The five-day festival of Diwali is gradually gaining recognition in Western countries as those of Indian origin bring their culture and heritage around the world. The festival of Diwali is significant in India and Nepal as a harvest festival and is known as the "Festival of Light." Besides wearing new clothes, visiting friends and relatives and lighting candles and lamps to symbolize good over evil, Diwali is a time for traditional elaborate feasts, sweets and snacks to be served. Many of the dishes served at Diwali are not difficult to make, but tend to take a long time. What is Diwali food? It is traditional Indian food made and eaten during Diwali. The food is known for both sweet and savory flavors.
One of the most popular main dishes for Diwali is called tikka masala. It is usually made of marinated chicken in a spicy gravy. Shahi pulao is a rich rice dish with lots of ingredients including onions, raisins, cashews, chilis and potatoes. For a well-liked vegetable dish, try chhole bhature. These golden fried balls of dough are doused in a spicy gravy made of chickpeas and onion. For lunch or dinner, mutton korma is a nice selection. This mutton dish is flavored with cinnamon, cloves, garlic, chili and coconut.
Snacks and sweets are an important part of Diwali food traditions. Generally, sweets are made with such ingredients as coconut, nutmeg, raisins, cardamom, nuts and sugar. One of the favorite sweets include gulab jamun, golden fried dough balls in sugary syrup. Another is balushahi, similar to sugared donuts. Try kaju katli, a sweet cheese and cashew dessert, or ras malai, a sweet muffin, for authentic Diwali desserts.
Salty and savory snacks are popular at Diwali as well. Crisp fried foods are wonderful to snack on, as well as deep fried bread and stuffed pastries. One favorite is tikhat shankarpali, fried spicy diamond-shaped dough. Chivda is another savory Diwali snack. It blends oats, nuts and raisins with chili, curry and lemon juice. Pakoda is a crispy ribbon-like snack of fried dough flavored with chili powder.
This week the whole of India will be celebrating Diwali popularly known as festival of lights. It is one of the most important festivals of the Hindus. The lights are meant to brighten the engulfing darkness and symbolise the triumph of good over evil. During the five days of Diwali celebration the mood is marked by feeling of joy and happiness.
Having lived in the United States for almost thirteen years now, I have noticed a striking similarity between North Americans and Indians. Do you know what is similar between the people of these two countries?