Diwali, A Festival of Flavors

Hira Shaikh
October 23, 2019
 min read

One of the most awaited Hindu holidays is Diwali. It is a festival of lights and a festival of flavors. See below, our exquisite quick recipe for everyone’s favorite mithai.  In the Gregorian calendar, the festival generally falls between mid-October and mid-November. Diwali signifies the spiritual "victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance." Read more about “Diwali, Dharma, and Resistance” here.

Giving Back:

During Diwali, people are strongly encouraged to give back to the community. There are many different non profit organizations that do charity work, especially during Diwali. They include centers for the deaf, handmade cards made by underprivileged children whose proceeds go towards their education, organizations working for the betterment of orphans, and centers providing education for children from low-income families.

Preparing for Diwali:

As Diwali begins to approach, people start preparing for it in advance by cleaning, renovating, and decorating their homes, temples, and workplaces. Paper lampshades are a novel oriental way of decorating on Diwali. Other decorations include creative and colorful rangolis, diwali torans, diyas, and flowers. During this festive celebration, people light up the interior and exterior of their homes with oil lamps and candles because it is believed that the Goddess Lakshmi graces those homes which are brightly illuminated on Diwali with wealth and prosperity. Additionally, people wear their finest clothes and offer puja to Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and wealth, light fireworks, and take part in big family feasts, where mithai (sweets) and gifts are given.

Heavenly Diwali Foods:

Lets face it, food is the most important any celebration. Some of the mouth watering mithai include Kaju Katli, Barfi, Motichoor, Besan and Coconut Ladoos, Rasgullas, Suji Halwa, Jalebi and Gulab Jamun.  Some of the succulent savory snacks and entrees include samosas, aloo tikkis, dahi vadas, pooris, dal maharani, and khasta aloo. Samosas are small pockets of pastry, usually shaped into a triangle, stuffed with minced meat, peas, lentils and other vegetables. Aloo tikkis are made with potatoes that are shredded and formed into small patties before being fried. They are served hot with mint or tamarind chutney. These aloo tikki Diwali snacks can also be served as a side to a main meal. Also a popular dish, Dahi Vaadas are prepared by soaking fitters made from lentil and chickpea flour in yogurt (dahi), topped with cilantro, chili powder, crushed black pepper, chaat masala, cumin, green chilis, or boondi. Furthermore, pooris are fried soft round breads and can be eaten with foods like dal maharani- a combination of three different dals mixed, or khasta aloo- curried potatoes. Other entrees include paneer tikkas, saag, navratan korma, malai wali ki sabzi kofta, and nariyal aur badam wale chawal. 

Diwali is a good time to indulge in delicious foods and sweets without feeling guilty.  With that being said, looking for an easy mithai recipe to wow your guests at your next Diwali party? We got you covered with this easy fingerlicking coconut Ladoo recipe that will leave your guests wondering about it for days.

Crazy for Coconut Ladoos:

•  1 and ½  cups of desiccated coconut
•  1(14 ounces) can of condensed milk  
•  ½  cup of chopped pistachios
•  1 tsp of cardamom powder
•  4tsp of desiccated coconut for garnishing
•  1 tsp of oil
•  Cupcake liners (optional)

1)  In a wide pan on low heat, add the desiccated coconut milk and keep stirring.
2)  Add cardamom powder, condensed milk, and chopped pistachios and keep stirring until the mixture begins to come together.
3)  Add the mixture into a bowl and let it cool
4)  Grease your hands with oil and take small portions of the mixture and roll them into bite size ladoos.
5)  Roll the ladoos in coconut and place them into cupcake liners.
6)  Refrigerate in an airtight container until it’s ready to be served.

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