Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Deepavali Treats

 HAPPY DIWALI...The festival of Lights and Yummy treats!! 

Diwali is the festival of light
Diwali is the victory over evils
Let us celebrate the victory of God Over the forces of darkness

The festival of lights ....Diwali. I know most of us, specially who have spent childhood in India will get nostalgic about the fire crackers, chocolate bombs, Rockets, Anars ..the list goes on and not to mention the sweets, namkeen, the diyas, candles, decorations. I can just rewind and bring back my childhood days in Ranchi- the best place to be in for this festival. I know sounds cliche ..but yes, for you it would be your city the best place. And why not!! You have spent the most carefree, delightful childhood days. And specially for these festivals you remember the best possible memories and yes like me, we all try to atleast create some of it, if not replicate the entire surroundings, for our children. Why should they be deserted from this beautiful feeling, just because they are staying in a foreign land. Specially staying in Singapore, it has been quiet easy to embrace the festival aurora ...Spending more than 10 years in Oz Land, I had adjusted myself with the limited resources available but Singapore really opens your door to India and can compete equally, I must say. Ofcourse the Diwali melas and Kali Puja in Sydney was a great affair. 

For me, if I rewind..Diwali.. going to the market with Baba and buying fire crackers...collect so many of them. And the messy ones too like the "Saanp ( Snake) ", which used to leave black marks on the verandah. Yes, we had to sun them out on a huge lay out of newspaper..My verandah would transform to a display of fire crackers. Friends used to hop from one to another to ensure that we all had a nice combination of all the crackers. Buy new clothes of course, candles, diyas and then the aromas from the kitchen. All the sweets and authentic Indian dishes..oh yumm!! 

Let me come back to the present scene now. No more black and white right!! Yes, we did a couple of trips to the Diwali Mela , first few times with my girl friends and then of course a family one was the finale. My hubby went gala with the crackers, specially now that R is no more fearful of them. The star attraction for me was my mehendi on my hand done by my dear friend RM. It had, no doubt, a professional touch with fine artworks but the best part was the colour..uh la la..yes they all had their share of teasing me for my hubby's love for me. For those who are unaware of this, if your mehendi (Henna) colour is really bright and dark, it relates to your partner's intense love for you. So there you go. We also had some quality time - mum and son- painting diyas. And I must admit R is growing, so not much mess this year.

Then we had the decorations and lights. The house looks so different with all the glitters.

The best part of doing all these was the team work with hubby and son. I really enjoyed the family time and the little boy's excitement for all the do's.

And now the foodie time. I remembered something again my ma used to make- Shahi Tukda and tossed it from my list. Easy ingredients and quick method. Something I could just pop in from my pantry. 

What I looked for in my pantry-

For Shahi Tukda-
1. White Bread slices - preferrably day old
2. Sugar  - 1/2 cup 
3. Water-1/2 cup
4- Oil to deep fry
6. Pistachios- Chopped fine

For the kheer-
1. 500 ml full cream milk
2. Condensed Milk tin- 1/2 tin
3. Saffron Strands
4. Cardamom Pods- 2

What happened in my kitchen-

1. Prepare the Kheer/ Rabdhi. I took the short cut process and added condensed milk. Also I like this version a lot, it actually gives a rich creamy taste without too much of hard work. You could omit condensed milk and add Sugar to it. In that case go for more milk with the traditional method.
So I boiled the milk in a thick bottom pan, let it reduce half. Then added the condensed milk and the trick is continuous stirring.  Rub the saffron threads between your fingers and mix to a little bowl of few tablespoon of milk. Then add saffron induced milk to the boiling kheer. Throw in some cardamom pods after opening them. When you get the rich look, the kheer is ready to be poured. Garnish could be slivered pistachios.

2. Cut off the sides of the bread slices. I had cut them into triangles. You could even go more creative and give them funky shapes or use cookie cutters. The key here is to go by your creativity and innovativeness. Deep fry them in oil in small batches. Remember breads are really thirsty for any kind of fluid, so you need to be careful. Rest the fried bed on a lined plate before dressing them up for plating.

3. Now Sugar syrup's turn to be cooked. Boil the water and the sugar in a saucepan till its syrupy. Easy to say but I am not sure whether you are aligned with me for this. Basically if you a dip a spoon in the syrup, the spoon should have a layer sticking to it and not dripping too smooth. You could add some cardamom to this syrup to induce flavours. 

4. Now 2 methods can be followed. Either drench the bread into the syrup or pour some syrup on the slices. Depends on the amount of sweetness your tongue is longing for. 

5. Plate the slices in an angle. Pour some syrup on it and go generous with the kheer drizzling on the tukdas. Make sure to get some of the saffrons as garnish and sprinkle pistachios. After all, the aim is Shahi Tukda..so a lot of "Shahiness" needs to be portrayed. This dish actually used to be in the royal menu. You can serve the bread hot and cold kheer. Enjoy.

Have a safe Diwali and enjoy with your family and friends.


  1. Absolutely mouth watering!! Rima

    1. Thank you Rima!! Means a lot for me, you were one of the strong forces who pushed me into blogging and now I am enjoying this journey..


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