A very happy Deepavali to all of you.
May this Deepavali bring all of you loads of happiness,Peace, health and wealth.
Eid wishes to all our Muslim friends too, enjoy the festivities!:))
A colorful Rangoli with a beautiful deepa in the center!
Photo from fotosearch. Here is my last year's Deepavali post!
The Sanskrit word "Deepavali" is derived from Deepa = light and Avali = a row, that stands for victory of brightness over darkness. "Row of lights" are lit and colorful Rangolis are created to welcome Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth and to bring prosperity to our homes and huge fireworks display will be enjoyed by all at the end of the day.
A Indian boy lighting rows of little lamps!
One of the most loved festivals for Hindus, Deepavali or Diwali in India is celebrated with lots of enthusiasm. This festival is celebrated for five days. On the third day, Diwali or 'Festival of Lights' is celebrated. Fireworks and colorful Rangolis are always associated with this Deepavali. Diwali is celebrated with people lighting diyas/Earthern lamps all around the house. Lakshmi(Goddess of Wealth) Puja is performed in the evening to seek her blessings and elaborate meals are prepared for the family. Diwali gifts and sweets are exchanged among the family and friends.
Photo from www.brittanica.com
Although, this festival is celebrated by different communities in a many different ways, the main idea is to celebrate the victory of good over evil, to bring a spiritual light into our lives. In India, Diwali is now considered to be more of a national festival, and the fun aspect of this festival like fireworks etc is enjoyed by most Indians regardless of their faith.More info about Diwali stories and rituals is here.
This post goes to Vee of "Past, Present and Me" who is hosting this month's "JFI and Festival series" combined to make a "Diwali special" Thank you Vee, looking forward to the delicious round up!:))
Well.. Here is my Pre-Deepavali sample thali, I am going to make this weekend! Usually, I make a grand feast for Deepavali like last year but I cooked so much for Dasara, I am cutting down Diwali menu a little this year. I might make some more snacks this week like Chakli which I have already posted. Enjoy!:)
Menu: Mom's Vegetable Bhath, Parathas, Green Tomatoes Kurma, Carrot-Moong dal Kosumbari, Onion Pakodas, Mini Samosas(store bought), Latha's Mysore Pak and Moong dal-Coconut Payasa, Mysore ajji style!!:)
Now the recipes..
This is how my mom makes the vegetable Bhath, which is a spicy coconut paste combined with mixed vegetables and then mixed with cooked and cooled long grain rice. Basmati is not a good match for this spicy masala, which has it's own aroma. Coconut-veggies masala cab be made early and keep in the fridge for atleast 2 days.
Cook 2 cups rice, spread on a wide pan and let it cool.Cook 2 cups of cubed mixed veggies like Green beans, Carrots, Greenpeas, Turnips and Cauliflower separately and drain water.Keep aside.
Grind these with very little water to a thick coarse paste: 1 cup grated coconut, 3-4 green chillies, 4 cloves, 1" cinnamon/Dalchini, 1" Ginger, 2 large Garlic, few curry leaves, stems of Cilantro to avoid green color, 20 leaves of mint.
To make it: 1. Heat 1 tbsp oil and ghee mixed, add 1 small onion chopped and fry until edges are golden. Turn down the heat, add ground masalas and cooked drained veggies, mix gently and simmer for 5 mins.Do not fry, just heat thru' the masala.
2. Add this masala by ladlefuls to the rice with salt, toss gently until well mixed,adjust the salt and use only as much masala you need. Serve with a Salad.
Green Tomatoes Kurma:
We had our first Spring frost last week, that means no more red tomatoes for me! But they were loads of green Tomatoes left on the plants. I made this Kurma with a recipe my friend gave me in B'lore, little different than my own Kurmas! You can use any vegetable you like with the same masala. Goes very well with Poories, but I made some layered Parathas for Kurma.
1. Chop 6-8 Green Tomatoes into big chunks or any veggie you like,peel and cube 2 small potatoes, keep aside. 2. Heat 1 tbsp oil and butter, splutter 1 tsp mustard seeds and 1 tbsp Chana dal, and 1 tsp Urad dal. Add all the Tomatoes and potatoes with a cup of water and cook until almost done. Turn down the heat.
3. Add ground Kurma Masala, simmer gently until you get a good aroma. Tastes great next day. Add more water if needed but Kurma should be thickish.
