When I think of the Indian culture I in no way can summarize the magnum opus that it is in one paragraph, but it is without question that Indian cuisine holds a special place on my personal taste-buds. That being said, Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, starts today and to celebrate its celebrations, I thought it necessary to explain it further as well as give my readers an excellent recipe.
Tandoor Chef, known for authentic, natural cuisine, encourages each and every one of you to venture far out into something unknown and discover culture and food possibilities you never dreamed of!
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. This year Diwali runs from October 24 to October 28. 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.
There are all sorts of fascinating facts about Diwali. Here are a few to help you 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.
Diwali is marked by five days of celebration. Each one has its 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
You can celebrate Annakut with a traditional Indian feast of your own. Here is a three-course meal you can 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 rice.
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.
Also, with each new like, Tandoor Chef will donate $1 to the Deepkiran Foundation.
A thank you to Tandoor Chef for allowing me the opportunity to cover this event with them!