Mornings show streaks of red in the Eastern sky and night glows with a golden hue from thousands of lamps, as everyone revels in festivities. Dry spells are filled with glittering and intense booming fireworks. Incessant rains cannot dampen the pervading festive spirit.
However this year, as of now, it is all sun and skies!
Various stories for celebrating Diwali are
Goddess Lakshmi’s birthday
Victory of Rama over Ravaana
Krishna killed the demon Narakaasur
Vamana, Vishnu in his dwarf incarnation vanquished the tyrant Bali
Return of the Pandavas
Worship of Kali Ma and Ganesha
Nirvana of Lord Mahavira
The Sikh Guru Hargobind Ji, freed from imprisonment
In all interpretations, one common thread rings true—the festival marks the triumph of good over evil and celebration of life!
In South India, on Deepavali, people wake up early in the morning and take an oil bath, wear new clothes, light fireworks and eat sweets and savouries. They greet one another asking, “Have you had your ‘Ganga snanam’?” referring to the morning oil bath, symbolising a dip in the purifying holy Ganges.
Click on the links below for Diwali Special homemade recipes, you may want to try out this year
Prep time : 15 mins; Cooking time : 30 mins; Serves : 4 - 6Ingredients :
400 gms unsweetened khova | khoya
500 gms sugar | 2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup plain flour
a pinch of baking soda
3 - 6 strands of saffron
a pinch of pachaikarpooram | edible camphor
Oil or ghee for frying
1. Take khova in a broad base tray, add baking soda and flour. Knead well with the palm and check if it can be rolled into balls. If not, sprinkle a little water. Take the Khova + flour dough and roll into small balls. Keep covered for 5 mins.
2. Prepare the sugar syrup. 2 1/2 cups of sugar need 3 1/2 cups of water, boil just till it becomes sticky ie one string consistency. Switch off heat. Now mix in the saffron and pachaikarpooram to the syrup.
3. Heat oil on a very slow flame. Take maximum upto 5 jamoons and fry them till golden brown in the oil, making sure they are browned evenly on all sides. The oil temperature needs to be regulated all the time. If it gets too hot, switch of the gas and let temperature come down and then relight the gas. This is essential for the jamuns to be cooked through and not get burnt only on the outside.
4. Once golden brown, remove out all the excess oil with a perforated spoon and put the Jamoons in the syrup. After soaking for half an hour it is ready to be served.
1. A tsp of Rose water or 1 - 2 drops of rose essence can be added to the syrup.
2. Nuts like almonds and cashews can be stuffed inside the gulab jamoon and prepared.
Serving suggestions :
1. Can be served hot along with cold ice cream.
2. Can be garnished with chopped pistachios and rose petals.
1.The amount of ghee may be different in different Khova, hence the flour required, may vary. If the jamoons disintegrate whilst frying, add 1 - 2 tbsp more of plain flour.
2. Few drops of lemon juice can be added to the syrup to prevent it from crystallizing.