Diwali, one of India’s biggest festivals, is right around the corner. Known as the festivals of lights, Diwali celebrations generally last 5 days, with Indians all over the world celebrating it in their own special way. Diwali signifies the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness.
Diwali is kind of like the Indian Christmas, with the days preceding Diwali marked by people cleaning their houses, lighting it, shopping new clothes and buying gifts/sweets for friends and family.
I had read somewhere that there is actually a scientific reason behind the cleaning of houses before Diwali. Since Diwali is celebrated somewhere between mid-October to mid-November, right after monsoons end, the cleaning makes sure all the germs and infestation that monsoons brought with them get eradicated with the whitewashing, and other pre Diwali cleaning activities. In fact a lot of Hindu traditions that we follow blindly these days are backed with a very logical reasoning that we are not aware of. Growing up, Diwali for me meant new clothes, lighting candles and diyas, putting lights up, cleaning every nook and corner of our rooms because else the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi won’t pay our house a visit, going to the Gurudwara to light candles and then bursting crackers at home.
I, being terrified of crackers, would just just burn the sparklers and be happy while my dad and brother would burst the more scary crackers. As we grew up and realized how terrifying the noise is for animals (we had a dog who had the toughest time during Diwali), besides the air pollution that crackers cause, we stopped bursting crackers altogether. Just to continue a little tradition we celebrate Diwali now by lighting a sparkler or two, and maybe an anar for fun. Besides that we just light the house and distribute sweets to our loved ones. And eat good food and lots of sweets!
Things have been a little busy at my end and I will be updating you soon about that, but lets talk about this Thai glass noodle salad first.
Trying to lose weight? Trying to eat healthier? Looking for salads that don’t include mayo based dressings but still taste as great? Then look no further my dear lovely faithful readers, this glass noodle salad will answer all your woes. Well, most of them anyway!
Its light, refreshing and its gluten free, fat free, nut free, vegan and thus every reason why you should be making this. Made from mung bean starch, glass noodles (or cellophane noodles) are rich in iron and zinc. But lets be clear they are not a low carb option. They have their share of carbs, but its not white carbs and they have almost zero fat. Plus, if you have your glass noodles with a good serving of the veggies (like in this salad), I think this dish pretty healthy and fresh to include in your meals.
The salad is easy to make and pretty quick to put together. The only technique required is the cooking of the glass noodles, rest is chopping and mixing.
To cook glass noodles, soak the stiff mung bean noodles for about 15 minutes in hot water. Drain and wash it with cold water and cut the noodles to a smaller size. Then boil them for 30s- 1 min and drain again. If using in soups you can skip the second step. But if using noodles for this salad, you will need to boil them till tender. Read More →
A light and easy to prepare vegan Indian dish (varan) made of split pigeon peas/toovar dal from the Indian state of Maharashtra.
The days leading up to my dad’s retirement were full of farewell dinners hosted by many of my dad’s friends and colleagues. Each day my parents had a dinner engagement either at somebody’s house or the Mess and to a few of these dinners I, too, was invited. In that one month of dining out almost everyday, we tasted a variety of menus, ranging from a cheese and wine dinner to Kashmiri food to traditional Maharashtrian fare. I don’t think I have ever eaten so much, and of course the weighing scale made sure I never forgot it either. But then, I got to taste so many different things- some new, some old, some good, some very good. In the end it was all worth it.
As mentioned before, at one of the dinners we were served traditional Maharashtrian cuisine. It was all beautifully served, pre-plated in a Thali, a total of close to 15 dishes, each prepared by our very gracious hostess. My mom particularly loved the dal and the kadhi and asked for both the recipes, which the hostess was kind enough to share. While certain Indian dishes have been made more popular worldwide, there are a lot of Indian dishes that are unknown to most people and what you see being served in restaurants abroad are mostly North indian favorites. So, I hope you enjoy this recipe that I am sharing with you today, which comes from the western state of Maharashtra, home to India’s financial capital, Mumbai and to the famous Bollywood industry. Read More →