Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Deepavali!

Today is the Festival of Lights and I am in a jubilant mood!

I miss the festivities that come from being at home with family and friends - the abundance of food, the scent of incense permeating throughout the house, the non-stop flow of visitors popping in for a visit..

Lest the day felt like any other Wednesday, I woke up earlier than usual to whip up some Kesari - a sweet dish my mum would make at every festive occasion. I picked this over the many other sweets one would have today for its fool-proof recipe, much welcome if I am going be "toiling away" in the kitchen, half-awake at 7am.  
Said the ghee to the yellow colouring: "Nice hat."
  • 1 cup semolina (rawa) (available in health food stores and Indian grocers)
  • 1/4 cup ghee (aka clarified butter) (available in health food stores and Indian grocers)
  • 2 and 1/2 cups of boiling water
  • a pinch of yellow coloring
  • 1 cup sugar
  • one tablespoon cardamom powder 
  • 12 cashew nuts (cut into halves, to be pre-fried in ghee)
  • 12-15 raisins (to be pre-fried in ghee)
Cashews and raisins drenched in ghee

  • Pre-fry cashew nuts and raisins, taking care not to burn them like I nearly did!
  • Heat ghee and lightly fry semolina on low-medium heat until fragrant and light brown
  • Remove semolina from stove and set aside
  • Pour boiling water into a separate pot with a pinch of salt and a few drops of yellow coloring
  • Add sugar to the pot and let it melt, followed by the cashews and raisins
  • Lastly add the semolina gradually into this pot, stirring continuously over a low fire until it thickens, ensuring that the mixture does not clump
  • Transfer into a greased tray, to about an inch-thick and give it some time to firm up
  • Cut into squares and enjoy!
I didn't wait for the kesari to firm up so the squares look distorted but goodness it tasted awesome and was a hit with the co-workers!

It's customary to dress up in new gear for Deepavali and this green skirt was the perfect thing to put on today! 
H&M skirt, Leifsdottir silk blouse
Anthropologie necklace, Banana Republic belt
Glitter clutch from Zara - which only came out to play after 6pm
That was the extent of my cooking for the week (month?)! We ended the day with dinner at our favourite thosai/dosa place followed by plenty of skyping with loved ones. 

Hope your Wednesday was as fun as mine!


  1. Looks delicious and that Zara clutch is amazing! Happy Deepavali!

  2. Happy Diwali! I must try that recipe, it looks yum.

  3. That recipe looks amazing! I was lucky enough to celebrate Deepavali in Northern India a few years ago and LOVED it! All the lamps and happy children running around in new clothes! (and the amazing sarees!)Now, even though I am not Indian, I love to light a bunch of lamps and enjoy some good food in celebration!

  4. You look fabulous dressed up in your new gear for Deepavali! I was just on the Zara website last night looking at that clutch. I want it!!!

  5. ...and they were DELICIOUS!

    Your clutch is perfect for a festival of lights!

  6. Happy Diwali to you too Kavita! Hope you had time away from the hospital to celebrate :)

    Thanks everyone for the wishes and the clutch-love. It will be very appropriate for my gold-themed Halloween costume this weekend too!

    Jo - celebrating in India must have been a blast! I too lit up little crystal tea-lights from Crate and Barrel (and blew them out a few hours later instead of leaving them lit outdoors overnight like we do back home).

    JG - did they last the train ride home? ;)