Don’t miss the Diwali festival that concludes tomorrow night. Marked by chocolate, candles, firecrackers and feasting, Diwali is a happy celebration and an homage to cuisine. It’s like Thanksgiving, New Year’s and the harvest festival all rolled into one big party!
Not familiar with the Hindu harvest festival?
A quick overview will give foodies and food adventurers a tasty, cultural heritage treat and leave Hallmark scrambling to provide holiday cards to mark the special occasion.
Diwali (pronounced Di-vali-i) is a weeklong festival of lights in India, which celebrates the Hindu New Year. It is one of the country’s biggest and brightest festivals. Farmers thank the deities for the harvest they had and pray for a prosperous harvesting season in the upcoming year.
This year, Diwali runs from October 24 to October 28. Enjoy the last two nights of light and prosperity. And who can’t use a tad more prosperity in this economic climate…
Diwali is marked by five days of celebration. Each one has it’s own story, meaning and traditions:
The Days of Diwali
Day 1: Happy Dhan Teras
The first day of Diwali celebrates Lord Rama’s return from exile after defeating evil and restoring goodness and virtue. On Dhan Teras (day one), many prepare and shop for items symbolic of the week’s festivities. These include new clothes for the dawning year, candies for gifts and fireworks to scare away darkness and evil.
Day 2: Happy Naraka Chaturdas
This day pays homage to Lord Vishnu and his triumph over the demon Narakasura. Many celebrate this day by bathing before dawn or dusk, donning new clothes and lighting only a few candles or fireworks.
Day 3: Diwali!
This is India’s New Year’s Eve and the center of the week’s festivities and celebrations. This day is also known as Lakshmi Puja (after the Goddess of Light and Prosperity).
Many celebrate by cleaning their home, praying and lighting their homes and streets with every candle, lantern and firecracker available. It’s a time to welcome a new year with the hope of coming wealth, goodness and light — which is why Diwali is known as the Festival of Lights.
Day 4: Happy Annakut
Annakut is a day for remembering Krishna’s defeat of evil and the protection of shepherds through lively and brightly colored decorations and feasts. This day is for giving thanks and looking forward to the promise of eating well throughout the new year.
Day 5: Happy Bhayiduj
This is a powerful day for many Indian siblings. Indian legend says brother and sister gods, Yama and Yami, visited each other to strengthen their familial bond, feast, exchange tokens of affection and make promises of care and protection. Many siblings follow these steps with each other on the final day of Diwali.
A Feast for Annakut
Tandoor Chef, an authentic Indian food manufacturer, is sharing information about these traditions to offer fun and educational ways for all to celebrate with more light in their world.
Celebrate Annakut with a traditional Indian feast. Here is a three-course meal to enjoy with loved ones to mark the special occasion:
Appetizer: Tandoor Chef Palak Paneer Samosa, which is creamy, spiced spinach and
paneer cheese cooked in traditional style; stuffed into crispy pockets.
Main Course: Lamb Vindaloo with termeric-infused basmati rice is a traditional Indian
meal to enjoy throughout any Diwali celebration. Enjoy the succulent lamb marinated
and simmered in a rich, traditionally-spicy sauce; served with turmeric-infused basmati
Dessert: Fruit Kheer (Fruit Pudding)
2 large Bananas (peeled and thinly sliced)
2 large santras (peeled into segments with pipe removed)
1/2 tsp saffron strands
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp salt
2(140 ml) cartons curd (plain yogurt)
Mix the sugar, pepper, chili powder, salt and curd together. Then, add the bananas and
santras and mix together for 2 minutes. Dissolve the saffron in a tsp of water and
sprinkle it over the dish before serving.
Did you know?
There are all sorts of fascinating facts about Diwali. Here are a few to better understand this important time of year:
•“Shubh Deepavali” is a customary greeting associated with Diwali, which literally
means “Have an auspicious Diwali”.
•The bonds of love are sweetened during the Diwali festival with homemade trays of
sweets, boxes of ‘designer’ chocolate, or special gift hampers of holiday goodies.
•Diwali marks the end of the harvest season and the onset of winter. Farmers thank
the deities for the harvest they had and pray for a prosperous harvesting season in
the upcoming year.
•Days before the festival, traditional delicacies are prepared for family and friends.
•The Diwali cuisines depend upon the culture and family traditions. From north to
south and east to west India, numerous delights are prepared in various manners,
depending upon the prevailing custom and taste of the family members.
Visit TandoorChef.com, Facebook.com/TandoorChef and Twitter.com/TandoorChef to learn more about this year’s
Festival of Lights and recipes.