The festival of lights is upon us and what better way to celebrate than to try your hand at making these traditional Diwali treats. A few ladies share with NT BUZZ their family recipes and also how they celebrate Diwali in their households
The Gaude family comes together for all major celebrations and Diwali is another time when the house is lit with diyas and lights, and the home is filled with laughter and cheer.
Minister of Art and Culture Govind Gaude, tells NT BUZZ that the celebrations will be as usual and people have waited anxiously for the festive season, and now that the corona cases have been slowly declining, it’s a matter of cheer and happiness.
Telling us about the celebrations at his home Gaude says: “After praying and performing the rituals in the morning we then eat fov preparations (beaten rice). In the evening we light up the place with diyas and we get ready for the occasion.” He makes it a point to visit around 15 families in the neighbourhood.
Just like every year, there is a programme this time too. “It’s in keeping with the tradition and affirming our belief that the bad diminishes and the good supersedes.”
The entire family does something or the other. While the ladies take charge of the kitchen, the men folk prepare that akash kandil and the kids join in to help out.
The pattern of celebrations changes with time, and it’s bound to happen. In 2020 when people are going back to the older ways of living during the pandemic, he reminisces about the way he would partake in Diwali. “When I was a kid we used to stay away all night, participating in small programmes, we used to have sports and narkasur competitions, and then we used to also have a rally. But now the narkasurs have very less art in them and it is more about winning competitions.”
He does admit that youngsters celebrate differently and there is alcohol, mischief and all sorts of evil involved. He says that in previous times the celebration was simple and meaningful, but today there’s extravagance and the essence of it is not really understood.
Unlike before Diwali preparations don’t take much time, and now everything, he says, is readily available.
Today Gaude will be in a joyous mood, revelling with family and friends and devouring on rosantle fov and alsande ross.
Along with his mother Droupadi, wife Reena and children Vaishrav and Shravani, he hopes this Diwali will be a bright one for everyone, ending the virus and wading off evils.
Ingredients: 1.5 cups of rice, 1/2 cup channa dal, 1/2 cup moong dal, half cup urad dal, 1/4th cup coriander seeds, 1 tablespoon jeera, 1 teaspoon chilli powder, pinch of salt, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, a pinch of asafoetida, pinch of sesame seeds and a pinch of carom seeds.
Method: Take rice, channa dal, moong dal and urad dal and wash it, and then fry it in oil, separately. Then add the coriander and jeera to the oil. Grind everything into flour. Next take 1/4th cup of water and bring to a boil and pour over the flour (can add warm water if required) to make dough.
Take chakli cast and put dough in it to release the chaklis into the oil. Fry well.
(The dough keeps for four days.)
Ingredients: 2 cups rawa, 1 cup sugar (ground), 3 tablespoons pure ghee, 5 elaichi flakes, cloves, raisins, 3 grated pistachios, almonds and cashew nuts, and ¼th cup water or milk.
Method: Fry rawa till it is semi-brown and then add sugar, mix well. Add ghee and mix well, then sprinkle cardamom, cloves and raisins and add grated pistachios, almonds and cashew nuts. Next slowly mix water or milk to give the round shape.
(If milk is added the ladoos will keep only for two days; else for a week.)
Ingredients: 1 cup wheat flour, 1 teaspoon oil, salt to taste, 1.5 cup powdered sugar, ghee for frying.
Method: Add the oil and salt to the wheat flour and let it rest for two hours. Then knead into dough. Then make small pieces and roll each into small puri. Take each round and score it with a pizza cutter or knife. Roll the puri into twisted form and immerse in ghee to fry. Take care that twisted form remains firm. Deep fry till golden brown. Melt the sugar in hot water and keep aside. Dip these fried champakalis in the sugar syrup, remove and serve.
Ingredients: 10 ambade/hog plums, 1/4th kg jaggery, 1 coconut, 1 spoon of mustard seeds, 1/4th teaspoon of asafoetida, 1/4th spoon of fenugreek seeds, 6 dry red chillies, 1/4th spoon of dry coriander, 1/4th spoon of turmeric, 1/4th spoon of pepper powder and a few curry leaves.
Method: Peel the ambade and add salt, jaggery and keep aside.
Heat oil in a vessel and add the mustard seeds, asafoetida, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves.
Add the ambade and remaining jaggery. Cook it with some water.
Grind the coconut with the dry coriander, chillies, turmeric powder and pepper powder.
Add this to the ambade along with salt and cook for 10 minutes.
Ingredients: 10 ambade (hog plums), 1 fresh grated coconut, 250 grams grated jaggery, ½ teaspoon mustard seeds, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida powder, 3 teaspoons ghee and salt to taste.
Method: Peel hog plums and half boil them. Add ghee, mustard seeds and asafoetida in the pan and roast for few seconds.
Add the jaggery and pour a little water so that it melts. Later add the pre-boiled hog plums to the pan and stir well.
Next add chillies, grated coconut, pinch of pepper, salt and cook for about 5 minutes on low flame.
For the dough
Ingredients: 1/2 kg of maida, 1 cup of rawa, 1 cup of ghee, 1 teaspoon of salt (as per taste), and 350 grams of powdered sugar.
Method: Soak the rawa for 4 to 5 hours. Sieve maida and add boiling ghee. Mix well and then add salt and soaked rawa. Knead well till it hardens a bit. Wrap in a wet cloth for two hours.
For the filling
Ingredients: ½ kg of rawa, 1 dry coconut scraped, 3 teaspoons each of sesame seeds, khus khus, scraped dry fruit mix of cashews, almonds, pistachios and raisins.
Method: Roast rawa and keep aside. Roast dry coconut and keep aside. Roast all the other ingredients and keep aside.
Mix all the ingredients together and add ghee. Fry for few minutes and let the mixture cool. Once cooled add powdered sugar and mix well.
Use a rolling pin to make puri-sized maida rotis. Fill the sweet mixture on one side, fold it over and close by pinching the edges.
Heat ghee in a deep frying pan on low flame and drop the nevris in. Fry till the colour turns light golden brown.