In India we have a lot of festivals... Festivals to celebrate the billion Gods that live amongst us..almost equaling the number of mere mortals trying to live here... Most of the times festivals go by without too much of a fuss.. but there are certain festivals that bring out a certain dormant something , that makes you want to break free for a day or two and simply soak in the joy and fun of festivals..
Yes, It is exhausting to live in a nation with that many Gods,
where people may not even like the person next to them,
where most would ignore a hungry child begging for a 5 rupees, but would gladly pay 500 rupees to an idol.
No. I am not an atheist.
I am simply a humanitarian. I don't have a religion..I don't believe in borders. I don't even think of castes.
I believe in people. I believe in spreading joy..I believe in humanity and the basic goodness in people..I believe in helping others ..I believe in Hope..and above all I believe in Love.
No. I don't believe in Valentine's Day.. I think its a huge commercialization of sentiments.
But I do believe in Karwachauth.
Its one of those few festivals I love ...and celebrate with complete abandon.
For those not familiar with it, lets just say its a day to celebrate love...not by gifting each other stuff, rather by "not gifting" yourself the most basic things of life..Food and Water. For the whole day.
Married women dress up in festive wear, bedecked in gorgeous sarees nine yards long... dozens of red bangles or chooda as we call it..palms and feet colored with intricate mehendi..sindoor or vermillion wore proudly in their partings of their hair.. .and we fast.
We fast for our loves..for the long life and good health and general well being of our husband.
Yes, We fast. Without even a drop of water. or a bite (nibble) of food....
We fast till night...when we worship a beautiful full moon and pray to the Gods...and then see our loves through a sieve... and finally have a sip of water and a bite of food (fed by him)
And after all the traditional drama, comes the food fest!!!
An absolutely romantic festival if there ever was one..made especially romantic and loving as P (Daddylonglegs to you folks) keeps the fast with me and doesnt eat or drink either.
We break our fast together...I know I know!!
But hey, someone really smart once said "The secret ingredient is always cheese"...So trust me getting a lil cheesy once in a while is perfectly fine!!
I make almost 8-9 items for dinner that night....
And I start the preps a day before... Here, Let me share with you a really easy and cheesy dessert, to kick off your festive fest!
I am bringing this to my fave virtual part Friday Fiesta and ever gracious and charming Angie at http://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com/
...Angie awaiting the magic thats to come from your oven!!
And my first FF friend Hilda at the wonderful blog http://alongthegrapevine.wordpress.com/
!! You MUST visit her page...fantastic pics and amazingly different recipes..
and Lets not forget the lovely Julianaa of the http://foodieonboard.com/
fame!! Its a fun , and pretty blog with tons of gorgeous recipes that makes you crave food...
PS : Julianna @Foodie On Board
absolutely love love love the citrus prawn noodle salad!!! :)
A little bit about the dessert now...Its an authentic Indian dessert..probably unfamiliar for most of you, but its a rather delicious sweet often made at my home...
In simple words, its just cottage cheese dumplings,baked in a creamy concoction of palm jaggery and saffron...
The whole recipe is simple enough..
Barely takes 20 minutes...easy to serve up to sudden guests...and yes,pretty enough to wow them too!
Find the simple rasgulla recipe here : http://lapetitchef.blogspot.in/2014/06/my-experiment-with-rasgullas.html
Imagine sinking your spoon into a pool of liquid gold..made of saffron infused creamy cheesy milk...
as the spoon cuts into the baked rasgulla, the cheese yields easily to reveal a soft and spongy rasgulla...fragrant from the special touch of palm jaggery...served cold with caramelised brown sugar, more saffron and pistachios on top.
This is a Perfect Festive Dessert... !
Rasgullas - 10 (cut in half horizontally)
Paneer or cottage cheese 200 gms, crumbled.
Milk 1 cup
Palm jaggery or Gur 4-5 tbsp
Condensed Milk 4 tbsp.
Saffron strands 12 or so
Pistachios for garnish
Brown sugar 1 tsp for sprinkling.
Preheat oven to 200 deg C
Blend the paneer, condensed milk,jaggery, saffron till really smooth.
Taste and adjust the sweetness as per taste ( we like it sweet)
In a shallow baking pan arrange the cut rasgullas , pour the milk concoction over it..sprinkle a little brown sugar over each rasgulla...add the pistachios
Cover with an aluminium foil
Bake for 18-20 mins.
Serve warm or cold as per taste..
Tastes divine both ways!!
Longing for a cloudless, beautiful moonlit night tomorrow,