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Monday, 24 October 2011

Festival Foods Diwali

There are two legends that associate the worship of Lakshmi on this day. According to the first legend, on this day, Lakshmi emerged from Kshira Sagar, the Ocean of Milk, during the great churning of the oceans, Samudra manthan. The second legend (more popular in western India) relates to the Vamana avatar of Vishnu, the incarnation he assumed to kill the demon king Bali. On this day, Vishnu came back to his abode the Vaikuntha; so those who worship Lakshmi receive the benefit of her benevolent mood, and are blessed with mental, physical and material well-being.

As per spiritual references, on this day "Lakshmi-panchayatan" enters the Universe. Vishnu, Indra, Kubera, Gajendra and Lakshmi are elements of this "panchayatan" (a group of five).
The tasks of these elements are:
Lakshmi: Divine Energy (Shakti) which provides energy to all the above activities.
Vishnu: Happiness (happiness and satisfaction)
Kubera: Wealth (Generosity; one who gives away wealth)
Indra: Opulence (satisfaction due to wealth)
Gajendra: Carries the wealth
Diwali is a festival not just for lights, lamps and firecrackers, but for some mouth-watering delights as well. Each region of India has its own traditional variety of sweets and cuisines made specifically for this festival. It is a way of spreading joy and goodwill among both the givers and the receivers of these delights. 
“Mithai” (sweets delicacies) form a significant part of the Lakshmi and Ganesh pooja conducted on Diwali. The Gods are offered different types of Mithai as "prashaad" or "naivedhyam", which are then distributed among family members and friends.

Excellent Sweets/Mithai that are prepared in the house or purchased for exchanging on the festive occasion of Diwali are:

Moti Choor Ladoo:
The most famous of all Indian sweets. Round in shape, made of besan and consisting of cardamom, pistaschio, and a touch of saffron.

Another well renowned Indian mithai. Jalebis are made of sugar and besan (gram four).

Kaju katli:
A soft diamond shaped sweet made from freshly ground cashews.

Kaju-Pista Rolls:
A twist of cashew and pistachio. 

A special mithai recipe preparation from Khoa flour. Agra pedas are delicious.

: All special occasions warrant this. Quadrangular shaped sweets made of whole milk and sugar, garnished with cardamom and pistachios.

Gulab Jamun:
A tasty circular mithai that is known by all. On the top of everyone&prism;s list. Comes in a sugary syrup. It is the favorite choice of many Indians.

Badam Burfi:
Square shaped Burfi made from Almonds and topped with cardamom seeds and pistachio nuts.

Ras Malai:
Medallions of home-made curd cheese served in a sweetened cream sauce.
These round sweets hail from Bengal. They are white in color and come with a tasty syrup.
Diwali is by far the most enthusiastically enjoyed festival in India. People of different nationalities, races, religions and backgrounds come together to share their joys generating a feeling of universal brotherhood and inter-religious harmony.
Source : www.vahrehvah.com

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