An event marked by extensive revelry, holy ceremonies and fireworks displays, Diwali or Deepavali occurs on November 14 this year. It is undeniably one of the most important religious and cultural festivals among the Hindu community in India and across the world.
Popularly referred to as the festival of lights, Deepavali actually translates to “a range or array of lamps”, derived from the Sanskrit words “Deepa” meaning lantern or illumination and “Avali” implying a long, aligned string or series. Every year, this festive occasion is observed on the 15th day of the month of Kartik, according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar and usually falls between October and November.
Prior to the main festival day, every household is dusted, cleaned and decorated with pretty, ornamental diyas and lightings. On the morning of Diwali, time-tested rituals comprise rejuvenating oil baths at dawn, dressing up in traditional Indian garments, adorning the homes with intricate rangolis or kolams and performing devotional pujas. Spiritual prayers are chanted, seeking the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu deity of wealth, for bestowing good fortune, prosperity and health, to all kith and kin.
While flashing sparklers, igniting rockets and bursting firecrackers in the evening indeed fills the hearts of every single family member with joy, it is the indulgence in desi mithai that truly fulfils the appetite and satisfies sweet tooth cravings. Generally, Indian sweet recipes conjure up images of melt-in-the-mouth and dairy-rich delicacies, like Mysore Pak, Rasgulla, Payasam, laden with ghee, milk and sugar. However, this year, impress your near and dear ones, by preparing these authentic yet crispy desi mithai of Chhena Jalebi – a typical bright orange circular sweet made by deep-frying cottage cheese, from Orissa and Ghevar – a customary crusty cake of flour, sugar syrup, topped with nuts, from Rajasthan. We guarantee you that these absolutely lip-smacking desserts will leave everyone asking for more.
Mouth-Watering Indian Sweet Recipes For A Shubh Diwali:
2 cups of cottage cheese blocks i.e. chhena/soft paneer
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp maida
3 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp milk
1 cup rice bran oil
1 tsp cardamom powder or elaichi
5 – 7 saffron strands
Water, as required
Prepare deep orange-coloured sugar syrup, by boiling water in a pan on medium flame and dissolving sugar in it completely, along with cardamom powder and saffron strands.
Make a dough by thoroughly kneading maida, baking powder, milk and chhena together, adding water as needed.
Shape the dough into long rope-like structures, then wind it like a loop and form a wide circle, leaving a round gap in the centre, to obtain the jalebi moulds.
Heat the rice bran oil in a pan on high flame, carefully fry the jalebi moulds until they turn a golden brown colour.
Soak the fried jalebis in the coloured sugar syrup, so they absorb the sweet flavours as well as the vivid orange hues.
Place the jalebis in a vessel, seal it with a lid and heat again for about 5 minutes, so that they grow slightly larger and puff up.
Relish the crispy, yummy chhena jalebis warm, as a dessert, after a hearty meal at lunch with family, friends on Diwali.
Chhena i.e. cottage cheese or soft paneer is packed with proteins, for strong muscles, optimal growth and development of the bodily tissues. Blessed with calcium, vitamin D, milk ensures fortified bones and joints. Elaichi or cardamom is a natural aphrodisiac, that guarantees enhanced vigour for sexual wellness.
½ cup ghee
A few ice cubes
2 cups maida
1 cup milk
3 – 4 cups water
2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 cup sunflower oil
A handful of mixed nuts almonds, cashews, pistachios
Prepare sugar syrup, by heating water, then adding sugar and stirring it in thoroughly.
Break the ghee into rough blocks using the ice cubes, instead of completely melting it.
Combine it with the maida, milk, water and lemon juice, to form a smooth batter.
Heat oil in a kadai on medium flame, once it becomes hot, precisely put in the ghevar batter in portions of 2 tbsp, after each batch fizzes and then dwindles.
Once the ghevar is completely cooked, switch off the stove and remove excess oil.
Pour the sugar syrup over the hot ghevar, top it off with crunchy nuts and savour this crispy cake as an appetizing sweet treat on the joyous occasion of Diwali.
Also Read: 5 Nuts To Include In Your Daily Diet
Ghee abounds in healthy unsaturated fats that bolster heart functions and prevent cardiac ailments like arrhythmia, atherosclerosis. Refined wheat flour or maida contains profuse amounts of calories, carbs, for instant energy and dietary fibers, for uplifting digestion. Nuts such as almonds, cashews, pistachios are a storehouse of vitamins B, E, as well as vital minerals or iron, zinc, for skin health, improved blood circulation and valuable antioxidant protection.
www.netmeds.com Wishes All Customers A Very Happy, Prosperous And Safe Diwali!