It’s that time of year again when the Festival of Lights is upon us. There are many different dishes served up on Diwali and distributed amongst family friends. Here are a few tasty treats to give you some ideas.
Diwali is one of the most joyous, vibrant and colourful celebrations of the year.
The word ‘Diwali’ means ‘row of lighted lamps’. For many Indians this five day festival honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.
It is known as the ‘Festival of Lights’ because houses, shops and public places are decorated with small earthenware oil lamps called diyas. These are lit to guide Lakshmi into people’s homes.
The Diwali festival celebrates the victory of good over evil and light over darkness, although the actual legends that go with the festival vary in different parts of India.
In northern India and elsewhere, Diwali celebrates Rama’s return from fourteen years of exile to Ayodhya after the defeat of Ravana and his subsequent coronation as king.
In Gujarat, the festival honours Lakshmi. In Nepal, Diwali commemorates the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon king Narakaasura. In Bengal, it is associated with the goddess Kali.
In India some people will leave their windows and doors open so that Lakshmi can come in. Rangoli (patterns made of coloured powder or coloured rice) are drawn on the floors to symbolise the festival. One of the more popular designs is the lotus flower.
The notion of Diwali food is very broad, as there are many different dishes that are cooked up.
A few weeks before the festival starts, women get together in each other’s kitchens in turns to make the all-important Diwali snacks.
This is very much a social activity, with older generations serving up plenty of different dishes and the younger generations keeping the tradition alive by making at least a few and learning the ropes.
Most people outside the subcontinent are unfamiliar with common Diwali foods. So what are some of the dishes eaten at Diwali? Here a few recipes to give you an idea:
As an extra treat, omit the coconut coating and dunk half the barfi in melted chocolate, allowing it to set before serving.
Diwali is one of the most joyous, vibrant and colourful celebrations of the year and is accompanied by great food.
For people who love to cook it is a time to tap into their creative side and experiment in the kitchen and for those who have an artistic side to try their hand at rangoli. It is also perfect, well-spent family time. DESIblitz wishes you all a very happy Diwali!
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