Saturday, October 25, 2008

HAPPY DEEPAVALI!!!


Diwali is a time for fun, colors, lights, food, sinful sweets, and some more food...

I remember when I was a kid, I would be rudely woken up at an unearthly hour with a loud bang, right opposite my window. It deafened my senses much to my horror...I would get so angry...I needed my sleep...crackers could go to hell for all I cared...but I loved the festival.
Traditional, new clothes, yummy food, sweets all made at home...more than half a dozen varieties...the joy was evident in the smiles and the guests who dropped into the ever welcoming house.

Now I pray, that no kids, scream, in anger from their beds, while my sons, go down in their new clothes, after their oil massage and baths...eaten the traditional lehiya, a small dash of haldi and kumkum still on their new clothes...while they dash across, down to burst that customary, patakha...yes, unearthly meant, they had to be the first in the complex, so they were willing to wake up even at 3 if it meant it had to be done....
aND since we had a lot of like minded ( I want to be the first) kids in the complex, we would have more than one patakha going BHOOOM....
And the gush of the flower pots....the dark inky blue sky lighting up with the sparkling stars and rainbow colored strings of the flower pot. It does bring a smile...
The festival taught my kids many things...

Sharing - they would bring down their carton filled with crackers, and then go on to shar it with all their friends..it was so heartening to see, and to watch.

Concern and respect for the elders...They would see that all the senior citizens got to sit in the lobby, and safely away from the noise...

The camarederie with which all the kids and adults would join together 2 weeks before the festival...sprucing up the building. Making lanterns and decorations, all with stuff from the homes...no ready made lanterns, for them. Each and every child, would join in...it was amazing how well they could create. All they needed was some guidance which the parents would give, and some push....which they would get by seeing other kids at work...The decorations that went up the day before Diwali was a sight to watch....the rangoli, the diyas...specially painted by them...it was indeed memorable.

As Diwali approaches...i'm yet again busy making some of the traditional stuff...one is the lehiya...
we do get the ready made ones...but the fragrance one gets from the fresh herbs...and ghee...hmmmm So I always make this at home..and this marks the beginning of the festival...

So I thought i'd post the recipe here :

Deepaval Lehiya. (a medicinal paste made out of roots and herbs) All the ingredients are available in the indian herb stores, or Grandhige angaDi as one would see here in good ole Bangalore.

Omam (ajwain) -100g,
sukku( dry ginger) -10g,
Kandathippili (Kandathippili is available as 2-3 inch long sticks in herbal stores/grandige in the south) -10g,
Black pepper - 10g,
Jeera 2 tbspns ,
Cardamom - 4-6,
nutmeg - 1 piece,
almonds- 10
jaggery - 1 cup
ghee-1/4 cup
honey - 50g.
water - 1 cup


Heat all dry ingredients lightly, powder in a mixie. Sieve it, and powder it again.
Add water and grind to fine paste.
Heat a kadai, add the ghee. Add the paste and stir it till it thickens add honey before taking it off the heat, and stir for a few minutes more.
Stir until it thickens into a halwa like consistency.
Take it off heat. After it cools, you can store it in an airtight container for a few days.

This medicinal paste is eaten (1 tspn) after the traditional oil bath.
It is supposed to have excellent digestive properties..so i'm sure the elders had their mind set on eating the very sinful delicacies...and knew how to tackle it much before they started the day.

With this I'd like to wish everyone who drop in here
A VERY HAPPY DEEPAVALI

18 comments:

the stygian sailor said...

happy diwali to you too :)

Suma said...

i so do miss home right now...for all that you've mentioned an more...

wishing you and your family a bright deepavali!!!!

:)

Ankur said...

happy diwali to u too... have fun and enjoy to the fullest with ur kids!! :)

Cheers!!

Compassion Unlimitted said...

Nostalgia,revisited
A very Happy Deepavali to you & your family
TC
CU

brocasarea said...

happy deepawali!!..enjoy the festival:)...

Joy said...

Happy Deepavali to you and your family. Thanks for the recipe :)

Tys on Ice said...

happy diwali...

mine here is just a diya outside my door...but my family will celebrate it well...

Keshi said...

WOW u celebrate it in style ha! Good on ya Prats. Have a great Diwali and send me some of that medicinal Lehiya ok? :)

May u always be surrounded by love n light!

*HUGZ*

Keshi.

--xh-- said...

wish you and family a very happy d'vali... :)

ceedy said...

Happy Diwali to you and your family...and Happy New year to you...


the old gen surely beleived in "prevention is better than cure"....no wonder they enjoyed all the good food

Prats said...

I'd love to thank all of you who dropped in here, for the Diwali wishes...
thank you :)

Pavi!!!! said...

All these days..i managed to not get nostalgic and celebrate Diwali in the best way one can being in the US.
n now ur post has done it..rekindleld so many memories.i feel sooo sad abt being away from family n India at this time. We also used to wake up in teh wee hrs of the mornin n have a competition abt who would burst crackers 1st. n there was nthg better in the world than my paati's lehiya ! :(

Wish u n ur family too a Very Happy Diwali prats!

Vinesh said...

hope you had a wonderful deepavali :)

Preethi said...

Happy Diwali Prats..you triggered some wonderful memories.. thanks :)

Ps said...

Sorry i'm a bit late.Hope your diwali was GREAT!
Cheers
Preeti
ps: Did not know about that deepavali lehiya.Thanks for posting it.

Rambler said...

hey happy deepavali to you too.

Mama - Mia said...

too late for Diwali wishes!

but loved the post! so many of my memories too. waking up early, oil bath, aukshan by grandma and then faraal with whole family after bursting crackers!

we did zlich this year! but next year shall be better! :)

cheers!

abha

Hip Grandma said...

Happy Diwali tho' belated.I think I'll try out you lehiya recipe.I misplaced mine and managing without it.thanks