful Rangoli and prepare gift plates and Kandil for distribution to friends and family.

Home made paper lanterns

Home made paper lanterns

At centres with disabled or mentally challenged children, economically low /troubled women, jail interns and other organizations teach and sell diyas and kandil to support such groups. It’s a time to light up THEIR life, by making small sacrifices and reaching out to those in need.

 

Beautiful Aakash Kandil. Made by students of Vishwas Special School for Mentally challenged (Thane). Contact: +91.9699699486

Beautiful Aakash Kandil. Made by students of Vishwas Special School for Mentally challenged (Thane). Contact: +91.9699699486

 

                                  Happy Diwali to all my friends who are celebrating.

Don’t forget to leave your comments on how you spent Diwali.

Colourful Rangoli floor design

Colourful Rangoli floor design

 

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

World Palate Recipes- Sweet Besan Ladoos for Deepavali

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Diwali-Celebration-photo

World Palate Recipes – Besan Ladoos for Deepavali

 

 

 

 

It’s that time of the year, once again. The noise of fire crackers fills the air, festive lights or Kandil make a welcome at door entrance, colourful Rangoli designs  are made with rice powder to decorate home entrances and wonderful aromas of sweet preparations waft from the Indian kitchens. It’s the Festival of Lights or ‘Deepavali’ a Hindu festival, full of colour and grandeur. (Dee.p means lamp and Aavali means row).

A time to rejoice light over darkness and Truth over ignorance and good over evil! Happy Deepavali to all.

 

Traditional Diwali sweets are: Besan Ladoo, Rava Ladoo, Khoya Gujjiya, Chakli, Chirote and a variety of dry fruit sweets. Crispy savouries or Namkeens also grace the festive tables.  Families and friends exchange gifts and sweets. This brings back my childhood memories – my paternal aunt would arrive few days ahead of the festival to help my mother in preparation. The two women would busy themselves in the kitchen for long hours – sharing conversation and recipes and mixing and kneading dough for sweet Ladoo and  savoury Chakli and Chivda. ‘Wait till Diwali day’ my mother used to warn us children, lest we steal some sweets in a haste to relish them fresh!

As i celebrate Deepavali with my family today, this page becomes a tribute to my Aunt and old mother. Here is the recipe of Besan/Gram Flour Ladoo. 

Ingredients:

3 cups Besan /Gram flour

1 cup fie Semolina

3 cups powdered sugar

150 gms Cow ghee

100 gms. cashews

50 gms. raisins

1 tsp. cardamom powder

1 tsp. nutmeg powder

 

 

Method:

Place all the ingredients in a large plate, ready for use. Slice the cashews in half for decoration. Take a heavy bottom pan /large wok, pour 3/4 the ghee in to it to melt on low flame. Add gram flour to it and roast till light brown, stirring continuously and evenly. Add little more ghee, as required. Set aside to cool on plate. Roast the semolina till light brown, add to gram flour mixture.

Add powdered sugar, flavouring powders and raisins to this semi-cooled mixture. Mix /knead lightly.

Take a small part of the mixture into the palm of hand, roll /toss lightly and evenly to form  a ball/ ladoo.Decorate with halved cashew piece. Place on festive plate or in container. Distribute to friends and family after cooling.

Besan Ladoo for Deepavali

Besan Ladoo for Deepavali