My thoughts and experiences on food and wine and other things

It is a celebration of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance

In Blablabla, Food on November 4, 2010 at 00:42

As Diwali or Divali , the Festival of light comes to us on the 5th November and thus to last the following 5 days, I would like to bring to “light” a few of my other favourite Indian dishes that I might have forgotten, or left aside , my mind having been submerged at the time of my last typing and therefore could not cope with the fusion of dishes and recipes and tastes that this food is bringing to me every time I even mention the smallest delicacy or cooking technique employed for the various , I mean …so diversified cuisine.

A little coriander or coconut chutney, would be simply made by blending together fresh leafs or freshly grated coconut with a few roasted cashews nuts, a little chilly and a few drops of water , keeping the whole matter free from any oil and any other unwanted and often unnecessary ingredients. These , used to accompany a Masala Dosa described recently or a light Curry dish, which sauce also would be thickened with grounded almond or coconut and let to simmer until the right consistency…. how simple does that sound to you (?) to be honest just fine by me.

Parata is a type of bread resembling in texture and flavour to puff pastry that has been rolled and cut like as we know “The Palmito”, but bake it or do not apply the pressure while cooking it in you pan,  and the result will be absolutely horrendous and you will be left with this cardboard type of brown buttery smelling piece into your side dish. By pressing over hardly  with the help of a spatula , this will create a draft effect , making the pastry to rise and therefore creating a steam cooking from the inside out and resulting in a more crispy and light thin “galette”

Dahl and lentils are dishes on their own, they do come in different strenght and thickeness and textures of course…etc and may well be finished with a drollop of fresh and light yoghurt  or coconut milk, a sprig of fresh corriander leafs or chopped chillies and a drop of tamarind sauce ….my lips are now becoming dry although my diner tonight at the Dorchester was amazing (But I’ll leave this for another time) is it the food I am mentioning that would be playing with my mind or simply my love for its various and ‘ennivrant’ taste ?!

Chai and masala spiced teas, flavoured with cardamon , cinnamon and black pepper, with a dash of rich milk to give it a little “thickness, smoothness, silk or velvet texture”and a light spoon of brown sugar will give at your evening the impression to ingurgite the most exotic and succulent dessert, but without the calories. What do you make of this in terms of innovation. Innovation? In India, its people have been drinking this beverage since “la Nuit des Temps”. We ? we call it  nouvelle cuisine 🙂

Many sweets of all sorts made with coconut, pistachio, milk , almonds and many other flavors such as  saffron and rose water…..are being prepared for the festive season . Rasmalai and Gulabjamun , are amongst my favorite which I urge you to try (We all have our preference as how we like to eat them , cold or warm , syrupy or dry )

The Festival has various meaning in various parts of India , Nepal , Gujarat and Bengal

– In the northern territories it celebrates the return from exile and the coronation of King Rama (1450BC) after 14years spent in Ayodhya and the defeat of Ravana

-In Gujarat, the festival honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth

-In Nepal Diwali commemorates the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon king Narakaasura

– In Bengal, it is associated with the goddess Kali, goddess associated with eternal energy.

Diwali translates into a “row of lamps” and clay lamp filled with oil are lit and spread around houses on the occasion. Love and sweets are shared during the time , so is wealth and even the Financial year , for some companies , is starting on Diwali , wishing for the year to come to be prosperous.

Its spiritual signification is”the awareness of the inner light”. Central to Hindu philosophy is the assertion that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is pure, infinite, and eternal, called the Atman. With the realization of the Atman comes universal compassion, love, and the awareness of the oneness of all things (higher knowledge). This brings Ananda (joy or peace)

A very happy Diwali to anyone out there who cares to share , try and appreciate our neighbours, their culture and their food, but what food !


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