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10 Delicious Delicacies You Have To Try This Diwali!

diwali_blog

Diwali has been taking a lot of flak recently, and sometimes for good reason. Crackers are controversial, with the ‘çhild labour’ and ‘animal suffering’ dark clouds looming over them.

But one guilt-free pleasure you can indulge in this October is gorging on festive delicacies. Granted, your waistline might make you feel a little guilty. But it’s oh-so-worth-it.

 

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                                                                 Image Credits: Flickr

The average Indian kitchen, already a hub of frenetic activity, reaches peak levels during Diwali. Mothers, grandmothers, and visiting aunts gather to create a load of mithais, dried nuts, and savoury goodies that (frankly) put other festivals to shame.

As we count down the days to Diwali 2016, let’s take a look at the smorgasbord of sweets and treats specific to the season.

 

1. Laddoos For Everyone

If you were a chubby Indian kid, chances are that you got called a laddoo by your aunts (endearing) or by kids at the school (decidedly less endearing, and usually accompanied by massive bullying). If you had a laddoo though, you’d soon forget the bullying. The quintessential Indian sweet. That’s how awesome these ball-shaped sweets are. 

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                                                           GIF Credits: Giphy

Originally from North India, they’re popular today throughout the subcontinent and, in fact, the whole of South Asia. A laddoo a day can certainly keep sadness away. Expanding waistlines — not so much, but happy and plump beats six-pack-and-super-emo anyday!

 

2. Spongy Sweet Goodness: Gulab Jamuns

Chances are that you’re already drooling. If you aren’t, you haven’t experienced the life-changing brilliance that is the gulab jamun.

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                                                     Image Credits: Flickr

Originally a dish called luqmat al qadi from Persia, g. jamuns have ever so quickly evolved to become one of Diwali’s most-loved sweets. Dough balls are fried till they’re golden brown, and soaked in a sticky hot syrup that’s so addictive they’re gonna ban it soon. Probably. Well, probably not. People would kill to keep gulab jamuns from being banned.

 

3. Power-packed: Pakoras

No Diwali is complete without sitting by the window, gorging on mixed pakoras and hot masala chai even as crackers fizzle out in the October drizzle.

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                                                            Image Credits: mensxp.com

Also known as bhajias, these spicy snacks also double up as handly appetizers at a festive gathering. The ’mixed’ in the name comes from the stuffing, which is usually a number of vegetables. At any given sitting, you’ll probably come across aloo (potato), gobi (cauliflower), and chili (less spicy species) pakoras.

 

4. Kaju Barfis a.k.a. Kaju Katlis a.k.a. Cashew Sweets To Die For

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                Image Credits: FoodDiva.com

You know, the “no one can eat just one” campaign was probably developed when the ad exec was a kid, stealing kaju katlis from the forbidden ‘for neighbors’ box. Soft, sweet, and positively heavenly, these are also notoriously tough to get right.

 

5. Mysore Pak

“Bring on the ghee!”

Indian mothers are seemingly obsessed with having their children looking good, but equally obsessed with shoving ghee into your gullet. Not a great combination, but no one has the guts to tell them to their face.

Sigh. At least, stuff like the Mysore Pak make up for this.

And how.

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                                         Image Credits: IndianFoodRecipes.com

Laden with everything that’s bad for your heart but great for your soul, the mysore pak is a South Indian Diwali delicacy. It is loaded with gram flour (healthy), and sugar and ghee (nope). But it tastes great, like so great you’d gobble it even if you were on your heart attack-induced deathbed.

 

6. Patishapta

Diwali is so fancy it has its own crepe-based dish. And this isn’t the French breakfast item either; no sir, it’s a full-on fancy Diwali delicacy created by Bengalis.

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                                                      Image Credits: Google

Its name sounds like the “whipped” sound effect, but this is a dish to relax with. It’s all sweet — elements like rice flour, maida and sooji come together to soothe you, the relaxed Diwali-er. One bite of this, and you’ll wanna support Mohun Bagan.

 

7. Shahi Tukda, Or Shahi Tukra — Depending On Where You’re From

A royal treat from the Mughal capital (arguably) of the country, Shahi Tukda is a Hyderabadi sweet dish worthy of yesterday’s nawabs and today’s Insta-celebs.

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Bread is fried in ghee till it gets crispy, and is then covered with a creamy, drool-worthy rabri and an assortment of rich nuts. You’ll see it being passed around after iftar or post a heavy biryani session, but it makes for a great stand-alone sweet treat for Diwali as well.

If you were going “hey, where’s the double ka meetha on this list?”, this was it. No, really. They’re practically the same thing. Mother promise.

 

8. Kheer – Dare To Kheer?

Bad pun, that ‘dare to kheer’ line. You know what will help you feel better, though? That’s right, a bowl of this sweet stuff right from mum’s kitchen. If you’re married, from your… no, from your mum’s kitchen only.

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                                    Image Credits: Google

Sampling some kheer you bootlegged from your mum, before the others got served — there’s something to be said about the powerful nostalgia this can evoke.

 

9. Nostalgic, But With A Twist — Strawberry Phirni

Everyone knows the Punjabis are on to something really good, so far as cuisine and fine mustaches go. For proof, take in a glass of phirni after your Diwali pig-out session. Bliss.

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                                       Image Credits: mensxp.com

For a twist, use strawberry pulp instead of the traditional saffron. That. Will. Hit. The. Spot.

 

10. One For The Cheat Sheet

Consider this one an early Diwali gift. Ironically, it helps you when you’re running late on your Diwali cooking.

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                                     Image Credits: mensxp.com

If guests are at home — and the honor of your family depends on whether you can whip up a dessert in time — you can use this recipe. Toast some bread, slap on some nutella and jam. Cover it with some whipped cream. Everybody loves whipped cream. To MasterChef it up, sprinkle some grated cinnamon on top and strike a sombre, clever-looking pose.

If that last thing was on the list, chances are that you’re pretty lazy. If you are, we like you. We like you a lot, and want to help. Simply grab a hot cup of masala chai, order up Diwali delights of the culinary variety using your Swiggy app. Then sit back and have the time of your life with minimal effort and optimal nap-time.

 

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laddu

http://www.indiatvnews.com/lifestyle/news/indian-foods-with-no-indian-origins-3775.html

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2011/oct/25/whats-eaten-at-diwali

http://www.manjulaskitchen.com/mixed-vegetable-pakoras/

http://evergreenrecipes.com/10-dishes-to-prepare-this-diwali/

http://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/10-quick-diwali-recipes-696319

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysore_pak

http://www.rakskitchen.net/2013/10/mysore-pak-recipe-traditional-mysore.html

http://food.ndtv.com/recipe-patishapta-316517

http://foodviva.com/pudding-recipes/shahi-tukra-with-condensed-milk-recipe/

http://indianhealthyrecipes.com/shahi-tukda-double-ka-meeta-recipe-with-almond-milk/

http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/rice-kheer-recipe-chawal-ki-kheer/

http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/kaju-katli-recipe-kaju-katli/

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