Diwali… the most shiny, sparkly, blingy of all Indian festivals :D
The festival that loosens the purse-strings of most people across the country…It is one of the most important, if not the most important festival of Hindus and the whole country gears up to celebrate it over five wonderful days.
Days filled with rituals, the most wonderful food, the prettiest new clothes and jewellery, decorations, fireworks, and of course lights and lanterns. It is the festival of lights, after all.
The whole country gets dressed up like a bride… a shimmering Indian bride, naturally… :D
There is a lot of mythology surrounding Diwali, about what it commemorates and what the significance of this lovely, boisterous festival is. My favorite legend is about the return of Rama to his kingdom of Ayodhya.
The legend of Rama has all the ingredients of a modern pot-boiler or a Greek tragedy: a cruel step-mother, loyalty, a damsel in distress, a brave king, an evil demon, an epic battle with a happy ending (that turns not so happy soon…but that’s another story).
Diwali or Deepavali literally means a row of lights. The row of little oil lamps that the citizens of Ayodhya lit, to illuminate the path for their beloved king, Rama, who was returning home, on a moonless night, after 14 years in exile…
Preparations for Diwali begin about a month in advance in many households. Housewives make prodigious amounts of fabulous sweets and savory snacks to be distributed among family, neighbors and friends during Diwali.
Now that sort of hard work is not for me, nor do I have the time for it but I do like to keep traditions alive by making at least one sweet and one savory ‘snack’ for Diwali each year. In the past I have made Chivda, Besan Rava Laddoo, Kaju Katli, and Gujiyas.
This year, I start off Diwali with this gorgeous, melt-in-your-mouth sweet, made with humble split chick peas, called Chana Dal in Hindi. A fudgy, nutty piece of heaven, that is mildly sweet, full of protein and delicately laced with cardamom.
I am bringing these beauties along to Angie’s Friday Fiesta co-hosted by lovely ladies Hilda and Julianna. I suspect there are going to be other Diwali revelers at the party and I hope we set off some fireworks. Do join us, won’t you :D
Here’s the recipe.
Chana Dal Burfi (Split Chickpeas Fudge)
100 grams Chana Dal (Split Chickpeas)
1/2 cup Desiccated Coconut
1/2 cup Ghee
450 ml Milk
1/2 teaspoon Cardamom Powder
2 tablespoons chopped Pistachios
10 Almonds, chopped
500 ml Water
75 grams Sweetened Condensed Milk (increase if you like more sweetness)
Soak the chana dal in the water and keep aside for 2-3 hours.
Strain off the water & cook the dal in 300 ml of milk till soft. Keep aside to cool.
Grind the dal to a coarse paste along with the milk it was cooked in.
Heat ghee in a saucepan, add the dal paste and fry stirring continuously till the mixture is light brown.
Add the Condensed Milk and blend into the mixture.
Then add the remaining milk and cook till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
Add the desiccated coconut, almonds, pistachios and cardamom powder and mix well.
Remove from heat and spread onto a greased tray.
Cool and slice into desired shape.