Diwali deepon ka thyohar hai (Diwali is the festival of lights). My class 2 essay on diwali hardly prepared me for the dhamaaka that the festival actually is.
As evening approached, the sound of crackers could be heard everywhere and houses were decorated with lighted diyas. There were people of all ages lighting up fireworks everywhere - from the streets to the relative safety of their courtyards. What with the kids holding sparklers, the defeaning bombs going off every now and then, the sparkling flower pots that reminded me of christmas trees and the wide variety of beautiful and noisy firework display everywhere, it was impossible not to get sucked into the festive spirit. I watched with growing awe as the evening unfolded into a visually stunning display of lights that brightened up the entire night sky and went on till the wee hours of the morning. If the celebrations on the return of Lord Rama from his 14 year exile in the forest, after the defeat of Raavana are remotely comparable to the celebrations now, I am sure he must have felt overwhelmed.
I will leave you to the your preparations with a simple sweet recipe that you could try out this diwali.
Gajjar ka Halwa (Carrot pudding)
1 kg carrots, grated (About 8 tighly packed cups of grated carrot)
4 cups whole milk (1 litre)
1/4 cup ghee/clarified butter
1½ cup sugar
50 grms raisins/kismis
50 grms cashewnuts or badaam
½ tsp cardamom powder
Fry cashewnuts or badaam in a tablespoon of ghee till lightly brown. Fry raisins for a few seconds till they are plump and keep aside.
Pressure cook the grated carrot and milk till you hear one whistle. Let steam escape naturally and then heat the carrot mixture on medium flame, stirring continuously, till all the milk has been absorbed.
Add the remaining ghee, sugar and keep stirring for a few more minutes. Reserve a few nuts and raisins to garnish and mix in the rest.
PS: Thankyou Qya for grating the carrots for me!
Have lots of fun this Diwali, and a great year ahead !!!