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 : 5 mins ; Cooking time : 10 mins ; Serves : 4
1 bunch of Pudina or Mint leaves
3 whole red chilies (small round variety)
1/4 tsp whole pepper (optional)
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp udad dal | Black gram lentil
1 tsp thuvar dal | Red gram lentil
a marble size piece of tamarind
salt to taste
11/2 tsp sesame oil / cooking oil of choice
For tempering (optional) :
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp udad dal | Black gram lentil
1/4 tsp asafoetida
a red chilly (small round variety)
few curry leaves
a tsp of sesame oil / cooking oil of choice
Pinch out the mint leaves, discarding the stems. Wash, drain and scald them on a pan, with half a tsp of oil.
Fry in a tsp of oil mustard seeds, red chilies, pepper, black gram lentil, red gram lentil and tamarind, till the lentils are golden brown.
Grind them coarsely in a mixer jar with salt and scalded mint leaves. If required sprinkle little water to ease the grinding process.
Fry ingredients given under tempering, in a tsp of oil and temper the ground thuvaiyal. This step is optional.
Serve mint thuvaiyal as an accompaniment, along with steamed ghee rice. It can also be used as pesto or spread, on different types of bread.
The list of thuvaiyal / thogayal, among many more,which one can prepare in a similar fashion are with coriander leaves, curry leaves, finely chopped coconut, Kamala orange peels, onions, garlic, brinjal, ridge gourd (peerkangai), chayote (chow-chow), ginger, sesame seeds, coriander seeds and red gram lentils .
Cut the lime into 2 halves and squeeze out the juice into a vessel. Strain the juice to discard the seeds.
Lime juice + water+ salt+ sugar. Mix well till completely dissolved. Chill and toss in a couple of ice cubes, just before serving. Cheers!
A pinch of black salt powder, roasted cumin powder, chaat masala powder, pepper powder, dry ginger powder, cardamom powder, few crushed mint leaves can be added to make Nimbu pani aka Shikanji or shikanjvi.
Use clear soda instead of water, to prepare fresh lime soda or add a pinch of Eno to make the juice frothy.
Sugar may be replaced with Jaggery syrup or honey.
Taste the juice before serving. Quantity of sugar and salt may vary, according to taste and sourness of the lime.
1. Chop the broccoli into small florets. Steam cook them in a vessel with turmeric and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
2. Wash and soak Thuvaram paruppu and kadalai paruppu together for about an hour. Drain out completely.
3. Grind red chilies, peppercorns, cumin seeds and asafoetida in mixer jar, then add the drained out lentils. Coarsely grind them all.
4. Steam cook in a pressure cooker or steamer, the coarsely ground lentil mixture on an oiled idli plate or vessel, for about 15 minutes.
5. Once cooked, roughly crumble the lentil mixture into small pieces, with a fork or spoon.
6. Heat oil in a wok or a wide base pan, add mustard seeds, once they splutter, add the curry leaves, the crumbled lentil mixture and roast well for about 10 mins. Then mix in the cooked broccoli florets and salt. Roast the curry for about 15 – 20 mins, till the lentils are golden brown and crispy. Serve hot with steamed rice and Goddu Rasam and/or Moar kuzhambhu and/or Menthi khuzhambu.
1. Vegetables like French beans, Broad beans, Cluster beans (Kothavarangai), Carrots, Cabbage and Plantain flower (Vaizhapoo) are used to make this preparation.
2. Green chilies can be used instead of red chilies.
3. Red chilly powder, pepper powder and cumin powder can be added instead of grinding the whole spices with the lentils.
4. Paruppu usili can also be prepared using only red gram lentil.
Plantain flower curry or Vaizhapoo Paruppu usili
A classic heritage dish, where we need some additional steps to prepare the florets.
Directions to prepare the Plantain flower ( also refer pic below ) :
Oil the cutting board, knife and your hands, to avoid staining.
Peel open the outer petal, to discover a bunch of florets inside.
Remove the stamen out of each floret.
Chop all the florets after removing the stamen.