Grind all these to a smooth paste: 1/4 cup grated fresh coconut, 3-4 red chillies or red chilli pd, 1 tbsp roasted chana or gram dal (chutney dal), 1/2" ginger, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1/8 tsp turmeric, 1" cinnamon stick, few cilantro stems,6 Cashews, 4 cloves, 1 tbsp Poppy seeds(pre-soak in boiling water to make it easy to grind) and 2 Cardamoms(seeds).
Carrot-Moong dal-red Onion Kosumbari/Salad:
A typical but easy and delicious K'taka salad, Carrot Kosumbari, you might have seen in many blogs and in K'taka round ups too. A very refreshing lemony salad to eat with spicy dishes, here is mine.
1. Soak 1 tbsp Moong dal in hot water for 30 mins, then drain all the water, keep aside. Grate 2-3 Carrots to a bowl, add 1/4 red onion finely chopped,1/2 green chilly finely chopped, Moong dal,few chopped cilantro, squeeze 1/4 or more lemon juice, salt and fresh ground pepper.Cover and chill for 15 mins before serving.
You can season it with heated 1 tsp oil, mustard seeds and few curry leaves too.
"Feather light" Onion Pakodas!:D
This is my favorite way of making feather light onion Pakodas, crunchy and tasty. It's also very easy to make in a hurry too. Hope you try!:)
1. Take 1 or 2 large red onions or Vedelia onion or regular onions, slice 1/4" thick half rings,put them in a wide mouthed bowl.
2. Add 1/4 tsp of baking soda, salt, 2-3 green chillies finely chopped,finely chopped few curry leaves, few cilantro, 1/2" grated ginger, 1/2 tsp crushed Ajwain/Carom seeds, 1 tbsp crushed Coriander seeds to the bowl with onions, 2 tbsp hot oil, mix, cover and keep aside.
3. Heat enough oil to deep fry. Now, sprinkle about 3-4 tbsp Besan/ chickpea flour on the onion mix and gently stir just to coat the onions with Besan. Flour should just clinging to the onion, do not add any water at all.Adjust salt and chillies.
4. With a fork, pick a small lump of onion mix and drop in the oil with the help of a spoon. Fry until golden, Drain on the paper towel. Best eaten hot!!
Mysore special, Moong dal Payasa with ground coconut and poppy seeds:
Hesarubele-Kayi-Gasagase Payasa or Moong dal Payasa/porridge with sweet ground coconut is my ajji's recipe which is typical Mysoorean style dessert. I love the grainy soft dal with a great taste of coconut and poppy seeds paste. I add way less sugar than the my grandmother since I don't like any of my desserts too sweet. Please add as much sugar as per your taste!:)
1. Heat 1 tbsp ghee, fry 1/2 cup Moong dal until golden and add 1 cup of water and cook until dal is soft either in pressure cooker or microwave or in the same pan. Add 1 cup whole milk and 1/4 cup grated Jaggery or brown sugar, simmer.
2. Add ground coconut paste, simmer until thick. Heat 1/2 tsp ghee and fry 1 tbsp Raisins and Cashewnuts until golden and add to the Payasa. You could add more milk to the Payasa if it's too thick and Saffron if you need some color.
Grind these to smooth paste: 1/4 cup fresh Coconut,1 tbsp Poppy seeds(pre-soaked in hot water for 5 mins), 1/2 tsp Cardamom seeds, enough milk to grind to a smooth paste.
Latha's "melt in the mouth" Mysore Pak:
I have made Mysore Pak before with my own recipe but after looking at Latha's golden Mysore Pak, I had to try with her recipe. Although, they didn't come out as good as Latha's, they were very tasty and had melt in the mouth texture just like we get in the sweetmarts in K'taka! Here is her recipe!
Here is how I made it: Warm 1/2 cup Besan(Chickpea flour) in a non-stick pan with 1 tsp ghee. Heat 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup Sugar in the Microwave until sugar dissolves. Add to the warmed Besan, whisk briskly.Add 1/2 cup ghee and 1 tsp Cardamom pd into the pan, keep stirring on medium heat until you honeycomb like texture. Drop the mix into greased plate. Cut into shapes and let it cool.Enjoy!:)
One more look!:)
We lit our front porch with votive candles, a bit toned down than last year's, it was too cold outside!!:)
Kids and Arvind enjoying "noiseless" Deepavali firecrackers all covered up in winter jackets and shoes while mom took photos!!;D
And that's it for this year's Deepavali. Have fun this Friday with all the feast, family, friends and fireworks. Be safe and enjoy. See you next week with Bihari dishes!:))
November 07, 2007
A very happy Deepavali to all of you.