Thursday, October 30, 2008

Diwali Celebrations and Events

Wishing everyone a very Happy Diwali (belated). Though I am away from home this Diwali, I am lucky to be with my parents and my brother and family, that too in a country that celebrates Deepavali and has a national holiday for the same:-)

This Diwali season has been very eventful for me. Apart from being able to spend 3 full weeks away from home but still feeling at home with parents and family, I got to meet my classmate and friend from school after 12 years, with her family! Also, I was extremely pleased to meet Priti and Nags. On the flip side, this is my first Diwali without R to celebrate together, he is away for work.

Apart from traditional simple diyas, we also got some brightly painted Diyas from the Little India market.


The previous eve, we applied henna on our hands with the Mehndi cone we had bought. The picture below shows the Mehndi butterfly tattoo on my daughter's hand. I made a similar tatto for my niece who is a year older than my daughter.

And an impromptu design with a diya on her palm.

The children also enjoyed lighting sparklers, without which Diwali celebrations would have been dull.

Of course, no festival celebration is complete without a Pooja and offering to the Gods and Goddesses. We made Murukku and Unni Appam for the festival, which are usually made during Vishu. Below, I share the recipes for the two snacks.

Murukku - A Savoury Snack


To make the Murukku seen in the picture, you will need:

Rice flour - 3 cups
Urad Dal flour - 1/2 cup
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Sesame seeds - 1 tsp
Asafeotida/ Hing - 1/2 tsp
Ghee/Butter - 1/4 cup
Salt - to taste
Oil - for deep frying (we used Canola oil)


Method:
  • In a mixing bowl, knead all ingredients into a thick dough adding only enough water
  • With a murukku press or mould, start pressing out the dough into circular forms of medium size on to cut papers or a plate
  • Slide them into the oil for deep frying and fry until both sides turn light golden brown
Note: Murukku can be stored in air-tight containers. Children love to this, but if you prefer a spicier hot version, just add red chilly powder while kneading the dough.


Serve with tea/ coffee



Unni Appam - A Sweet Snack

Traditionally, this snack is deep fried in ghee, and is also known as Neyyappam. However, we did not use ghee or butter while preparing it.



To make the unni appams seen in the picture, you will need:

Rice - 2 cups
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Black Sesame seeds - 2 tsp
Cardamom powder - 2 tsp
Jaggery - 1 cup
Coconut - chopped into small pieces - 1/2 cup
Oil - for deep frying (we used Canola oil)

Method:

  • Soak the rice for 2-3 hours, drain and grind it to a thick batter
  • Melt and strain the jaggery, and mix it along with cumin seeds, sesame seeds and chopped coconut pieces in the rice batter
  • Ensure that the batter consistency is not too thick, and it can be poured into the appam griddle
  • Heat oil in the appam griddle, and start pouring the batter into it using a ladle
  • Usually, the appams turn automatically within the mould after one side is done. If this does not happen, just turn the sides after one side is done, and take the appams out after both sides turn dark brown
  • Dry them on kitchen napkins

Note: You can also add mashed bananas to the batter and make Banana Appams.

Serve with tea/ coffee

Now, to the events.

After Rakhi, Krishna and Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam and Navaratri celebrations, Priti of Indian Khana is hosting Festive Food event again with Diwali Celebrations. This entire post and the two recipes go to this amazing event.


The Unni Appams, a sweet snack, goes to


Vaishali's Sweet Vegan, as it has "no butter, milk, cream, ghee or other dairy products, no eggs, and no honey" .


Another great event this month is Easy Craft's WYF: Party Food.


I am sending both the snacks, as a party calls for savoury and sweet dishes, and the murukku and unni appam are ideal for family get-togethers, children's parties, freinds' parties, etc.


Finally, these two different-shades-of-brown goodies go to a lovely colourful event hosted by Sunshinemom at Tongue Ticklers, Food In Colours; the FIC-Brown event for October.


