We just finished Diwali this year.I am sure all of us would recall the yummy sweets and snacks mummy made for Diwali.Most of our festivals have some special snacks associated with them.The thought of the festival invariably brings to our minds the snack associated with it.Ganesh Chaturthi without Modak or Janmashtami without Chaklis is unthinkable.
Festivals involve pooja,celebrations and special food for the occasion.Most of these foods are traditional recipes handed down from generation to generation.No amount of pizzas and burgers can take the place of these traditional recipes.The recipes are also created in such a way that they make use of the things available locally.Not only that,the ingredients of the recipes are mostly the ones available seasonally during the festivals.
The festivals bring sweet memories of celebration with friends and even sweeter memories of delicacies we had.All of us can recall the impatient eagerness with which we waited to eat the yummy snacks,only to be reminded of elders at home to wait till the pooja is over.The taste of the snacks and mother’s love which went in making it.
Here is a list of cuisines made for different festivals or poojas:
Pongal/Sankranthi-This is the harvest festival,when rice and sugarcane are freshly brought to the markets from the fields.The fresh produce of rice and jaggery are cooked together to make sweet pongal.Here is a link in which I found an authentic recipe for it- Sweet Pongal.
Holi– the festival of colours.This is also the festival for colourful,lip-smacking delicacies.One of the main snacks is Gujiya. It is like a samosa with sweet stuffing.Here is a wonderful recipe for it-Mawa Gujiya .I found that this blog had a whole lot of recipes for Holi .
Gudi Padava/Ugadi– The essential dish in Ugadi celebrations is the neem leaves pacchadi.Since Ugadi is the beginning of the new year,this pacchadi,with its variety of flavours is supposed to indicate that life is a combination of the sweet and the sour.Here is a recipe for the Pacchadi- Neem Leaves Pacchadi
Ram Navami-This is the time of the year when summer is setting in.Invariably,the dishes prepared are in such a way that they bring down the body heat.Buttermilk,Panakam,Kosambari and Laddu are the constants for Ram Navami.I found a video recipe for Panakam and Neermor(Buttermilk) Ram Navami Recipes .
While the Panakam and Buttermilk are drinks to quench the thirst in the summer heat,kosambari is a green salad.Here is a simple kosambari recipe-Kosambari.
Janmashtami-This is the time when children really have a field day,munching yummy snacks.Especially,in South India,Janmashtami is a time when a variety of snacks-mostly fried ones are made.Wow! I found this blog with the most yummiest of Gokulashtmi dishes-Janmashtami recipes .
This is one of the most loved festivals,at least in terms of eatables.The Murukkus,Seedais and the Thenkuzhals..makes my mouth water.Compared to the simple dishes of Ram Navami,Janmashtami cooking is an elaborate affair.Perhaps,because Ram is a serious character,we stop with healthy dishes for Ram Navami.On the other hand,to satisfy the playful child Krishna,we prepare enough snacks to last a week at least.Most of them are rich in calories too.But who minds? As children,we used to wait impatiently for the pooja to be over,so that we can lay our hands(and our mouths) on the crunchy chaklis and seedais.No beating Krishna..even for snacking.
Ganesh Chaturthi– This one for the most loved of all Hindu Gods,the elephant-headed Ganesha.To placate him,we make his favourite modaks.This is the Indian version of the momos.The yummy modaks with the jaggery and coconut stuffing is the hallmark of Ganesh Chaturthi festival.Kids just love to eat them.So do adults.Here is a mouth-watering recipe for making modaks-Modak
Navrathri– This is the time for fasting.Time for sundals and kichadis.Sundal is a kind of salad prepared in mostly South Indian homes on the occasion of Navrathri.It is cooked as an offering to the Goddess and is also distributed to guests who visit the house for Kolu.Here is an awesome Sundal recipe-Sundal. For fasting purposes,the Sabudana Kichdi tops the list.Here is the recipe for the same-Sabudana Kichadi
Last but not the least-Diwali or Deepavali-the most enjoyed and celebrated festival in India.Diwali is for sweets as much as it is for crackers and Diyas.I found in this blog, a whole lot of Diwali sweets-Diwali Sweets
Enjoyed writing this post.What a multitude of cuisines we have got! And to think,this is only for some important festivals!
The taste of modaks linger long after Ganesh Chaturthi is over.The crunchiness of the Chaklis makes you yearn for Janmashtami wherever you are.The hot sundals remind you that it is Navrathri time.The Diwali sweets make you crave for more.
Each festival in India is a celebration-of the society,of the culture and Of the Cuisines.
Long live our festivals!
Long live our snacks!
P.S- While searching the web for traditional Indian festival recipes,I found a whole lot of blogs related to it.I could see food bloggers carefully detailing step-by-step all the recipes,painstakingly.
Hats off to them!
Here is a list of blogs I referred to for the recipes:(Link provided against each festival separately also):
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