Thứ Hai, 1 tháng 11, 2010

Shakarpala and Chivda - Diwali Treats



Us Indians know our festivals. Just to give you an idea, if you were to just add the major national and regional festivals, you will atleast have a list of a dozen. Festivals are always celebrated with much zeal, pomp and show in India. Among these, the arguably biggest festival is Diwali or Deepawali or the Festival of light. Biggest or not, it is definitely my favorite. People clean their homes, decorate entire houses with flowers, rangolis, electric lights and the more traditional diyas (earthen lamps). On diwali night kids and adults alike light firecrackers. You basically keep at it into the night till mom yells out of the window demanding you to return. Yes of course and how can you forget the food! During Diwali you can smell, shakarpala, namkeen, ladoo, mathri, nankhatai etc from every kitchen when you walk around the block. All these goodies also make for a wonderful homemade gift. I remember when I was a little girl, mom making loads of these and then packing individually in gift boxes and she would arrange them in a basket and give to me distribute in the neighborhood. I dressed in my brand new diwali dress would go door to door to deliver this goodies and always come home with basket full of goodies as return gifts. I used to love it :)
Even though these dishes are traditionally made during diwali, these home-made snacks can infact be made anytime as they come handy when unexpected guests drop in. Out of the several dishes as I mentioned, I picked Shakkarpala and Chivda as they are my favorites.
Chivda is a combination of toasted flattened rice, roasted peanuts, cashews, dalia and any of your favourite ingredients. Make this crispy, crunchy snack ahead of time and store in an air-tight container. It's perfect for times when you have an attack of the munchies. A warning: this stuff is addictive!
Shakarpala is deep fried flaky and crispy dough cubes that are coated with sugar syrup almost like a doughnut glaze. Not to mention it is my papa's most favorite snack ever.
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