PS: I am not able to visit all your blogs as I am on a kind-of-vacation-like mode, which means though I could blog this post, the next post will most likely be after a week or two when I return home and settle down. I promise to catch up on all your posts and the comments in the previous posts

33 comments:

Cham said...

The murruku and appam are awesome! Hope you re having fun with ur parents :)

Divya Vikram said...

It is great that you celebrated Diwali in your native..Appam looks too tepting..

Priti said...

Oh dear..thanks for the spl post...am so glad you have did it for the event :)...the diyas are so nice and beautiful...lovely pic...and as said before mehndi looks nice too...I was expecting the rava laddo recipe but muruku and appam is great....Thanks for the the wonderful entry babe

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

Murukku and Unniappams have come out perfect shreya..

Sireesha said...

The murruku and appam are gorgeous and perfect! Hope you re having fun with ur parents and had a wonderful Diwali:)

Sia said...

beautiful diwali spread and belated diwali wishes :)

Adam said...

Nice Diwali desserts, they all look sweet and delicious. I might have to start celebrating to have an excuse to eat these :)

Enjoy the vacation, we'll miss ya.

kat said...

Its always fun to read your post because they take me to such a faraway place

sowmya said...

those diyas look so good..nice delicacies..

sra said...

Your conch diyas - I've never seen anything like that before! And I met a fellow blogger too, this past weekend. Glad you had a fun time with your folks!

Usha said...

The diyas are looking beautiful...the murrukku and appam look very inviting..

DEESHA said...

murukku looks lovely .. i loved the mehandi design

raaji said...

murukku and appam looks gr8......hope had a gr8 time......

Vaishali said...

Dear Shreya, What lovely appams, and it's wonderful you fry them in oil instead of ghee because that not only makes them vegan, but much healthier as well. I see you used canola oil :)
Thanks for sending this lovely, delicious entry to Sweet Vegan.

Lakshmi Venkatesh said...

murukku and apams. delicious. dear Shreya, I have a award waiting for you in my blog for the past 1 week. http://delightsofcooking.blogspot.com/
Sorry for not letting you know before. please do collect it.

rekhas kitchen said...

wow great post yaar mehandi is so cuite

easycrafts said...

The diyas are so beautiful, so are the murkkus and appams...thanks for participating

Gita's Kitchen said...

Nice to know that you celebrated Diwali with your parents. The photos look awesome :)

SriLekha said...

wow! nice entries for the event

Sunshinemom said...

Oh! Just great - both are my favourite palaharams. I am so sorry about coming in so late!! Thank you for sending them to FIC!

Simran said...

Belated happy diwali! Great that you spent the festival with your family.

Love your diwali snacks

Sig said...

belated happy diwali Shreya, enjoy your Singapore vacation!

Purva Desai said...

Wishing u and ur family Happy Diwali....everything looks soo nice and tempting....and the mehendi is chooo cute.....and all the diwali treats looks yumm

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Whew thats a great combo snacks... I love appam, I ve never tried them b4, shall try your way...

Indranee said...

Hope u had a great Diwali! Loved the appams...we make a similar one here, slightly different. An award for u in my blog.

Madhavi said...

Love murruku and urs looks mouthwatering. happy diwali to u and ur family!!!

Valarmathi said...

Diyas looks wonderful. Mehandi loooks nice. Hope u had a great time.

Jeena said...

What fabulous treats! It is such a talent to make sweets like this they look delicious. :-)

Arundhuti said...

hi....there are awards waiting for u in my blog...pls collect it...:-)

SriLekha said...

Join in the Sweet Event going in my blog!
http://srishkitchen.blogspot.com/2008/11/efm-event-for-month-november-with-theme.html

notyet100 said...

nice post everythin looks yum,..belated hapy diwali,..happy vacation ceeya soon....

Andhra Flavors said...

appam sweet is very interesting.
Collect your award from my blog.

divyesh said...

Shreya....Its gr8 to see that u find time for creative works....keep it up da...unniyappom ambalathil kittunnathu pole tasty anoda???