As you keep peeling off and discarding the petals, at one stage, the florets will be so small that you do not have to remove the stamen as they will be very tender, then chop it, as such.
Soak the chopped florets, in bowl of water, to which a spoon of buttermilk is added to avoid discolouration, until you steam cook them in a pressure cooker or a pan.
Prep time : 1 hr; Cooking time : 45 mins; Serves : 4
Ingredients for the pastry crust :
11/2 cups plain or wheat flour (GF flour for GF version)
1/4 tsp Baking powder
a pinch of Baking soda (optional)
a pinch of salt
1 1/2 tbsp icing Sugar to be dusted on top
150 gms of cold unsalted butter (cooking oil for vegan version)
1/4 cup yogurt (skip for vegan version)
1 tsp (milk +honey) for milk wash (almond milk for vegan version)
Requisite amount of cold water for kneading the dough
Ingredients for the filling:
6 large apples
1 – 1/2 cups of sugar
11/2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp cinnamon powder
a pinch of nutmeg powder (optional)
1/2 cup of water
Knead all the ingredients given for the pastry crust into a dough. Cover with a wet cloth and refrigerate it for upto an hour.
Thinly slice the apples lengthwise. Cook them in a pan along with half a cup of water, brown sugar, juice of a lemon, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder. To thicken the filling, add cornflour mixed in 2 – 3 tsps of water.Switch of heat, once the apples are soft and cooked.
Thinly roll out 2/3 rd of the cold dough and place it as the base of the pie dish. Fork all around, a few times and bake it for 15 mins at 180C. Once baked, place the cooked apple filling on the base.
Thinly roll out the rest of the dough and cover the filling and the base. Make slits from the centre radiating outward and also if desired, make fluted patterns at the edges of the circular pie. Brush the pie with milk wash. Bake at 180C for about 30mins , till the crust is golden brown on top. Sieve and sprinkle icing sugar on top before slicing and serving.
‘Thavala adai’ – traditional dish held in high regard
Fusion of spices, rice ‘n’ lentil
Yet to encounter it on a Menu card
Why? makes me wonder still
Crispy, chewy, nutty – all in one bite
Do try it
My wondering will seem right
Prep time : 15 mins; Cooking time : 15 mins; Serves : 4
2 cups of Raw Rice or Millet
1 1/2 tbsp of Channa dal/ Bengal gram lentil
1 tbsp of Udad dal / Black gram lentil
1 tbsp of Thuvar dal / Red gram lentil
3- 5 Green chilies
3 – 5 Red chilies
1 inch ginger
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Cumin
Salt as per taste
1/4 cup grated Coconut
Mustard – 1/2 teaspoon
1 tsp Udad dal
1/4 tsp Asafoetida powder
a few curry leaves
3 – 5 tbsps of cooking oil
Soak, wash and dry the rice or millet and dals well.
Grind the cleaned rice and dal along with green chilies, red chilies, ginger, pepper and cumin in a mixer grinder.
Heat a wide mouthed frying pan. Pour 5-6 tsps of oil, thrown in the mustard seeds, 1 tsp udad dal, curry leaves and asafoetida powder. Fry till mustard seeds splutter and urad dal turns light brown. Add 3 cups of water, salt and bring to rolling boil. Reduce flame and then add the ground rice or millet rava mix. Stir continuously, till it gets a thick consistency like ‘uppuma‘. Mix in the grated coconut. Switch off heat and close with a lid for ten minutes.
Heat a tawa or a flat iron girdle/pan. Smear 2 – 3 tsps of oil and grease it well.
Take a part of the cooked flour and roll it into a lemon size ball. Flatten it like a patty burger, about 1/2 inch thick ‘adai’ and place it on the greased pan. 4- 6 ‘adais’ can be arranged at a time, on the pan, according to its size. Pour 2 tsps of oil, around the ‘adais’, sprinkle a little bit of water and cover with a lid. Cook over slow fire. When cooked, the bottom of the ‘adais’ should be crisp and golden brown. Flip the ‘adais’, pour 2 tsps oil around it and cook till the other side too, are crisp and golden brown.