Winter season in India, brings with it lot of green vegetables and fruits. As such, fruit desserts and sweets are popular and easy to make. One such dessert is ‘Gazar ka halwa’ or carrot Helwa, homemade with fresh carrots.
Talking about greens, Methi paratha is another popular winter recipe, made with fresh methi leaves (Fenugreek).
And, the mixed vegetables go well with it. For example, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, green beans, green peas, cooked with some slices of tomatoes.
You may buy as many sweets and snacks as possible from the market, and even receive sweet boxes from your family and friends. But, it gives immense happiness and satisfaction to make some sweets on your own.
This is the easiest sweet to make at home, I believe.
Just cook 100 gm. dried Coconut powder, in 1 litre of milk, on low flame, till the milk reduces completely. Add sugar to taste, around 1-2 tablespoon, and 3-4 green cardamom powder. When slightly cool, make even sized Laddoos.
Snacks are also important and it’s best to prepare them fresh at home.
2 Cups maida (self raising flour), vegetable oil for the dough, and for frying the Mathris, ajwain, dried methi leaves, salt to taste.
Combine the ingredients and Prepare the dough as you would for namak para. Rest for 15 minutes, roll and fold the mathris, and fry on medium flame.
Have an enjoyable and prosperous festival of Diwali 🪔
One of the most beautiful Indian festivals is Rakshabandhan.
This festival is about the special and pious bond, to celebrate the brother-sister relationship.
When the siblings are growing up together at their parents home, it is always about fun, sweets, gifts etc.
But, as we grow older, it’s unlikely the brother-sister will remain in the same city, or may be in the same country.
Yes, life takes the siblings to different directions, due to education, work, career, even marriage.
It’s then that the festival of Rakshabandhan becomes an emotional festival.
The sacred thread, which the sisters tie on the wrist of their brothers, to wish them happiness, prosperity, good health and all good wishes, can’t be done in the same way, as it was done in their childhood days.
So, there is a practice to send the colourful and auspicious Rakhis in envelopes, via post, or couriers, or even online.
That little small sacred thread, called Rakhi is symbolic of the pure and true love and the special bond, which the brother and sister share with each other.
If the brother is married, a special and beautiful Rakhi is also included for the sister-in-law.
Perhaps, it’s only in Indian culture and traditions, that the brother-sister relationship is celebrated in this beautiful manner.
Birthdays are special days, and we make sure that the birthday person feels happy and special. Spending time with family and friends, with good food, gifts, birthday wishes, music, dance and what not!
Then there are various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp and others, which are flooded with birthday wishes.
Then there are phone calls, video calls and other advanced technologies to make you feel special and happy for your special day.
All this sounds so good, and the birthdays are really special nowadays.
However, when I was younger, and there was no social media, birthdays were celebrated by visiting the temples, receiving blessings from the elders of the family, new clothes, having sweets or some delicious homemade food and all that.
Those were days of joint family system and there were so many people within the family, that there was no need to go outside or invite others.
It was always a celebration time.
After my marriage, my father, mother, grandfather always sent me letters (handwritten, of course) on the occasion of my birthdays.
Those letters are my precious possessions, even now.
Rice kheer and sweets were a must for prasad on birthdays, but cakes were optional.
Well, now I prepare all the delicacies— the auspicious and traditional kheer, Laddoos, and of course cakes, because it’s always good to carry on and combine the traditions with modernity.