My fondest memories have always somehow been associated with this festival. Amma making all those mouth watering sweets and savouries. Ammamma making murukulu.pala purilu and a host of other delicacies I remember from the taste they still bring to mind.Maamma and her famous “Kakarakaya/Vankaya Guttulu” would do the rounds of the neighborhood with oohs and aahs of appreciation.
Naanna would patiently prepare our arsenal for the big day to ensure a safe diwali.He would get the cheema tapakayalu (the fiery little red coloured cracker that resembles a little red chilly ) two weeks in advance and then patiently remove the masala from its tip to ensure that when we light it will burn slowly allowing us ample time to run a mile before it explodes. We would feel let down that our diwali was planned to be sooooo boringly safe…what with us lighting these little crackers with the help of a LOOOONG Stick to which Pa would ingeniously tie an agarbatti.
In the 32 years I have lived I cannot think of one diwali where Sid and I(Sid’s my kid bro…not a kid anymore ) were even singed let alone burnt owing to daddy darling .
Now when I do all of these little tricks to ensure that Rhyme and Rhythm (Raimaa and Reddhimaa) would have a safe diwali, I empathize with each little thing that Paa did without fail on every diwali. I MISS YOU DAD Wish I were in Hyderabad with you!
Anyways…With my nostalgia getting the better of me this festival season I am making this effort to recreate this awesome festival! One day at a time…Hope you like this effort!
Simple Halwa-Puri-Alu ki Sabji for the Bhog Prasad today…
This combination signifies all that is sweet and spicy and sour and oh so tasty.
Semolina(Bombay Rawa)-1 Cup
Sugar-1 ½ Cups
Ghee+refined oil-1/2 cup(combine them half and half- now they smell more like ghee than oil…ammamma’s cost cutting secret )
Saffron-3-4 strands mixed in a tsp of warm milk.
Cardamom-5-6 pods powdered along with 3 tsps of sugar in the grinder.
Milk(Full Cream)-1 Cup
Water-1 1/2 Cups
Dry Fruits-1/4 cup (Cashews,badams,raisins)
The secret to great halwa that also looks like caramelized honey is “Patience”
I learnt that after repeatedly ending up with either burnt halwa or white dull halwa.
So, here goes…ensure that you slow roast the rawa on a low flame till you get the right colour…for me the right colour is the colour of honey First take a thick bottomed handi or deep vessel and heat it on the stove. Now pour half the fat(ghee+oil) into the handi and after it heats up add the rawa and start the process of slow frying .
Once you get the desired colour set the rawa aside in a plate.
Now in the same fat fry the cashews and badams till they are a light brown.
Take them also onto the plate.
I am sure all of you know how to make “UPMA”. So, imagine that you are making upma and boil the milk and water mixture on a high flame .
Tip in the rawa and dry fruit mixture on a high flame a little quantity at a time and prepare this upma. Once this mixture leaves the sides o the vessel tip in the sugar completely into the upma and stir vigorously to avoid lumps. To ensure that the mixture does not stick to the sides or burn add a dollop of the fat at even intervals.
The heavenly aroma will fill the room…that is for sure. Lastly add the saffron and the raisins.
The Halwa is oh so ready!!
Potatoes-4 big ones boiled till just cooked and chopped into large chunks.
Tomatos-2 large ones grated in a hand held grater along with the seeds
Ginger-2 tspns chopped really fine
Dry Ginger powder(sonth)-1/4 tsp
Garam Masala-1 tsp freshly ground.
Dhaniya powder-1 tsp
Red Chilly powder- 1 tsp
Corriander leaves-1 small bunch
Method: This is a simple curry that has a decidedly mixed flavor(north with south) and goes well with chapathis or rotis..
In a kadai, take some oil-2 tsps is what I took, and heat it.
Add some jeeravan (dry roasted jeera seeds that are powdered coarsely) and all the other dry spices and then within a minute of frying pour in the tomato puree.
Tip in the curry leaves and coriander and allow this mixture to leave the sides of the kadai.
Add the potatoes and salt and allow this curry to come to a rolling boil.
Your simple and tasty bhog ka prasad is ready
I made ajwain puris with this sabji.
No big deal, just add dry roasted ajwain seeds(2 tsps) to the multi grain atta flour and make the dough.
I hope you liked these recipes as much as I enjoyed making them.
Tell me how they were!!!
Till tomorrow then….thinking of making rasgullas, aloo pulav/Bisi Bele Bhaath…oh I am a self confessed FOODIE!!